We’re all aware of how much COVID-19 changed how we do business in the floral industry, and nowhere has this had a bigger effect than weddings. Couples who had initially planned their weddings in 2020 and 2021 had to make major adjustments to those plans.
Paperless Post, one of the most popular online invitation platforms, gathered information to compare wedding planning trends. They reviewed three distinct periods: Pre-Covid (February 2019–February 2020), Covid Pre-Vaccines (April 2020–April 2021), and Covid Post-Vaccines (April 2021 to January 2022). The data showed just how many tough decisions couples had to make and how they overcame challenges to make their weddings happen.
1. Timing of invitations
Couples traditionally send out wedding invitations approximately eight weeks before the wedding date. However, pandemic uncertainty changed this drastically — on both ends of the spectrum. 14% of couples sent out their invitations 12 months or more ahead, while 16% sent them out just four weeks ahead. Couples reverted to the standard six- to eight-week timeframe once vaccines were widely available.
2. Wedding cancellations and date changes
Of course, we all know about wedding cancellations and postponements, as this hit the floral industry hard. Couples tried to give guests plenty of warning that the wedding might be canceled by sending out Save the Date cards an average of nine months in advance. Then, if they needed to cancel or postpone the ceremony (which many did), they sent a “Save the New Date” card around six months in advance.
3. Covid Precautions
With constantly changing safety guidelines, couples had to adapt and address the needs of their guests to make sure everyone felt comfortable. Often this meant switching to a virtual wedding. Pre-vaccine, 31% of ceremonies were virtual, and 23% were held in person with safety precautions. Post-vaccine, only 14% of weddings were virtual, and 33% were held in person, but still with safety precautions in place.
4. Number of wedding guests
The number of wedding guests changed drastically with the onset of COVID-19 but in different ways. Before the pandemic, the number of guests ranged from 75 to 150 for an in-person wedding. Then, when things began to shut down, couples had to decide between an intimate in-person event or a virtual one. For the in-person events, couples invited fewer than 70 guests, and with virtual weddings, they invited more than 100.
While much of this information doesn’t specifically pertain to flowers, it helps you better understand what your wedding customers have been dealing with for the past two years. Knowing this, you will be able to communicate with them more effectively. And that will make you a trusted resource, not just for their wedding but for any future floral needs!
The information in this article was excerpted from a recent blog post on the Paperless Post website. For more complete information, please visit https://www.paperlesspost.com/blog/how-covid-19-changed-wedding-plans/.