2021 Set to Be the Busiest Year for Weddings in Decades

2021 Set to Be the Busiest Year for Weddings in Decades

Engaged couples plan on setting health and safety guidelines for guests and vendors
An oceanside wedding ceremony

Despite relaxed mask mandates in many states and a slow coronavirus vaccine rollout, people are ready to return to a semblance of normal life.

After delaying celebrations for up to a year, many engaged couples plan on tying the knot in the months ahead. The Knot 2020 Real Weddings Study [COVID-19 Edition] found that, out of more than 7,600 couples that had planned for a wedding last year, 47% of them will proceed with their celebrations in 2021 and beyond.

As a result, this year will see a huge uptick in wedding celebrations, with an increased focus on health and safety precautions for the couple, attendees and vendors.

Postponed weddings now set for 2021

Almost all of the couples (96%) that planned on getting married last year adjusted their plans to account for the changing guidelines around the pandemic. About half (47%) of survey respondents with wedding plans set for 2020 will get married this year or later instead, with more than 40% postponed celebrations taking place before June 2021.

Additionally, of the 80% of couples that got engaged during the pandemic and have already set their wedding date, 73% of them will wed this year.

These changes are setting 2021 up to be one of the biggest years for weddings in decades, and a very busy time for wedding vendors and attendees alike.

Guests should expect additional health and safety precautions

The survey also found that health and safety was the biggest concern for 76% of engaged couples last year. According to The Knot, 90% of those couples adjusted aspects of their ceremony and reception to account for new safety standards.

These changes included:

  • 90% of couples providing hand sanitizer and 71% offering masks to guests
  • 88% maintaining distance between seats and tables
  • 13% taking temperatures of attendees before they entered the venue
  • 4% requiring negative COVID-19 test results before the event

This year, wedding attendees can expect something similar: 36% of couples that responded to a poll on The Knot’s Instagram will require their guests to get tested before the date, while 19% are considering a vaccination requirement.

However, although 63% of Americans plan on getting their vaccine when it becomes available, many of those eligible to do so right now don't have access to them. So in addition to these current precautions, wearing masks and practicing social distancing will help contribute to the safety of all those involved in these events.

Couples focus on personal touches in their celebrations

After over a year of sacrifice, including changing or delaying their proposal plans, The Knot found that engaged couples are gravitating towards unique wedding experiences that truly reflect their needs and wants.

"Minimonies" — wedding ceremonies with typically up to 10 guests in attendance — were adopted by 42% of couples that got married in 2020.

Other types of ceremonies, including anniversary receptions, microweddings and sequel weddings, will be seen much more often in the months and years ahead as couples embrace and incorporate the traditions that mean the most to them.

Methodology: The Knot surveyed more than 7,600 American couples with wedding dates that were originally set between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. The geographically-dispersed participants — who The Knot Worldwide recruited via email — represent various ethnic, education and income levels.