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The Knot Real Weddings Study Webinar Recap: What Pros Need to Know

The Knot Real Wedding Study Couple Insights

As a wedding pro, one of the top questions that should be on your mind is, “What do couples in the midst of wedding planning really want?” This million-dollar question is something that The Knot Worldwide strives to answer so pros and couples alike can get a sense of what’s on the horizon for the upcoming wedding season. This year, we surveyed over 15,000 couples who were married between January 1 and December 31, 2021, and asked them questions about every aspect of their wedding planning process. After compiling and organizing all of this information–the results are finally in!

Not only have we published a vendor-specific look at this data, but we also held a virtual seminar with Lauren Goodson, Senior Director of Insights at The Knot Worldwide. The chat, 2021 Insights Report: What to Know About Today’s Couples, goes into so much detail about what pros need to know about what couples are looking for, so definitely check that out, but if you’re looking for a TL;DR, continue reading to get some of the highlights from this interesting conversation.


Weddings are trending back to ‘normal’

94% of weddings planned took place within 2021, while only 5% delayed their event and only 1% canceled altogether. This is a stark contrast from 2020 when over half of weddings needed to be rescheduled or shifted in some capacity. This points to things getting back on track and trending to pre-pandemic numbers.

Additionally, the cost of weddings is also bumping back up to reflect numbers we’ve seen in the past. For example, the average cost for a 2021 wedding was $28,000 (which is the same value we saw in 2019) and, interestingly, the cost per guest exceeded pre-pandemic numbers with couples spending an average of $266 per guest. Additionally, we also saw the average number of vendors hired increase to 14 (compared to 12 in 2020). 


Travel is back on the rise

In 2020, couples who went forward with their weddings were more likely to get married in one of their hometowns. In 2021, however, 2 in 10 couples had a destination wedding (destination being defined as a wedding that took place in a different place from where they currently live or grew up). Additionally, more couples (73%) opted to go on honeymoons this year, a 17% increase from 2020.


Wedding planning is done mostly online

This past year, couples who didn’t postpone their wedding were engaged for an average of 14 months, and in that time, they were planning their nuptials online. In fact, 89% of wedding planning is done online. So, make sure your website, Storefronts, social media channels and all your other platforms are updated and ready for couples to view and interact with.


Pro Tip: Are you advertising your business on The Knot and WeddingWire where couples are actively planning their weddings? If not, let’s change that. Talk to our team today.


TikTok usage is on the rise

Couples are very likely to follow pros on social media–especially Millennials (89%) and Gen-Zers (75%). TikTok is growing rapidly in popularity and usage, especially with younger couples. In 2021, 27% of Gen-Z individuals used the social media platform for wedding-related content. So, if you’re revamping your social media presence, it may be beneficial for you to start using TikTok to engage with your audience. Consumers are drawn to authenticity and a genuine creator, and since that’s how you should be framing your content anyway, joining this channel may be a natural next step.


Pro Tip: If you’re a small business owner, be sure to read through our Social Media Guide for small businesses so you can learn how to create exciting and engaging content without spending a lot of time and money doing so.


Couples are making their cultural and ethnic traditions a priority

In 2021, 36% of couples included an element of their cultural or ethnic heritage in their ceremony or reception. And, this is likely to rise as more members of Gen-Z get married in the coming years. Gen-Z is the most diverse generation that we’ve seen, and because nearly half of them have a diverse background, they are more likely to showcase that in their weddings.


Couples are interested in sustainability

Sustainability has been a topic of conversation in the wedding industry for a number of years, but it’s starting to be a much larger priority with couples. Nearly 70% of couples said they are putting some sort of effort into incorporating sustainable or eco-friendly options into their wedding. The top way we saw couples doing that was by buying second-hand decor or upcycling items.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! You’ll find more information about these insights and more, including what they mean for your business as you head into the upcoming wedding season and beyond, in our seminar, 2021 Insights Report: What to Know About Today’s Couples. Be sure to check it out soon so you can prepare your business for the busiest wedding season yet!


Photo Credit: OlegBlokhin /

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