If they had their choice, most couples would want to get married on a Saturday. The problem is that there are just so many Saturdays in a year and tying the knot is a crowded trade this year.
Weddings, like so many other events that involve community gatherings, have suffered mightily during the pandemic. Postponements were about the best a couple could hope for during the worse of the COVID-19 crisis. Since then, bottlenecks, supply and labor shortages, not to mention the isolation required to safeguard against the coronavirus itself, have plagued wedding planners continuously. But, as virus fears begin to fade, there is suddenly a mad rush to get hitched.
A look at wedding statistics, according to WeddingWire, which follows nuptials data, shows the average cost of a wedding in 2021 was $22,500. That number is supposed to rise to $23,517 or more in 2022. Last year (2021), saw an increase in weddings from the dismal lockdown year of 2020. In 2022, more couples will be getting married than at any time since 1984 with estimates exceeding 2.5 million.
Underneath these figures is the story of a wedding industry that had suffered steep financial losses from the 2020 season. Many of this year's estimated 2.5 million weddings are simply "reschedules" from 2020-2021 postponements. During the last two years, the industry, like so many others, has had to cope with and then adjust to the costs of the pandemic. For example, increased safety precautions, such as temperature checks, sanitation stations, and spacing concerns has reduced the space available while increasing manpower and health safeguards. In addition, vendors and venues were hit with a vast array of higher costs for everything from caterers, personnel, flowers, paper products, and much more.
What this means for the average couple, who may have been waiting for a year or two, may be a severe case of sticker shock. Adding insult to injury, competition for popular locations, dates, photographers, DJs, and even wedding gowns, makes for a wedding planning nightmare. To just get married somewhere, at some time during the year is a win-win. Obviously, making key decisions now without delay, should be at the top of the list for engaged couples.
On the cost side, there are things couples can do to keep expenses down starting with hiring a competent wedding planner, who knows how to cut costs. You can also reduce guest count, share expenses with another couple who are getting married at the same venue, or in the local vicinity, who can share certain items like flowers. Finally, choose a venue that offers some flexibility on things — lower minimums on food, beverages, and smaller guest sizes. That venue may be harder to come by if you are planning a weekend wedding.
Weekday weddings, therefore, may be just the ticket to keep costs down, while also getting most of what couples want. That is why a lot more couples are seriously contemplating a weekday wedding. Weekday weddings are expected to rise by about 2 percent in 2022, according to a survey by TheKnot.com. In the destination wedding category, 13 percent of weddings took place on weekdays in 2021. Thursdays seem to stand out as the weekday most coveted by couples planning either local, or destination weddings. A Thursday allows for a long weekend of activities for guests.
A weekday wedding in general provides a lot more flexibility around dates, especially when it comes to booking a dream venue. It may also come with a discount on everything from the site itself, to the prices various suppliers normally charge. Most venues also offer added extras on weekdays, including things like reduced minimum spends and complimentary extras, such as arrival cocktails, upgraded beverage options, side dishes, etc.
There will also be much less competition for photographers, bands, make-up and hairdressers. If you are planning a destination wedding, hotels and airfares are less expensive as well. You can also expect a smaller guest list and therefore a more intimate affair.
But will your invited guests agree to come on a weekday? My guess is that more than you think will say "yes."
Who knows, a day off from work may be just what they need. After two years of remote work, they have probably built up a lot of paid time off, or annual leave. And after so much enforced isolation, many more than you might expect may be up for a wedding with friends they may not have seen for a year or two. Destination-wise, I would love a Thursday wedding in Costa Rico right now. How about you?
Bill Schmick is the founding partner of Onota Partners, Inc., in the Berkshires. His forecasts and opinions are purely his own and do not necessarily represent the views of Onota Partners Inc. (OPI). None of his commentary is or should be considered investment advice. Direct your inquiries to Bill at 1-413-347-2401 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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