The Knot just released the 2020 Real Weddings Study on Thursday, February 11.Over 7,600 couples who were scheduled to be married in 2020 were surveyed to uncover the latest trends and overall wedding spend in America.

The study reveals that the national average for a couple to say "I do" was $19,000. That number includes the cost of the ceremony and the reception, but not the honeymoon. To offer some perspective, the average cost of a wedding ceremony and reception was $28,000 back in 2019. With a global pandemic preventing large gatherings, it's no surprise since a major portion of the cost is based on the guest count.

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2020 couples were forced to choose between a few options:

  1. Postpone both the ceremony and reception until restrictions could allow for their normal plans. This sometimes happened more than once.
  2. Have a small ceremony on the original date and hold a large reception at a later time.
  3. Cancel both events altogether.

Micro-weddings became the big hit last year. Since the vaccine has not yet been made available to the general public, it's looking like smaller ceremonies and receptions will be prominent in the first half of 2021 as well.

My fiancé and I are just six months away from our wedding date and we honestly aren't sure what's going to happen. We originally planned for 180 people, including us. Now we may be forced to cut that number by half or more. While we would love to share our day with all of our loved ones, it may not be possible. The pandemic is definitely impacting 2021 couples and the wedding industry as a whole. We are trying to stay optimistic, but preparing for some form of restrictions to be in place for August.

To all of my fellow pandemic brides, I salute you.

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