2022 Wedding Industry Forecast [Boom or Bust]: What You Need To Know

What trends can your wedding venue expect to see in 2022? Our 2022 wedding industry forecast is here to tell you what to expect and how you can prepare to make potential clients see how amazing you really are.

The good news? The forecast for the total number of weddings greatly increases from 2021 to 2022. Even surpassing pre-pandemic numbers.

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So the short answer to the question, we’ll see a boom in weddings in 2022. 

In addition to an increase in bookings for 2022, there are a variety of trends on the rise that your venue can capitalize on to generate sales.

Now, Let’s get into the bones of the wedding industry forecast!

Number of Weddings in 2022

The Wedding Report estimates about 2.5 million will take place in 2022, the largest number of weddings the industry, as Axios reports, has seen in one year since 1984.

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It may be easy to think that more people are getting engaged than before, but venues are experiencing more bookings due to the number of cancellations in 2020 and 2021. 

A lot of couples rescheduled or were given vouchers to their venue for a later date. Because of the catchup wedding venues have to play, 2023 is already starting to fill

I would not be surprised if your venue has already been booked up for 2023!

Future Cost of Weddings

Luckily, the market is back to booming with no signs of slowing down.

This isn’t an infomercial, but there is more good news for wedding venues as well as other service providers like caterers, photographers, florists, and event planners.

According to the Wedding Report, weddings in 2022 are estimated to have an average spend back to pre-pandemic levels of over $24,000.

The total dollars spent on weddings in 2022, in that same report, is estimated to be in the range of $60 billion. 

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What You Can Expect In 2022

Now that you can expect a popping peak season starting this November – What are some of the trends you should expect and be prepared to market to couples for?

Let’s take a look at where those trends are heading. 

For reference, Southern Living wrote a great article on this topic and we want to highlight these points.

(If you just like wedding aesthetics and want to see trends here is a great piece by Wedding Forward).

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  1. Let’s Go Retro

One trend that is coming in strong, and written about further by Purewow, is vintage furniture and decor. 

This can give a more personalized and sentimental feel to such a special occasion. 

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  1. More Outdoor Weddings

Another trend the industry is seeing, and this may be a more direct result of the pandemic, is a focus on venues that have outdoor options and high ventilation. 

According to a report by WeddingWire, 59% of receptions were held fully or partially, outdoors; an increase from 43% in 2019. 

Who knows- maybe we are just all very excited about being outside again and could use a bit of sunshine after spending all that time indoors. 

Either way, if your venue doesn’t have an outdoor space, it may be worth the investment to throw down a concrete/woodchip pad and hang some lights under an old oak tree. 

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  1. Micro Weddings Are Here To Stay

The micro wedding. Again the pandemic has brought a shift in the industry. 

Micro weddings were made more popular during 2020 as couples wanted to prioritize close family and limit the number of guests due to the pandemic. 

What has resulted is a shift in the social view of micro weddings.

Google Trends shows an increase in the overall search volume of Micro Weddings starting in May of 2020. 

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Although there appears to be a slight dip since reopening, This mostly falls in the summer months when bookings tend to be down. 

Upon re-checking after Thanksgiving- I think we will see another steady increase in volume further showing that Micro Weddings aren’t going anywhere. 

That means great-aunt sally might miss her invitation- But it’s a way couples are finding savings on their weddings. 

Let’s not forget, these are the “economy kids” that have now seen the 2008 recession and a pandemic. 

The topic on Micro Weddings is written about more on brides.com, but the good news is that this has brought to light a section of the market that has been under-served in the past.

This provides an opportunity for venue owners (willing to adjust) to appeal to this new segment of the market.

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  1. Shortage of Available Dates

With the rescheduling of so many events, desirable venues are seeing a shortage of available dates due to cramming two years of events into one. 

We can expect to see a much higher abundance of weekday events being booked at venues and also potentially brides acting faster than in previous years. 

To make up for lost revenue, many venues are choosing to discount their weekday site fees less than in previous years.

Forget the wedding shows in February. We may see brides locking up their 2022 dates as early as September or October. 

If you haven’t begun your 2022 advertising or marketing initiatives, we recommend starting early- because the brides will be shopping early! 

While the shortage of available dates may not be for long, we recommend paying close to weekday events. 

They may just stick around longer than we think. 

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  1. More Lodging

This is a trend we believe to be pre-pandemic, but has seen even more demand post-pandemic. 

Couples are doing full weekend events and ditching the traditional short-wedding-then-honeymoon for a multi-day experience for guests. 

With that, we have seen the emergence of the Airbnb Wedding. 

However, some wedding venue owners are finding creative ways to add lodging to their properties to accommodate. 

Some are even using Airbnb to fill the lodging on weekdays. 

For Venue Owners that don’t have a property to accommodate lodging- one creative idea would be to consider investing in a “satellite location” that can be rented with a package by couples, wedding party, or guests. 

One venue owner we know has purchased multiple properties on the same street and rents them via Airbnb on Weekdays and to the wedding party on weekends. 

One thing we know… The “Wedding Weekend” is becoming very popular and we don’t see this trend going anywhere. 

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  1. Travel Weddings

When we think of a destination wedding, we think of the beautiful beaches of the US Virgin Islands or the vineyards of Florence Italy. 

But it is time to separate the “Destination Wedding” with the “Travel Wedding.”

This idea pairs well with #5 above but couples are gravitating towards weddings that are out-of-town- yet not so far to cause a financial burden. 

This makes for one of the best ideas for the 2022 wedding industry forecast.

We are talking about a “get-out-of-the-city” wedding. 

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This is a natural progression as couples with smaller guest lists and less to spend on vendors, can have that weekend away and provide a fun experience for the 10-50 people who they want to spend their wedding with. 

We have also seen a lot of growth in the Adventure Wedding market where couples may say their “I-Do’s” atop a mountain they just hiked. 

For venue owners looking to break into this market- try to see your market as a destination. What value could your area provide to a couple and their guests?

How could this be incorporated into your business?

Wedding Venue Design Trends:

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A Return to Normalcy

What is normal? Well, that’s probably too complex of a question to answer in this wedding industry forecast, but if you ask 10 people what normal life looks like you may get 10 different answers.

As far as the 2022 wedding outlook goes, we are hoping that things will be a bit more normal than 2020 and 2021.

What I mean by normal is, the problems couples face before their big day will be the same as they were pre-pandemic. 

Problems like, who will be in the wedding party? 

Who’s crazy in-laws will, or won’t, be invited. What dress to wear. Where… well you get the idea. 

Not the worry of whether or not pandemic restrictions will cause them to change their plans last minute.

How to Advertise Your Wedding Venue in 2022

So what now? We know the 2022 wedding industry forecast is going to be a wedding boom. 

We know couples budgets for weddings are back at pre-pandemic levels and we’ve covered the new wedding industry trends. 

Now the question remains, how do we get these weddings to your venue?

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For starters, you could read our blog The Ultimate Guide To Wedding Venue Advertising [UPDATE 2021], for a deep dive into this subject. 

But let me cover some of the basics.

Leveraging Your Website

Taking a look at your website- when was the last time it had a good update?

Is it currently reflecting your venue as you would like it too?

Is it aesthetically pleasing with plenty of visual content, or is it text-heavy with too much information? 

We analyzed over 30 wedding websites and found that the average time spent on a site is about 2-4min.

Think of your website as your elevator pitch and you only have so much time before you lose attention. 

And focus HEAVILY on your User-Experience and Call-To-Action. 

Speaking of Call-To-Action….

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Proven strategies to increase your leads in 2021

An Effective Call-To-Action Can Double Conversion Rates

If there is any single tip I can give to wedding venue owners that has the most impact- it is to put consideration into your call-to-action. 

We have worked with many venues who get high levels of traffic to their site each month but ask couples to “inquire” or “schedule a tour” as the main ask.

Or worse.. Leave them to find a Contact Us page to submit a generic contact form.  

To double your click-to-lead ratio the best solution we use is:

Offer a wedding venue booklet that couples can download before exiting the site

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This simple micro-transaction serves 2 purposes:

  1. It lowers the barrier to entry on your website. Instead of asking someone (who found you online 2 min ago) to set aside a saturday afternoon to tour the property, this is an easy ask that requires much less effort from the couple initially. 
  1. It serves as a micro-transaction where interested couples exchange information for a deeper look into everything from detailed pricing and amenities to additional terms or service and processes.
  1. It allows you to follow up with the couple after they’ve read your booklet to answer more specific questions. AND you always have the opportunity to personally invite them out for a tour (giving you a greater chance of success because of the personal interaction).
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Make sure to double down and include this call-to-action on the header and footer of every page on your website. 

This will make it very simple and easy for couples to know what the next steps are to potentially book their wedding at your venue. 

**UPDATE: WE HAVE RELEASED OUR FREE WEDDING BROCHURE TEMPLATE. SEND US A MESSAGE TO GET ONE FOR YOURSELF****

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Boost Your Traffic And Organize The Data

Once you have a killer call-to-action you’ll need to focus on how to increase overall traffic to your website. 

Many venues are trying to capitalize on the booming market but don’t know the best route.

Is it directories like Weddingwire or The Knot?

Should I focus my energy on social media?

What about Google?

Google Ads or SEO?

The answer to that is “Yes.”

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But that’s not a great answer so I’ll give you my humble opinion. 

Google Ads is my favorite to start because it provides an instant initial injection of traffic. 

Not only that but you are getting in front of brides the moment they begin shopping.

More specifically you are getting in front of brides the moment they search “wedding venues near me.”

Google Ads can also tie great into a long-term SEO strategy. It looks really good when your venue can show up 3 times on the first page of Google (ads, map pack, and organic results).

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I personally like this strategy compared to others. 

Facebook is showing ads when people are scrolling timelines. Not shopping for wedding venues. 

Directories are fine except you’re limited to a profile that’s the same as everyone else and you become one venue in a sea of venues. 

It’s hard to stand out. 

(Plus directories are selling you the traffic they get from search engines anyways. So why not go straight to the source?)

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Now comes the “however…”

I’ve seen venues get all of their bookings from directories and they are full. 

Some venues focus heavily on Instagram and are more than happy with the results. 

So it is really a personal preference but the most important thing is:

Data doesn’t lie.

You should be able to know your investment and what return you’ve received from every channel of your marketing. 

Try it all. 

Measure the results.

Shift your efforts to what works and fail fast on what doesn’t.

Just try Google Ads first 😉

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Introduce Automation Into Your System

It can get a bit boring sending emails to couples you know “probably won’t respond”

Or using the same introductory email so many times that you have it pre-written in a note on your computer. 

Automation has been a game-changer for saving time and also keeping track of all your leads.

(Remember, once you get that brochure up, you’re going to get a lot of leads)

We use a system like Active Campaign that has if/then automations to tailor communication with brides. 

But it also has SMS marketing, Email Marketing, Dedicated CRM, and API functionality to incorporate all your software. 

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Some other industry-specific tools are Aisle Planner, Honeybook, and 17 Hats. 

Whatever system you choose to use- do yourself a favor and save some time this year. 

Incorporate some automation so you can spend more time putting on awesome weddings. 

And less time writing the same email over and over again. 

2022 Wedding Industry Forecast Takeaways

If you’ve read this far then you’ve covered a lot of information. Here’s a bullet-point summary of things to remember as you prepare for 2022.

The total number of weddings will be higher than even pre-pandemic numbers.

Budgets are back up to pre-pandemic levels.

People more than ever like outdoor options at venues.

Showcase the beauty of your venue online.

Don’t forget a Call-to-Actions on all pages of your website.

If you have questions or would like more help, you can email me and I would be happy to assist.

I would also love to hear your comments on what you’re expecting 2022 to be like in the weddings industry.

Lastly, I hope the wedding industry forecast helped and the wedding boom will bring a boom to your business!

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