2022 Wedding Boom Brings Big Costs As Well

The Big Wedding Comeback

Wedding bells are ringing once again in 2022 with COVID-19 numbers seemingly on the decline. Market research firm The Wedding Report says 2.5 million couples plan to tie the knot this year — the most since 1984. Hotel executives point to their sales as one indicator: the average cost to rent a room is up near record levels.

Hotels also indicate the large blocks of rooms that wedding parties tend to reserve are being booked for longer periods of time than previously observed. Some wedding planners and venue managers say couples are holding multi-day wedding events. The smaller wedding of the pandemic era is fading from view, with guest list sizes returning to pre-2020 levels.

Wedding Costs Are Going Up

Analysts say the pandemic’s delayed weddings and resulting pent-up demand has prices skyrocketing. Wedding planning website The Knot reports the average wedding cost guests $660 in 2021 if within driving distance, and $1,270 for trips that required a plane ticket. Those figures are expected to jump by 10% or more this year with inflation also a factor.

With more weddings comes more travel, pushing up prices for gas and airfare. The other half of the equation is lodging. Hospitality analysts predict this summer’s weekend room rates will set records as leisure travelers and wedding guests compete for the same space. Hyatt Hotels (H) reports record wedding block bookings.

It’s a Boost for Hotels And Rentals

Hotel managers say they’re less motivated to offer wedding parties discounted rooms because leisure destination bookings have been so robust. Popular markets where weddings are typically held are experiencing higher-than-usual lodging rates. In some cases, groups of wedding guests are coming together and renting larger guest houses via sites such as Airbnb (ABNB).

Analysts suggest working remotely may offer wedding guests flexibility this summer. Some guests are booking lodging days in advance of a wedding in order to enjoy a mini vacation, while retaining the ability to work. It’s clear the pandemic is continuing to impact when and how weddings are held, including the way guests travel.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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