Getting Married in 2021: What to Prepare For


This will be a year of many weddings. According to research from The Knot 2020 Real Weddings Study, among 7,600 couples who scheduled their weddings in 2020, a majority of the 15 percent who postponed the event decided to do it in 2021. Add to that the number of couples engaged in 2020 and early this year who also decided to marry within 2021.

It is heartening to know that amid crisis, couples are not shying away from commitment. Perhaps the crisis itself has shown how important it is to strengthen bonds with loved ones.

How Much to Prepare to Wed in 2021

The cost of having a wedding ceremony and reception dipped to $19,000 in 2020 from an average of $28,000 in 2019, according to data from The Knot. The drop in costs was due to the various pandemic restrictions that cut down on the number of guests, types of venues, and many other factors. The Knot states that in 2021, the average cost has increased to $23,000.

The estimate is higher from Wedding Stats that puts the figure between $29,000 to $31,000. This source states that there are about 2.6 million weddings in the country every year and almost 50 percent of those spend more than their original budget. This is usually because they set an unrealistic budget from the start.

A couple needs to know the average costs of every part of the wedding. This will enable them to decide where to splurge and where to cut down. For instance, couples will more likely spend extra on their wedding rings, such as diamond-studded white gold wedding rings for the bride and groom, because this investment is for life, much like the engagement ring. They must not scrimp on photography and video documentation of the wedding, as well, for the memories.

According to traditional ways, the groom buys the bride’s rings, and the groom’s family shoulders the rehearsal dinner, fees for the marriage license and wedding officiant, entertainment and alcohol at the reception, the bridal bouquet, all corsages and boutonnieres, and the honeymoon. The bride’s family shoulders the wedding ceremony, reception venue and food with floral arrangements, wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses, wedding invitations and announcements, wedding photography and videography, and bouquets for bridesmaids and flower girls.

Most couples now save to spend for their weddings, though. Those who do not have enough savings can use a zero-interest credit card for more flexibility in payment. It is necessary to have a good to excellent credit rating to be able to get such cards, though. The couple must also plan to be able to pay off the card within the specified payment period that can range from six to 21 months.

royal wedding
Meghan Markle leaving the church, happy and in love with her husband. Prince Harry.

Deviations from Tradition

Because of the pandemic, many couples had to make drastic changes to their wedding plans. This has created a trend of deviating from the norm of weddings. Couples are becoming more creative in customizing their ceremonies and receptions.

The bridal gown and the bridesmaids’ dresses used to entail going to several fittings. This is not very safe to do nowadays so many brides are choosing gowns they can buy online with styles that do not require an exact fit. If they have bridesmaids, there is a trend toward gowns worn in different ways so that each bridesmaid can choose her style.

Couples who want to limit the number of people in the ceremony and celebration can still share the special occasion with other relatives and friends by doing a livestream of the event. If there is no reliable Internet connection, they can post the wedding video later online.

Some couples choose to have only a wedding ceremony and then separate small and simple receptions. They hold one for immediate members of both families, one for common friends of the bride and groom, one for close friends of the bride, and another for close friends of the groom. By doing away with the rehearsal, they can use the allocated budget for the family reception. The couple can also ask the bride’s friends to host their small reception instead of a bridal shower, and the grooms’ friends to host theirs instead of a bachelor’s party.

Outdoor receptions under decorated tents are now on-trend because these are safer for everyone. Buffets are not safe and now replaced by plated meals on scattered tables. Designated seats are placed a good distance from each other.

Many couples inform their guests beforehand that they require complete vaccination two weeks before the event, a negative swab test just before the event, and wearing of masks as well as physical distancing during the event. Some provide the masks and send these ahead of time, matching the wedding’s color scheme.

Different and the Same

Weddings in 2021 may set a new direction in weddings in the coming years. Many of the old wedding elements will change to suit new needs.

Whatever changes may happen, one thing will always remain the same. Weddings will always be special celebrations of love and life that stand up to any crisis.

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