With social distancing guidance easing, many couples are taking advantage and throwing wedding celebrations that they had deferred last year.  In today’s Insight Flash, we examine how wedding industry dynamics have changed since 2019, including which brands are benefitting the most from resurging nuptials, how wedding sizes are changing, and how these changes are different by geography.

As a group, sales of wedding-related brands were up dramatically even as early as March 2021 versus the prior year.  Wedding-related Formalwear spend was up over 25%, while spend on wedding-related Party/Novelty/Gifts more than doubled.  The largest growth in March and April came from My Wedding Favors, MyRegistry.com, Men’s Wearhouse, and GroomsShop.com.

Note: March-April 2021 vs. March-April 2020

Versus the pre-pandemic period, couples who waited appear to be more likely to make sure they get the most out of their delayed reception. Average ticket is up substantially for our tracked set of wedding brands, on everything from invites to dresses to favors. The one interesting exception is Men’s Wearhouse, where the average ticket is down almost 25% versus two years ago – this may indicate a shifting preference for less formal menswear as suits are no longer everyday officewear and therefore an appropriate celebratory upgrade.

Average Ticket for Wedding Purchases

Note: March-April 2021 vs. March-April 2019

Although purchases across individual wedding vendors indicate an upgrade, overall spend on the total wedding is going down, perhaps due to fewer guests or some couples splitting the bill with a ceremony in 2020 but holding the reception until 2021.  The declines were most pronounced on the West Coast and in the Northeast, with spend per individual on wedding brands down -14%.  In the South, spend was down -10%.  Spend in the Midwest was relatively flat at -3% versus 2019.  Interestingly, the relative decreases in spend per individual have wiped away many of 2019’s differentials in absolute spend levels, with couples in the Midwest, Northeast, and South all spending the same amount per individual this year.

Note: April 1-25, 2021 vs. April 1-25, 2019