2022 Wedding Costs, Facts & Statistics
You can learn a lot about the state of weddings by looking at the most recent costs, facts, and statistics associated with getting married. These data points are great for industry insiders because they can learn more about what’s hot, what’s not, and which way trends are going, but they can also be useful for real-life brides and grooms.
Knowing things like how many weddings are forecasted to take place in a particular year, how much the average wedding costs, and what types of ceremonies are on-trend can help you make informed decisions about your special day.
Whether you’re planning a wedding after the first of the year, you’re planning a big blowout celebration at the end of the year, or your nuptials fall somewhere in between, these are the 2022 wedding facts, like costs, statistics, and trends, that can help you make smart choices ahead of your nuptials.
Number of Weddings Chart via The Wedding Report
Many More Weddings Will Take Place in 2022
It’s safe to say that a 2022 wedding boom is definitely on the horizon. The number of weddings each year has been holding relatively steady for the last decade, but they took a huge dip in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The number of weddings rebounded a bit in 2021, but as the vaccine becomes more widespread and restrictions continue to lift, couples that have been putting their weddings on hold will suddenly want to get married. That's in addition to couples that had virtual ceremonies, elopements, or minimonies in 2020 and 2021 that now want to celebrate their marriage with a more traditional reception.
According to The Wedding Report, there is likely to be nearly 2.5 million weddings in 2022, with higher than average weddings moving into 2023, before it tapers off to more normal levels in 2024 and 2025.
There’s another reason why there will be more 2022 weddings than normal—more engagements.
It appears that more people than usual have been getting engaged during the pandemic. A rise in spontaneous proposals means there are more engaged couples than there otherwise while 50-percent of respondents in a 2020 survey proposed within a month after thinking about it.
Less Time Between Engagement and the Altar
Not only have couples been getting engaged more quickly, they are also spending less time engaged before walking down the aisle. In 2019, the average engagement was around 15 months, with engaged couples in 2021 getting married much sooner after getting engaged.
People are excited to have a reason to celebrate with friends and family. After two years of lockdowns, social distancing, and uncertainty that forced friends and family to spend time apart, a wedding is a fun way to celebrate in-person, together.
There’s a lot less worry when it comes to spreading the virus as well. According to a survey in April of 2021, 81-percent of those planning a wedding said they felt more confident about planning their nuptials now that the vaccine is widely available. Over half of respondents want the majority of their guests to be vaccinated, which means inviting older adults, like grandma, is a lot safer.
Potential Last-Minute Changes Are Still Top-of-Mind
Although people feel excited to host a wedding and they feel more confident thanks to the vaccine, there is still plenty of uncertainty. Another variant could emerge that increases COVID protocols resulting in shuttered businesses and postponed events. There’s a sense that brides and grooms need to get engaged, plan their nuptials, and get married quickly so they can avoid potential future restrictions.
Although it’s normal for brides and grooms to be stressed, with 40-percent of couples reporting that they felt very or extremely stressed during the wedding planning process in 2019, a 2021 survey reports a whopping 72-percent or respondents report the same stress levels.
Although the reasons are many and varied, couples have more to plan than ever before, just in case there’s a last-minute change. Many are reading vendor contracts in more detail to make sure their wedding can be rescheduled instead of being cancelled, while others have backup plans for outdoor nuptials, elopements, and postponements due to illness. These are the kinds of things couples may not have spent time worrying about before the pandemic, but they are top-of-mind now to ensure their wedding isn’t left behind if last-minute changes are needed.
Average Cost of Weddings Chart via Business Insider
Costs Will Be Higher in 2022
Brides and grooms can expect to pay more on 2022 wedding costs than the year before, and definitely more than the year of the pandemic when ceremonies were small and/or virtual. There are a couple of ways weddings are going to be more expensive than in years past.
Those who are hosting rescheduled weddings may have locked in prices with a deposit, which can help keep costs low. However, there are a lot of expenses that come along with having to reschedule a wedding. Some couples may have to pay to print new invitations, while others may add addition photography sessions for a rescheduled reception, in addition to the sessions they already had for engagement photos and their elopement.
Couples still want to follow COVID protocols to keep all of their guests safe and healthy, which means spending more money. According to a Zola survey:
- 73-percent of couples will have hand sanitizer stations
- 62-percent will incorporate masks
- 55-percent will plate food instead of serving buffet-style
This may also include spending more on a bigger or more accommodating venue that has an outdoor space or more space for guests to spread out.
For couples planning new weddings that haven’t been postponed, everything from the venue to the flowers will likely cost at least a little bit more. Oniki Hardtman, a wedding planner and owner of Oh Niki Occasions says, "We now realize that we have to be even more profitable in order to run a business that is sustainable through unprecedented times." These are prices that are likely to stick around, with businesses putting the extra money in the bank just in case they’re forced to close down again in the future.
Demand is also driving up prices. Vendors in the wedding industry can only accommodate so many weddings each year. With more weddings taking place, many are working overtime to recoup as many costs as they can, which means booking more weddings than they are used to. For most, that means increasing prices as they put in more hours and work days they would normally take off.
Costs Are Higher for Guests Too
It’s not just brides and grooms who are paying more. Guests are dealing with higher 2022 wedding prices too. With more weddings taking place in 2022, many guests are gearing up to attend multiple weddings when they otherwise might only attend one or two, which means spending more money on engagement gifts, bridal shower gifts, and wedding gifts. Some guests may ultimately end up shelling out thousands of dollars if they are attending destination weddings.
Bridesmaids and groomsmen have the additional costs of attire and celebrations, like the bachelor and bachelorette party, that can really add up if they are in multiple weddings. Many end up taking on debt. A LendingTree survey found that 43-percent of maids of honor, 38-percent of best men, 35-percent of bridesmaids, and 30-percent of groomsmen took on debt to participate in a wedding for a close friend or family member.
This can be especially hard for people and families that lost jobs during the pandemic. A couple can expect around 15-percent of invited guests to decline an invitation, with 20-30-percent declining in the case of a destination wedding. However, couples getting married in 2022 may see an increase in guests choosing not to attend, or friends opting out of participating in the bridal party, simply because they can’t afford it.
Smaller Weddings Are Still On-Trend
2022 wedding statistics also reveal that smaller weddings are also still on-trend, with many businesses reporting that they are booking smaller weddings than before. Smaller celebrations can prevent the spread of COVID, but it’s also the case that brides and grooms are using smaller celebrations to keep costs down.
With wedding costs higher than in years past, couples are opting to keep guests counts low so they can still spend money on the things that are important to them. For example, instead of hosting a big blowout bash with cupcakes and kegs of beer, couples are only inviting close friends and family so they can get the cake and champagne they want.
Increase in Spending on Special Details
Another way weddings are getting a bit more expensive is the fact that brides and grooms are excited to increase their budget in areas that are important to them in order to make their day more special. A whopping 66-percent plan to increase their budget to include things like a second photographer, exotic flowers, increased guest count, and more, according to a survey.
Even though the average wedding is smaller than in years past, because brides and grooms are spending more on special details, the cost of weddings is forecasted to be equal to or higher than pre-pandemic costs.
Finding Vendors Will Become More Difficult as the Year Progresses
The good news is that booking vendors doesn’t seem to be a big challenge for couples—yet. Over 85-percent of couples report not having any issues finding what they need or what they want when planning their wedding. However, the 2022 wedding industry is likely to look a lot different as the year progresses. Many businesses report that the second half of the year is usually more busy than the first half of the year, and with more weddings slated for 2022 than in years past, vendors will likely book up fast.
In an effort to get what they want, especially as the year progresses and fewer vendors are available, Kerstyn Walsh, a wedding planner and director of Hire a Bridesmaid says weekday weddings are likely to become the norm, as most vendors have more openings Monday through Thursday.
If you’re planning a wedding in the coming year, keep these 2022 wedding costs, facts, and statistics in mind. They can help you make the right decisions so getting hitched goes off without a hitch!