The wedding industry is experiencing a noticeable boom this year – the most weddings since 1984 – due to postponed and rescheduled weddings from the pandemic. 2.5 million weddings are expected to happen this year compared to the 1.3 million during 2020. (Gorce) Wedding venues, caterers, and vendors are booked solid with more work than they’ve ever seen. It’s been wonderful to see the industry thriving again after taking such a hard hit, but it’s important to remember that supply chain issues and increased costs are still going to be a challenge for this year’s couples. “Shane McMurray, the Wedding Report’s founder, has a tip. “If you’re going to go through with a wedding in 2022, be patient,” he said. And financially flexible, too, because he anticipates that the average cost of a wedding in 2021, around $22,000, will rise to just under $25,000.” (Gorce)
Another important factor is the human toll this record season takes. Smaller businesses (like wedding photographers and florists) often have a maximum capacity in terms of how much work they can actually take on; small teams struggle to be in multiple places at once. It’s a tough balance given that they lost out on earnings in 2020 and are trying to make up for them now. “Some of our vendor partners are doing wild amounts of work. They’re essentially putting two years of weddings into one year.” The opportunity to recoup lost income has revitalized such vendors. “But I think some people are already drained,” says Justine Broughal, co-owner of Greater Good Events in Jersey City, NJ. (Gorce)
Larger gatherings are on the rise again. Many couples are excited to go all out after waiting for so long! The average guest count this year is expected to be 129 people, which is almost to the pre-pandemic level of 131. (Klich) On weekends, I’m an event server at Terrain and I’ve definitely noticed an uptick in guest counts. Our maximum is 110 and we’ve definitely had many weddings in the 85-95 range in the past couple months compared to the 40 person weddings I saw last fall. The Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas has several weddings lined up this year that are in the 300 plus range, including one in September for 600 guests. (Klich)
This record boom will eventually level off. We’re still experiencing unique effects of the pandemic. “People should realize that this is not growth in the industry, it’s just pent-up demand.” (Gorce) 2022 may also yield a wave of new competitors given the increased demand. The cost of entry for some services is relatively low. DJ’s and photographers for example, simply need to buy some equipment to get started. Wedding photographers can make an average of $2,500 per wedding. (Hanlon) Sounds like a good reason to buy a camera! Couples should be careful though. They need to check ratings and reviews before signing a contract with a vendor. All of your wedding vendors need to be licensed and insured! It will be interesting for me to watch the trends in real-time this summer and fall.
Have you been to any weddings in the past two years? Were there COVID precautions like vaccine requirements or distancing?
Are you planning a wedding this year? What are some of the challenges you have faced?
Gorce, Tammy La. “It’s a Boom Year for Brides and Grooms.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Feb. 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/04/fashion/weddings/wedding-boom-year.html.
Hanlon, Sarah. “This Is What Real Couples Spend on Wedding Photography.” Theknot.com, 16 Feb. 2022, https://www.theknot.com/content/average-cost-wedding-photographer.
Klich, Tanya. “The U.S. Expects a Wedding Boom in 2022.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 16 Feb. 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyaklich/2022/02/14/a-wedding-boom-is-expected-in-2022/?sh=1339bcd0117c.
“Terrain Events.” Flickr, 7 Apr. 2022, https://www.flickr.com/photos/terrainevents/.