The past year saw the cancellation of events, including weddings. This year, all those couples who postponed their union are tying the knot.
Forget about late spring to early fall being the so-called wedding season; 2021 is the year of weddings.
Venues are seeing increased schedules and bookings post-pandemic, and some couples are even rushing to get the perfect setting for their wedding or the date they originally planned to tie the knot but just a year later. Most importantly, it encourages couples to spend more on all things wedding.
Going All Out
Weddings are already expensive. A wedding can cost around $20,000 on average in a normal year, and that already includes the dress, the venue, entertainment, and food for the reception.
This year, however, and through 2021, because of the increased demands, costs will rise. Couples can expect to spend about $22,500 on average for the reception. It is about a tad higher than if the wedding took place before COVID-19.
Moreover, wedding vendors lost income in the past year. Annually, about 2 million weddings happen across the United States. In 2020, only half of that took place. The industry lost about 34 percent in revenue last year because of all the postponed, canceled, or downsized weddings. Vendors are hiking up the prices to compensate.
But, couples are willing to spend the dollars anyway. Weddings last year were dramatically scaled down and made into a more intimate affair with a limited number of guests and outdoor settings. And, for many people, a wedding will be their first major event after the pandemic. Understandably, they want to make it “more special,” never mind the cost.
In one survey, 66 percent of respondents said that they have an intention to increase their budget for their wedding this year.
What Couples Are Spending Money On
In contrast to the more intimate weddings in 2020, for 2021, brides and grooms are expanding their guest lists. They want their wedding to be bigger than what they initially want.
Moreover, couples are hiring a second photographer and choosing exotic flowers.
While millions of Americans lost their jobs during the pandemic, other people were able to save money. The restrictions forced the public to stay indoors. Instead of traveling abroad or going to parties every weekend, people sat at home watching Netflix. In addition, the stimulus from the national government led to more disposable income that they are now using to upgrade their upcoming wedding.
This does not come as a surprise. Since some pandemic restrictions have been lifted earlier this year, consumers have been in a spending frenzy. Almost all sectors have been able to bounce back from losses during the pandemic, and, as a result, the economy is out-performing analyst predictions. The U.S. is recovering from the devastating economic recession of 2020.
More Couples Getting Engaged
Expect the next year to become fully booked for weddings, too, as more couples get engaged. Jewelers across the U.S. are reporting record sales in engagement rings. Now that travel has resumed and life is going back to normal, couples propose and plan their futures together.
Couples are also splurging. Consumers are choosing the more expensive gems and bands as well as customizing their engagement rings. One jeweler from New York disclosed that the average price of rings being sold is a lot higher than in the past year. Many of their clients are upgrading their rings or getting a new, more expensive one.
The demand for diamonds has increased. The past year’s restriction led to shortages of the precious gem. Now, jewelers are trying to catch up by gearing up production to address the demand.
Clients are booking in-person appointments. Now that many of the population have received their vaccines, people feel safer to appear in the store rather than shop and conduct transactions online. They are ready to travel and try rings on their fingers — just like how things worked pre-pandemic.
Guests Brace for Expenses
The increased number of weddings happening this year meant that, for many, the invitations kept coming. Guests are expected to spend more this year on gifts, clothes, and travel to attend bachelor and bachelorette parties, bridal showers, wedding ceremonies, and receptions.
The pandemic led to postponements and cancellations of weddings. Now that many American adults have been vaccinated and restrictions have been removed, people are resuming wedding planning with one big change: an increased budget. Couples are willing to spend more to have a bigger party, more expensive rings, and maybe travel to another destination for the big day.