2021 will be a big year for weddings – with a few adjustments

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The year 2021 is anticipated to be one of the busiest years for weddings in decades, but with COVID-19 precautions in place.

According to data from digital wedding products and services retailer The Knot, 47% of couples who planned to wed in 2020 will now celebrate in 2021 or later, and 93% of weddings originally scheduled in 2020 were not canceled but instead adjusted to comply with local event restrictions or rescheduled for a later date. 

Among those who postponed their reception, just over half plan to have their wedding prior to June 2021, while 43% have set their new wedding date in the second half of the year (5% selected new wedding dates in 2022 and beyond). Additionally, eight in 10 couples who got engaged during the pandemic have set their upcoming wedding date, the majority (73%) of which will take place in 2021. 

More than a third of surveyed consumers with upcoming weddings in 2021 will require their guests to get tested ahead of their celebrations (36%). Additionally, nearly one in five plan to require their guests to be vaccinated in order to attend their wedding. Some are considering additional precautions, such as requiring guests to get tested (36%) or vaccinated (19%) prior to their celebrations.

Other adjustments many couples are making to their wedding plans as a result of COVID-19 include downsizing guest lists (80%), adding a virtual component (43%), or moving their wedding ceremony and/or reception outdoors (35%). Almost all couples who created a wedding registry in 2020 included retail registry products (95%), while close to half (46%) opted for cash registries. 

“We’ll see more variety with event formats and wedding day details at future weddings, as couples embrace their unique priorities and purposes,” said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor in chief of The Knot. “Out of a year that posed unforeseen challenges for all—especially for those who planned to wed in 2020 and the vendors who planned to help bring these celebrations to life—comes a time where individuals are yearning to celebrate the milestone of marriage once again surrounded by all of their loved ones when it’s safe to do so. As a result, we anticipate seeing more weddings scheduled to take place in the months and years to come than ever before.”

The Knot conducted several surveys of its customer base during 2020 and also analyzed user data among couples who created a registry.