During the beginning of the pandemic, many couples were forced to delay their wedding or even decide not to have one at all. With weddings seeming to be back to a semblance of normal for much of the populous when it comes to virus concerns, soon-to-be newlyweds face many other issues like rising prices on goods and services. CivicScience recently explored changes to wedding gift-giving as a result of postponed plans and inflation. The below data highlights changes to wedding planning and celebrations impacting soon-to-be newlyweds, and the different implications surrounding the industry right now.

For the purposes of this piece, all data below is rebased among those with upcoming plans to get married (or did already this year).

Plans & Disruptions 

In a survey of people who were recently married in 2022 or have upcoming plans to do so (13% of the U.S. adult population, according to the results), 17% already got married this year, with another 24% who plan to this year as well. More than half plan to get married in 2023 or later.

A mere 13% of U.S. adult respondents with wedding plans this year say theirs have not been disrupted. In terms of the disruptions that couples planning a wedding this year are facing, the one that has caused the most disruption has been inflation and the rising cost of goods, followed by COVID-19 concerns and supply chain issues. 

While data show that those who already got married this year were more likely to deem COVID-19 concerns as the biggest disruption to their plans, those who are getting married later this year or next are much more likely to cite inflation and rising costs, as well as their evil stepsister, product shortages, as their primary wedding disruption. As supply chain issues and inflation persist, this comes as no surprise. 

Planning for Potential “I Do” Disturbances 

Wedding insurance is an option for those getting hitched, and what better time than during a pandemic to get such a policy? Many policies cover things like property damage, illnesses, injuries, and extreme weather events. Of those who have gotten married already this year, roughly a third stated they took out this form of insurance coverage. 

In terms of awareness of such an offering though, there is plenty of room to grow. More than half of those who plan to get married later this year either already took out wedding insurance or plan to, however, roughly a third have never heard of these policies.

Paying for the Big Day

Weddings are notoriously costly and inflation isn’t helping things. How will soon-to-be newlyweds pay for it all? Of those with upcoming weddings, 40% are paying for their celebrations with cash on hand, while another 36% are either borrowing money from loved ones or were gifted the funds. A smaller percentage are taking out loans for the big day, or using savings or money from an investment.

The majority of those with weddings coming up in the next year plan to spend under $20k all told. This is pretty much in line with people who already got married this year.

Those who are borrowing the money from loved ones are the most likely to be spending under $20k on their wedding, followed up by those who were gifted money or have the cash on hand. However, those with cash on hand are also the most likely to be spending upwards of $40k on their wedding. Wedding loan takers and those dipping into investments are more likely to spend $20k or more on their event. 

Just the Vows

Somewhat surprising data show that 41% of people getting married this year say they won’t have a reception / celebration at all. Forty-three percent say they will have theirs directly after the wedding ceremony, and another 16% will have theirs down the line.

In terms of immediate celebrations, this is a higher figure than the one seen for weddings over the past couple of years, where only 29% said they had a reception at the time of the wedding. However, what’s interesting is that a larger percentage of people aren’t planning to have a reception at all this year (the 41% figure from the chart above) compared to just 24% in the survey below for weddings taking place earlier in the pandemic when COVID was a bigger concern. Is the importance of a reception less of a priority in this new era?

Indeed. The data isn’t all that surprising when you look at it through the lens of rising costs and the financial impact of the pandemic. Those who aren’t having any sort of reception over-index as being highly price-sensitive in the past year, as well as being in a poorer financial position compared to pre-COVID.

The wedding industry, like countless others, has taken a huge hit due to the pandemic. Now with the ripple effects of inflation that couples are facing, it’s even more difficult to nail down the big day and pay for it. Wedding insurance can certainly grow among those with wedding plans as awareness is relatively low. Want more specific trends pertaining to your business? Learn more about what we do.