Many of us couldn’t bear the thought of getting married without our family and friends by our sides. We won’t be able to go through with it without our parents walking us down the aisle. We can’t picture a wedding without all of the traditions such as flower girls and ring bearers, rice throwing, bouquet throwing, and cake slicing. After spending most of our childhood imagining our ideal wedding, it’s hard to accept the idea of not fulfilling that dream.
But that’s exactly what many couples did when the COVID-19 pandemic started. Many couples had to get creative and think of alternative ways to get married. They had to work around the quarantine restrictions that authorities strictly enforced in all communities across the country. Thus, the wedding industry took a huge hit. Because social distancing is becoming the norm, couples aren’t eager to hold wedding celebrations that would only result in mass gatherings.
This is how the wedding industry fared during the pandemic and how it may recover in the post-pandemic world.
The Wedding Industry Before COVID-19
Couples, especially those who are madly in love, are known to invest in their relationship through various of celebrating their love. They showcase their love through custom-designed engagement rings. They conduct photoshoots as couples so they would always have a reminder of their happy time together. This is why the wedding industry prevailed through the years.
According to WeddingWire’s Newlywed Report, over 25 thousand couples got married in 2019. The report also found that, on average, an engaged couple spent about $30 thousand on their wedding celebrations. In fact, almost 60 percent of couples even resorted to going over the budget just to bring to life the wedding of their dreams. Plus, on average, they hired around 15 vendors on their wedding day. This entails venue staff, caterers, photographers, stylists and makeup artists, DJs, and many more.
Considering these numbers, it goes to show that, when it comes to weddings, couples tend to pull out all the stops. But that all changed when healthy safety was put at risk by the pandemic.
Unconventional Weddings during the Pandemic
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, many couples had to put their weddings on hold. Some of them even had to cancel altogether. The pandemic changed their economical and social circumstances. Many individuals lost their livelihoods or had to rely on unstable sources of income. Thus, paying for a huge party was no longer sensible. Plus, because of the travel restrictions, their friends and families couldn’t gather in one place to celebrate with the happy couple. And, of course, social distancing took precedence over everything else. That said, all forms of mass gathering were prohibited.
This meant that people were less inclined to invest in their wedding and contribute to the growth of the wedding industry. Thus, there was a surge in other forms of weddings. For one, civil weddings at city halls became popular. In March 2020, before the quarantine restrictions were set to start, the New York Times reported an influx of couples rushing to get married in the city hall. It was their last chance to tie the knot before they had to be quarantined at home.
Online weddings were also a hit in 2020. Eager to include their families and friends in the celebration, couples resorted to video chats. This way, they somehow have their loved ones with them during the celebrations. Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, even made online weddings legal in the state. Clerks were allowed to conduct weddings via video chat and send marriage licenses remotely.
Looking Ahead in the Post-Pandemic World
These new trends are changing how weddings are celebrated. But that doesn’t mean that all traditions have been forgotten. The progress and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine made people more hopeful again of having their dream wedding. The wedding industry experts stated that although many couples have gotten married in 2020, they’re eager to postpone the actual celebrations until 2021 and beyond.
This means that although the wedding industry suffered a huge loss in 2020, it’s set to recover once the pandemic is over. They’re even forecasting new trends. For one, domestic weddings would be much more popular now. This is influenced by the travel restrictions that were put in place at the start of the pandemic.
Much like any other industry, the wedding industry is feeling hopeful for a proper recovery when the pandemic ends. Weddings did evolve because of COVID-19. But this doesn’t mean that an entire industry crumbled down with no hope of turning things around. And, in the case of the wedding industry, it’s just a matter of time until the pandemic is a think of the past and people are eager to throw big weddings again.