2020 Average Wedding Cost and Covid-19 Wedding Market Guidance

2020 Average Wedding Cost and Covid-19 Wedding Market Guidance

2020 and 2021 will likely be two of the worst years in wedding industry history. Both spending and the number of people marrying are down significantly. 2020 and 2021 numbers are based on the following data: 1,081 cost survey samples from people getting married, 50,083 behavioral data samples from our wedding cost estimator, 1,452 Covid-19 survey samples from wedding vendors, 4,069 Covid-19 survey samples from people getting married, Census Pulse Survey, and Bureau of Economic Analysis data.

NOTE: all markets have been updated to support the current 2020 spending and number of weddings forecasts out to 2024.

Covid-19 Wedding Market Guidance

This guidance supersedes all pervious guidance we have issued on Covid-19 and the Wedding Industry.

Wedding Spending

For 2020, the average wedding cost came in at $20,286 down 21.6% from the 2019 total of $24,675. For 2021, we believe that couples will continue to spend less and the current estimate is at $21,551. Up slightly over 2020, but still down overall. 2020 spending is based on an average guest count of 108. This is higher than expected, but keep in mind full weddings took place the first quarter of 2020 and have completely different restrictions on gatherings.

Over 2 years, the industry will lose approximately $47 billion in total sales, with only slight gains in 2022, 2023, and 2024, there may be surge demand that would generate an additional $13 billion in total sales. But we will likely never recover the loses from 2020 and 2021.

Number of Weddings

Many States have not published their 2020 numbers yet, so we might be months from knowing the exact number. But, we can tell you that Hawaii saw a 50% decrease, Florida saw a 23% decrease, and New Hampshire saw a 10% decrease. It really depends on the State and what they allow or not. In general, we think 2020 will come in between 1.2 and 1.4 million weddings. As for 2021, we thought there would be a surge, but its clear now that this will not happen until 2022 or 2023. Most of 2021 will be down until we can get widespread distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine or we get the virus under control. Based on what couples and vendors are saying in our surveys, 2021 will look remarkably similar to 2020. We believe that the number of weddings will come in between 1.3 and 1.5 million for 2021.

Over 2 years, the industry will lose 1.6 million weddings with some surge in 2022, 2023, and 2024. But we do not believe that surge over 3 years will be enough to recover the loses. These couples will find the simplest ways to marry and start their life or continue to cohabitate with their partner. 

2020 Average Wedding Cost

Market Totals 2019 2020 Chg %
Market Summary 24675 20286 -21.6%
Attire & Accessories 2019 2020
Dress Accessories * 222 227 2.2%
Tuxedo/suit/other Accessories * 104 107 2.8%
Tuxedo/suit/other Rent/purchase * 211 217 2.8%
Wedding Dress * 1217 1251 2.7%
Beauty & Spa 2019 2020
Hair Service * 68 70 2.9%
Makeup Service * 56 58 3.4%
Manicure & Pedicure * 45 46 2.2%
Entertainment 2019 2020
DJ/MC * 739 759 2.6%
Entertainment lighting 333 341 2.3%
Live Band * 1724 1773 2.8%
Musician/s, Soloist, or Ensemble * 624 642 2.8%
Flowers & Decorations 2019 2020
Bouquets * 337 346 2.6%
Boutonnieres, Corsages * 152 156 2.6%
Wedding Venue Decorations * 443 456 2.9%
Wedding Venue Flowers & Arrangements * 598 337 -77.4%
Wedding Venue Table Centerpieces * 326 185 -76.2%
Gifts & Favors 2019 2020
Gift/s for Attendants * 102 103 1.0%
Gift/s for Parents * 122 123 0.8%
Tips (for all services) * 384 214 -79.4%
Wedding Favors * 241 136 -77.2%
Invitations 2019 2020
Ceremony Programs * 129 73 -76.7%
Engagement Announcements * 111 64 -73.4%
Guest Book * 61 35 -74.3%
Invitations & Reply Cards * 222 126 -76.2%
Postage * 105 60 -75.0%
Reception Menus * 126 71 -77.5%
Save the Date Cards * 112 64 -75.0%
Table Name and Escort/place Cards * 85 48 -77.1%
Thank You Cards * 90 51 -76.5%
Jewelry 2019 2020
Bracelet 175 179 2.2%
Earrings 152 155 1.9%
Engagement Ring * 3380 3456 2.2%
Necklace 201 205 2.0%
Wedding ring/band for HER * 769 787 2.3%
Wedding ring/band for HIM * 454 465 2.4%
Photography & Video 2019 2020
Digital or Photo cd/dvd * 282 285 1.1%
Engagement Session * 388 392 1.0%
Photo Booth 379 384 1.3%
Prints and/or Enlargements * 234 239 2.1%
Wedding album/s or photo book/s * 405 414 2.2%
Wedding Photographer * 1589 1634 2.8%
Wedding Videographer * 1073 1104 2.8%
Planner/Coordinator 2019 2020
A La Carte Services * 939 962 2.4%
Day of Coordinator * 806 825 2.3%
For Getting Started * 864 884 2.3%
Full Service * 2704 2773 2.5%
Month of Direction * 1032 1055 2.2%
Venue, Catering & Rentals 2019 2020
Ceremony Officiator * 212 215 1.4%
Hotel Room for After Reception * 314 319 1.6%
Limo Rental * 486 494 1.6%
Other Transportation * 520 291 -78.7%
Rehearsal Dinner * 563 320 -75.9%
Wedding Cake/dessert * 413 234 -76.5%
Wedding Venue Accessories * 323 185 -74.6%
Wedding Venue Bar Service * 2365 1361 -73.8%
Wedding Venue Food Service * 4618 2645 -74.6%
Wedding Venue Location * 3638 3734 2.6%
Wedding Venue Rentals * 1749 1392 -25.6%

* = item included in the total average wedding cost.

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