The pandemic put the kibosh on big gatherings, which decimated the 2020 wedding season. But with vaccination rates rising, long-delayed ceremonies are now being scheduled. That opens up a wealth of side hustles for wedding season. 

These side hustles run the gamut from providing photography, videography and DJ services to doing hair and make-up for wedding parties. Side hustles for wedding season also involve making custom invitations and wedding keepsakes.

What are the options and how can you profit from wedding season?

Photography

Launching a photography side hustle? Wedding season presents plenty of opportunities, from taking casual engagement shots to formal wedding photos.

Sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Nextdoor are great free tools to market your availability. Another helpful tool for photographers is Snapped4U.

The site is specifically designed for event and portrait photographers, who may have many people who want to buy prints. It lets you create a photo gallery and provide a link that brides and grooms can provide to the wedding party — or even post on their wedding website — for anyone who wants professional photos from the event.

Photographers pay a $10 registration fee to set up a Snapped4U account. Other than that, photographers only pay a 10% commission when their photos sell. For wedding guests, it’s a convenient way to buy photos that they otherwise might have missed.

Cosmetology

Manicurists, hairdressers, and make-up artists can make a small fortune working with wedding parties, which often book makeovers for multiple clients on the day of the event.

A site called Priv, formerly known as BeGlammed, connects cosmetologists who are willing to travel with customers prepping for weddings, television appearances and other special events. Since the site charges customers $50 to $175 per hour and passes 60% – 80% to the cosmetologist doing the work, cosmetologists earn between $30 and $90 per hour.

Mementos

Weddings also spur the purchase of dozens of mementos and keepsakes. Whether it’s matching earrings for the bridesmaids or wedding favors for guests, creators of jewelry, crafts, or custom t-shirts, have multiple ways to cash in on wedding season. 

For hand-made items, Etsy is the best place to market. You determine what you want to sell, set your own prices and bear the cost of producing the item and shipping it. The site charges a small listing fee and takes roughly 8% of your gross income in commissions and processing fees. In return, Etsy draws hundreds of millions of potential customers each month.

If you want to create the design but don’t want to actually manufacture it, you’re best served with print-on-demand sites, such as Society6 and RedBubble. Here, you make the design, upload it, and earn a commission on each sale. These sites manufacture and mail the items for you.

Invitations, notes, save-the-date cards

Modern weddings also demand a plethora of paper products. Couples increasingly send out engagement announcements, save-the-date cards, invitations and thank-you notes.

Want to design custom cards for all of these events? Etsy, Zazzle and Minted allow artists to create unique cards and invitations and earn a profit on every sale. However, each site works differently.

Unlike Etsy that expects you to make and mail your own goods, Zazzle is a print-on-demand site that allows you to upload your designs and have them make the final products for you. Zazzle sets the prices, handles manufacturing and shipping, paying you a royalty on your sales.

Minted requires artists to win a design contest to open a store on the site. If you win a design contest, you’ll get a cash payment as your prize and the ability to create your own Minted store. Minted will make and mail the items you sell there, paying you a 6% royalty on each sale. But you give up the right to sell the designs you sell through Minted anywhere else.

Bands, Videographers & DJs

Free social media sites may also be the best place to list availability of your band, DJ services or videography side hustle.  That’s mainly because entertainment listing sites are often so expensive that they only make sense for full-time entertainers.

Consider TheBash, a sister site to TheKnot. The site charges between $299 and $499 per year to simply list your service. If you book a gig, it charges an additional 5% commission. GigSalad charges $359 to $479 per year, plus a small commission, to list your service.

If you manage to book multiple lucrative gigs through these sites each year, the listing fees are worth the cost. But, if your availability is limited or your rates are low, these listing fees can prove prohibitive. 

Host engagement parties, showers…

A less obvious side hustle for wedding season is to rent out your space for engagement parties, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners or day-after parties. 

A half-dozen sites, including PeerSpace, Splacer, ThisOpenSpace and Avvay allow you to list your home or garden as an event venue. Rates range from $50 to more than $500 an hour.

Outside of making sure your space is clean, you don’t do the work when you list through these sites. You simply provide the venue and set the rules, such as the type of events you’re willing to host, maximum attendance, noise restrictions and the home’s hours of availability. Be sure to get a deposit for any potential damage to your property, though. And, discuss the rental with your insurance agent, to make sure you’re also covered for liability.