Weddings, including those with larger budgets, are on a comeback after the pandemic forced widespread wedding delays, Timothy Chi, CEO of wedding planning website The Knot Worldwide, told CNBC on Friday.
“In the United States, there are about 2 million weddings that happen on average annually. We saw about 50% of them happen, so that just means there are another million weddings that were pushed forward, and we’re really starting to see that it̵
As a result, Chi said, he expects an increase of 20% to 25% in weddings this year and in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels.
The wedding industry saw a 34% drop in revenue last year as the Covid crisis led to many weddings being postponed or at least reduced, according to a report by market research firm IBIS World.
As weddings pick up now that most pandemic restrictions have been lifted, Chi said couples are “ready to go all out again,” as evidenced by their spending preferences.
According to The Knot, the average budget for a wedding reception this year is approx. $ 22,500, which is more than $ 3,000 higher than in 2020 and roughly equal to the levels in 2019.
In addition, a recent study by The Knot found that approx. 66% of respondents are looking forward to increasing their budget for aspects that can make the day “more special”, Chi said, as well as adding another photographer, more exotic flowers, an increased number of guests and continued health and safety measures.
Chi said he believes increased budgets could serve as a “leading indicator” of consumer spending in certain parts of the economy, noting that travel and hotel stays are often involved in wedding events.
“There’s not really a better way to reintroduce times after covid than with a giant party that brings your closest friends and families together,” he said.