New Study: 87% of Couples Will Not Cancel Weddings Planned During COVID-19 Pandemic

A Hitched survey has revealed a huge trend for postponing weddings rather than cancelling

Coronavirus: Postponed Weddings

The biggest question for venues and suppliers at the moment is how couples are adapting their wedding plans in response to COVID-19. We surveyed over 350 couples with weddings planned between April and July to understand the impact the Coronavirus pandemic is having.

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The good news: 87% of couples are not planning to cancel their wedding. The vast majority were opting to reschedule or holding out hope they can keep their original summer dates, showing that, even in uncertain times, couples are determined to get married.

Here are our top findings:

1. 76% of Couples Are Rescheduling Their Wedding

Nearly three-quarters of couples with weddings scheduled before the end of July are choosing to postpone to another time. The overwhelming majority were sticking with their venue and supplier team where they could.

A small proportion (11%) said they weren’t planning to change their date currently. Instead, those with later summer dates are keeping a close eye on Government guidelines in the hope they may be able to keep their original wedding day.

Coronavirus: Postponed Weddings

2. Among Those Postponing, 44% Have Pushed Back to 2021

One in four couples are moving their reception to a later date in 2020, but an even higher proportion (44%) are shifting to 2021.

The reasons for rescheduling for 2021 were varied. Feedback from the survey indicated that couples wanted to hold their wedding during a certain month or season and preferred to wait until that time next year. Others were concerned about how long COVID-19 restrictions could last and played it safe with a 2021 date.

15% of couples revealed they had not yet decided when they will reschedule to.

3. Almost 8 in 10 Couples Rated Communication with Venue and Suppliers as Excellent, Very Good or Good

Well done to fast-acting and flexible venues and suppliers! The vast majority of couples (77%) were happy with the communication they received, with well over a third firmly ticking the ‘Excellent’ category.

Here’s what the couples said:

“They’ve all been brilliant! Many reached out first to offer reassurance and support. They were all very keen to keep us as customers and promised to allow us to reschedule with no change fees for a new date so long as they weren’t already booked that day.”

“All of my suppliers have been very helpful – no fuss whatsoever to move. No additional costs incurred or lost. Simply moved everything a year ahead.”

“They’ve all been understanding and flexible about pushing our wedding to 2021 with only some asking for some of their original payment at the time originally agreed (before we decided to postpone).”

Coronavirus: Postponed Weddings

4. One Third Will Change the Day of the Week of Their Rescheduled Reception

With many Saturday dates for 2021 already booked up, lots of couples were willing to be flexible with their rescheduled date and choose a different day of the week. Plenty of the rescheduled couples were changing ceremony plans too: one in five said they would get legally married beforehand now in a registry office or small ceremony.

What isn’t changing is the couple’s investment in their wedding day and guests. Very few couples (4%) said that they would be lowering their budget in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and just 5% said that they would be reducing their guest count.

5. 13% of Couples Are Cancelling Their Wedding

The reasons for cancelling will be manifold and, in many cases, don’t mean the couple won’t be getting married. One bride told Hitched that she had decided to cancel her UK wedding and book a destination wedding in Italy next year as she didn’t like the alternative dates offered by her venue and wanted guaranteed sunshine. Another’s wedding had been cancelled by the venue itself in line with their insurance policy.

Coronavirus: Postponed Weddings

6. Hen and Stag Parties and Honeymoons Are Most Likely to Get Cancelled

A whopping 44% of hen and stag dos have been cancelled due to the pandemic, which has put the country into lockdown. The majority of couples weren’t prepared to give up their final night of freedom, however, and half have rescheduled to a later date.

With lots of couples already choosing to go on their honeymoon weeks or months after the wedding, just over a quarter of couples needed to cancel their honeymoon. The majority were rescheduling but some were lucky enough to be able to stick to their original plan. Can we join you on that beach?

7. Couples Want More Resources/Support From Their Venue and Suppliers

The couples surveyed suggested several resources that they’d find helpful during this time:

  1. Guidelines from their venues and suppliers on how to reschedule their reception
  2. Your COVID-19 information pages regularly updated with the latest information and easy to find
  3. Some emotional support and guidance on getting through this period
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Source: The Knot Worldwide COVID-19 Impact Study, fielded March 26 – April 4 2020. A total of 354 Hitched users with upcoming weddings between April and July 2020 were surveyed.