A lot changed in the wedding industry in 2020.
Notably, the global COVID-19 pandemic resulted in smaller, more intimate ceremonies and receptions. Some couples even delayed marriage celebrations entirely.
Celebrations took place with masks, plexiglass barriers, and live-streamed events.
What does all this mean for weddings in 2021?
Wedding spending by the numbers
In a recent study of 2020 weddings, trends show that COVID-19’s impact on last year’s marriage celebrations will continue to influence this year’s.
For example, in 2020 almost 50% of couples chose to postpone all or part of their wedding celebrations. We’ll see those postponed celebrations taking place throughout 2021.
In fact, it seems that couples have been looking forward to 2021 as a return to normalcy. They plan to spend about $22,500 on their receptions, which is similar to pre-COVID receptions in 2019. These numbers could mean that couples hope to enjoy ceremonies and receptions with a larger number of friends and family.
If you only look at the numbers, this return to pre-COVID weddings feels a little like a boomerang. But will marriage celebrations really return right back to their starting point?
Reasons wedding spending might look different this year
There are still several months to go in 2021, so we won’t know the full picture for a while yet. But at Giftster, we know celebrations. And it’s likely that the trends of the 2020 marriage year will continue to influence how couples pay for their weddings in 2021.
An abundance of receptions
2020 was the year of minimonies. These marriage ceremonies are tiny, with the couple and about 10 other guests. And in a pandemic world, they make sense for health and safety reasons.
But most couples who had minimonies simply postponed celebrations. As precautions are lifted throughout 2021, we’ll start to see these delayed receptions. And they’ll be competing for dates and locations with other weddings taking place this year.
Expect this demand for receptions to cause prices to increase. The celebrations are also likely to take place all year, not just during the typical wedding season, as vendors schedule this influx of receptions.
A focus on friends and family
Through lockdowns and illnesses, many people around the world experienced loneliness and loss. These emotions have naturally led engaged couples to focus on the time they can spend with the people they love most.
How will this impact marriages?
There’s a good chance guest lists will stay small, with fewer plus ones and casual co-workers receiving invitations.
These smaller weddings won’t necessarily cost less or lack vendors. With fewer guests, couples can actually budget for more elaborate and hospitable celebrations. And we’re likely to still see wedding websites, flowers, DJs, photographers, and registries.
If you’re invited to a 2021 wedding, events should feel relatively more normal. Even if spending looks different, it will be a great year for celebrating marriage and showering happy couples with love.