WASHINGTON — Some outdoor events and weddings in the region will soon be joined by up to 100 decibels in sound thanks to a massive cicada emergence, and local wedding planners are well aware.
The latest cicada phenomenon, called the Brood X, will feature a once-in-17-year experience and lead to billions of bugs coming up from underground and swarming to outdoor spots.
Both Maryland and Virginia are expected to hear the loud sounds of cicadas, which University of Maryland Emeritus Professor of Entomology Michael Raupp said could begin during the first two weeks of May and last through the second half of June.
Raupp added that there can be as many as 1.5 million cicadas on an acre.
Jessica Doan, who co-owns Completely Coordinated in Alexandria, is one of the many wedding planners monitoring the situation.
On Wednesday, Doan told WUSA9 that she had researched the emergence of the bugs to help couples make decisions over how to deal with the extra noise.
"I did my own research and kind of learned what a cicada impact would look like on a wedding," Doan said. "Some of the things we’ve been telling our couples to think about are maybe investing in a tent and then talking to your DJ to make sure you have the right amplification as cicadas are a little noisy and you want to make sure you can drown out the noise.”
Aside from the tent and DJ advice, Doan added that couples should plan ahead for pictures on their wedding day and have multiple locations to choose from in case their first option is "overrun" by cicadas.
Another wedding planner who spoke to WUSA9 said venues in heavily wooded areas and locations near spots like Rock Creek Park could be particularly susceptible to the cicada noise.
Doan made sure to note that cicadas are not harmful and rarely bite.
After a tough last year for many folks, she believed couples should focus on celebrating rather than worrying about cicadas.
"The silver lining I remind every couple is that they can actually get married. In 2020, there was a time when you couldn’t go to a courthouse to obtain a marriage license," she said. "Nothing will be as bad as 2020. I always just keep telling our couples that. You guys can still get married. It’ll still be a beautiful day.”