November 2, 2021

WeddingWire 2021 Guest Study Finds Guests Are Attending Weddings This Year with Higher Enthusiasm and Spending More than in 2019, While Keeping Health and Safety Top of Mind

Nearly 70% of Wedding Guests Splurged More than they Normally Would on Weddings this Year Due to COVID’s Restrictions in 2020

NEW YORK, NY— November 2, 2021WeddingWirea leading wedding planning resource, today released results of the WeddingWire 2021 Guest Study, finding that guests attended weddings in 2021 with higher enthusiasm, invested more in their gift and own attire, and kept health and safety top of mind.  The study among 1,000 U.S. adults who attended a 2021 wedding, found that 50% of all respondents indicated they strongly enjoy attending weddings, up from 39% in 2019, with 68% of respondents acknowledging they splurged more than they normally would on weddings this year due to 2020 COVID restrictions. Thirty-six percent of wedding guests travelled out of town for a 2021 wedding (26% by car or train and 10% by plane), which is consistent with 2019 wedding guest travel. 

“As many couples postponed their weddings to the second half of 2021 and 2022, we found guests attended weddings with more enthusiasm than ever before,” said Jeffra Trumpower, Senior Director of Creative Marketing, WeddingWire. “Guests in 2021 proved they were ready and willing to go the extra mile to attend celebrations again and make memories with people they love.”

Since COVID’s impact halted many social interactions and events in 2020, guests were willing to spend more attending a wedding in 2021, with results showing 37% spent more than they normally would on the couple’s gift, 32% spent more on their own outfit and accessories, and 24% spent more on travel to weddings. On average in 2021, guests spent $460 to attend a wedding, compared to $430 in 2019. For gifting, guests spent an average of $160 on their gift, up from $120 in 2019.

When it comes to the invite, the majority of guests still favor a printed invitation, though all guests prefer RSVPing online (up 10% compared to 2019), such as through a couple’s wedding website like those on Younger guests are even more likely than older guests to prefer to RSVP online (67% vs. 60%), and more than half of guests say it would be “extremely helpful” to receive reminders about RSVPing and deadline to book accommodations or notifications if rooms are running out. 

While guests are ready and eager to celebrate, health and safety remains a top priority, with 30% of respondents wanting to know the health and safety measures being implemented before they RSVP. Other factors include the wedding location (37%) and if they can bring a date (32%). Additionally, health and safety measures are being noticed while guests are at the wedding, with 1 in 4 paying top attention to what precautions are being taken to ensure everyone in attendance is safe. The food (62%), reception setting/venue (49%) and music (46%) top the list as things guests pay the most attention to at weddings. 

Methodology: WeddingWire’s 2021 Guest Study surveyed 1,000 adults 22-54 who attended at least one wedding in 2021.

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