Wedding businesses brace for a whirlwind year

July 14, 2021, 11:30 PM UTC

As you plan your travel for the remainder of the year, be sure to put aside a few vacation days and a chunk of change for the bride(s) and groom(s).

After a steep drop in 2020, the number of marriages in the U.S. is set to explode this year. Experts at The Wedding Report, an industry research firm, say the number of U.S. weddings in 2021 is expected to hit 2.77 million—more than twice what we saw last year and a 30% increase over 2019.

Meanwhile, the number of new registries created on The Knot in Q1 2021 doubled compared to Q4 2020, according to the website.

Late summer and fall look to be the boom time for weddings, according to The Knot. And while vaccinations are making those gatherings an option once again, the shadow of COVID and its many evolving variants continues to overhang the ceremonies, though in odd ways.

Gift cards to The Home Depot, for instance, are one of the most popular requests from couples, and many are either asking for money to fund post-COVID travel or support at-home hobbies.

It’s still too early to definitively say what weddings will cost this year, says The Knot, but the average reception will likely cost around $22,500, which is on par with previous years.

Couples who got married in the midst of the pandemic managed to save a little money, perhaps because the number of attendees was generally lower. The average wedding last year cost $19,000, more than 30% lower than the 2019 average.

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