To say we've had a weird year is an understatement. Thousands of couples sadly had to postpone their weddings, with lots moving their big days to 2021.
While small weddings have already returned, England can expect ceremonies and receptions to kick off again in style from the 21st June when full lockdown restrictions should end. We surveyed our Hitched couples to find out exactly when they'll be tying the knot.
If you're curious about how many other people are marrying on your date or trying to find a remaining date for 2021 which might have availability, it's worth bearing this list in mind.
Read on to find out what's different about 2021 weddings. For one, the most popular wedding date of the year might not be what you expect!
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The Most Popular Wedding Dates of 2021
1. Saturday 4th September
The most popular wedding date for 2020 would have been Saturday 20th June - in fact more that 10,000 couples planned to marry on that date. (You can read our article here, but fair warning, it hasn't aged well.)
In 2021, with couples unsure about what weddings would look like in the beginning half of the year, the majority of couples (2,269 of them) chose a date at the complete opposite end of the summer.
September is always popular as a wedding month, but this is the first year it's topped the list of popular wedding dates. Schools will be back at this point, so even if your guests manage to jet off on a summer holiday, you're pretty safe to assume your loved ones will be back by this date. It's also considered to have less rain than July and August, which is always welcomed.
2. Saturday 21st August
August is actually the most popular month to get married overall this year with 16,350 couples tying the knot.
And on which date will most of those weddings take place? The 21st of August, that much-loved third Saturday of the month. It's during the summer holidays so teachers and young guests will be available to join you, plus there's a high chance of sunshine!
Last year, the second most popular date would have been the 25th July so you can see that couples have been cautious about marrying earlier in the summer. This means that late June/early July dates might still be available if you don't mind some whirlwind planning.
3. Saturday 7th August
As you may notice going down this list, Saturday is still the day every couple wants for their wedding. If you're still trying to find a date for 2021, look at a weekday wedding, a Friday or Sunday. Bonus: those days are often cheaper!
Many congratulations to the 2,054 couples who will being saying 'I do' on the 7th August.
4. Saturday 31st July
This weekend coincides with the Summer bank holiday in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland and is ideal for extended celebrations. It's also the first weekend after state schools break up for summer and is therefore a perfect date for those with children or who work in schools.
In total, 2,036 Hitched couples will be taking advantage of the summer weather on this day.
5. Saturday 24th July
July isn't about to fall out of favour any time soon. It's the second most popular month for nuptials, with 15,959 couples signed up on Hitched with a July wedding date.
And the rest of the top 10 wedding dates:
6. Saturday 14th August
7. Saturday 26th June
8. Saturday 28th August
9. Saturday 17th July
10. Saturday 29th May
What Does This Mean for Your Wedding?
No one really knows quite what this summer is going to look like. Will we be able to go on holiday? Will we need vaccine passports for the pub? If you're booked in for a summer 2021 wedding date, you'll understandably be a bit nervous about how everything's going to work out.
Our recommendation is that you get save the dates or invitations sent out earlier than you might normally have done. Whether guests are holidaying in the UK or abroad, you'll want them to keep in mind your big day so they can plan accordingly.
You might be hesitant to do this right now until things are more certain (and we completely relate), but for your mental wellbeing, it's good to stay optimistic and believe your wedding will go ahead. The UK vaccine programme has gone so well, and older guests who've been fully vaccinated can feel comfortable attending a big gathering. Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said it's "incredibly safe" for two fully vaccinated people to meet without social distancing, which is great news for grandparents and other vulnerable guests.
We would highly recommend that you don't ditch all your social distancing guidelines, even if you're marrying later in the year. Remember teenagers and younger adult guests may not have been vaccinated yet. You'll want to hug guests and have a dancefloor, of course, but consider still having a few simple safety measures:
- Have a cashless bar so staff don't need to handle money
- A cute hand sanitiser station will always be appreciated
- Livestream your wedding for overseas guests instead of having them fly into the UK
- Stick to plated food rather than a buffet or hire a food truck
- Utilise outdoor spaces e.g. reception drinks on the terrace, an outdoor photo booth