Lasting Impacts of Coronavirus on the Wedding Industry
12th June 2020
No matter how organised a couple or a wedding planner is, no one could factor in a global pandemic into their wedding plans. With summer and the peak of the wedding season just around the corner, instead of preparing for hen and stag parties, making travel plans or picking up wedding rings, many brides have had to do the unthinkable and postpone or even cancel their weddings due to COVID-19.
Here, we take a look at how couples are coping in this trying time, whether or not people are still popping the question in quarantine and what COVID-19 will mean for the wedding industry when the world settles into its new normal.
With the lockdown now extended until at least July 1, how many couples have had to postpone their wedding twice?
As over half of weddings in the UK take place on a Saturday, predominantly between the months of April-September, and 17% of all UK weddings taking place in August, according to Statista, many couples have not only had to postpone their wedding once, but twice with the lockdown measures being extended until at least July 1st.
A study from a popular, London-based wedding planning app, Bridebook, has found that COVID-19 will directly impact up to a huge 64% of weddings in 2020. While this is a devastating and worrying time for the couples who were planning on tying the knot this summer, it'll also impact many wedding professionals too. With an estimated 36% of wedding business to be lost, the entire industry is set to suffer a loss of approximately £87.5 billion.
How will the wedding industry cope with a backlog of weddings?
According to the National Association of Wedding Professionals, if all the couples who were getting married over the next few months cancel, it could have a catastrophic effect on an industry that mostly consists of small businesses. Many wedding bands, DJs, photographers, florists and hair and makeup artists rely purely on wedding bookings as their primary source of income, and if they are unable to come to an agreement with another date, they could be losing out on a lot of business.
However, it's not all doom and gloom as Lauren Kay, executive editor of The Knot has reported that only 4% of couples have actually outright cancelled their weddings. This indicates that once the pandemic is over, the wedding industry will thrive.
Renowned wedding planner, Mark Niemierko has also predicted that "you're going to see a huge increase in tiny, small, registry weddings." With virtual hen parties and stag do's on the rise, virtual weddings could also be the next big thing with 76% of couples saying that they'd consider having a remote wedding with guests watching through Skype.
As Niemierko says, "There will be people at home going you know what? Let's go and get legally married - have just our parents there or a best friend, have a witness each and then next year we'll do a blessing with our big celebration dinner party and everything. Effectively people will be having two wedding days."
While it may still be too soon to tell how COVID-19 will affect the wedding industry in the long-term, many wedding professionals agree that they will be amongst the first events to really thrive again. Hamish Shephard, the founder and CEO of Bridebook, has said that he expects 2021 to be the 'greatest year of weddings in history.' This is down to the fact that “these three months represent 29 percent of weddings worldwide, and equate to 64,000 weddings in the UK, 652,000 weddings in the US, and 12 million weddings worldwide that will likely need to be rescheduled due to the virus.”
With the number of postponements outweighing the number of available weekends in 2021, more and more couples are considering weekday and winter weddings, which will certainly help the industry to boom!
Although weddings have been put on hold, are people still popping the question?
While many couples are postponing weddings and engagement plans, for some, love just won’t wait!
People have been getting more creative when popping the question at home. From treasure hunts leading to romantic, remote spots in the country and beautiful apartment rooftops adorned with candles, lights and rose petals to one NHS employee being proposed to on an empty beach at sunrise on one of her few days off. Pandemic or no pandemic, love will always prevail.
Even though these newly engaged couples may need to wait a little longer then they would've liked to tie the knot, and they can't celebrate in style with their friends and family just yet, the good news is the perfect way to counteract the gloom and provides a happy and welcome distraction.
Our top tips for buying your engagement ring online
If you're considering getting down on one knee sometime soon during lockdown, here are our top tips for buying your engagement ring online.
1.) Always look at the reviews - The number 1 rule before buying anything online is to check the reviews, especially when it's as important as your engagement ring. You'll want to make sure that the quality of the ring matches what the company claims and no issues have arisen.
2.) Check the returns policy - You can't always get it right so check the return policy to see if it can be easily exchanged or returned for a refund or a credit note if need be.
3.) Check their ring resizing policies - Trying to sneakily measure the ring size of your partner can be extremely difficult so make sure you check the ring re-sizing policies just in case it's not the perfect fit and needs adjusting slightly. If you are unsure on the exact size we'd also recommend choosing a classic, solitaire diamond ring rather a half or full eternity style as these are the easiest rings to resize.
4.) Take your time - This is not a decision to be made quickly! Take your time and consider every aspect, ask as many questions as you like to the retailer and thoroughly do your research. It's not all about the carat size, but cut, clarity and colour are extremely important factors to think about. This isn't just any piece of jewellery, this is a piece of jewellery that your partner will be wearing forevermore, so it needs to be just right.
5.) Get family and friends involved - Speak to someone close to your partner, their best friend, sibling or a parent to find out what they think they'd like and to get a new perspective. You could send several options and see which one they think you should choose. As it's difficult to get together with friends and family right now, getting them involved as much as possible will surely brighten their day and give them something to look forward to.
For more information, take a look at our simple diamond buying guide for everything you need to know.