The marriage enterprise is booming and the financial system pumping within the brief time period – Orange County Register
Meg Van Dyke, who runs a wedding planning firm in Pittsburgh, recently spent a weekday night desperately calling photographers for a wedding in May 2022. All eight that met their couple’s criteria were fully booked.
“I’ve never had a problem finding vendors,” she said. “It is absolutely booming.”
Weddings are roaring back after a pandemic-induced slump, leading to booked out venues, a shortage of photographers, and soaring prices for catered dinners. The rising demand provides an additional surge in spending for the US economy.
The race to the aisle pays off after a lost year of ceremonies. As lockdowns gripped the nation, weddings slowed abruptly at the beginning of the pandemic. Shane McMurray, founder of The Wedding Report, estimates that 1.3 million marriages were concluded in the United States last year, compared to the usual 2.1 million. According to industry insiders, these were often “micro-weddings” with only a handful of guests, if at all.
That turns around a lot. Weddings haven’t quite normalized for 2021, but they’re recovering quickly, and Mr McMurray predicts they’ll jump to their highest levels since the 1980s next year as engaged couples who’ve been waiting for a global pandemic finally tie the knot Close life.
Once this backlog has been used up, he expects long-lasting trends such as living together without marriage to dominate.
Many economists agree. “My instinct is immediately: this is not a marriage boom; It’s a wedding boom, ”said Jessamyn Schaller, an economist at Claremont McKenna College. She added that even with the short-term pop, there would likely be fewer marriages than if the pandemic never happened.
In other words, the wedding boom is likely to be a rash.
Marriage rates have been falling for decades, hitting a record low of 6.1 per 1,000 residents in 2019, up from 8.2 in 2000. The decline was accompanied by a decline in fertility, which also hit a new low before the coronavirus outbreak.
What wedding recovery could do is lay the foundation for a short baby bump after the pandemic, as couples often wait to make their marriage vows before having children.
Lyman Stone, a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, tracks fertility intentions through surveys and keeps track of birth dates at the state level. A baby bust that moved in after the pandemic began seems to be turning around, much faster than expected.
“It’s a quick return to normal,” said Mr. Stone. The nascent wedding frenzy “probably means that we have a few years here in which we have somewhat more positive fertility than previously expected.”
To keep viewers from getting too excited, Mr. Stone points out that a slow decline in births was expected.
And Melissa Kearney, an economist at the University of Maryland, warned that the first signs of a fertility recovery now emerging could be the wrong signal as the pandemic is still ongoing and it will take some time to see what birth trends look like to develop.
But Adam Ozimek, chief economist at freelance job site Upwork, believes many economists may underestimate the pandemic’s ability to put America on a different social track. He did not see the prospect of a large increase in marriages, but he believes that younger adults may change their ways as the crisis progresses.
People saved a lot of money during the pandemic thanks to long months at home, a rising stock market, and repeated government inspections. Working remotely and moving from home has opened up new geographical flexibility for many young adults.
Millennials who delayed home buying, for example, may now have an opportunity.
“That’s a pretty good recipe for more household-building,” said Ozimek, referring to what happens when adults move out alone or with partners rather than parents or, in some cases, roommates. “You can afford to buy your own house, to have a family of your own.”