Event activity suffered a catastrophic contraction in the first 2 years of the covid pandemic as state and local governments limited the size of gatherings or imposed shelter-at-home orders. It’s no surprise that events contracted by 50% and put all 336,000 wedding-related businesses in cold storage or on life support.
In 2020, the marriage rate in the United States fell to its lowest level ever at 5.1 per 1000 people. 2021 marriages in the United States were the lowest total in decades at 1.27 million against a normal level of 2.2 million.
But, people still found partners and decided to get married. About half of people have delayed their wedding ceremony in 2020 and fewer in 2021. In total, 63% of couples have delayed their wedding plans due to covid. Millennials are still the largest demographic cohort ever, so once restrictions on gatherings are lifted and vaccines distributed, demand should return.
In 2021, the average cost of a wedding was $27,063. The market size of the wedding services industry in the United States is estimated to be over $67 billion in 2022. *
Healthy web traffic is driven by SEO and local search, which is the largest channel for most websites, and this is especially true for hotels, which see 61% of trackable traffic from these two channels, according to research from Milestone Inc.
“Wedding and reunion events are critical to hotel revenue recovery because
individual business travel has yet to recover. Hotels should make it that easy
as possible for people planning weddings and events to find information and
engage in the bidding process through all major channels, the largest of
which is the website,” said Erik Newton, Milestone Inc. Vice President of Marketing.
Milestone manages thousands of sites and has deployed an RFP lead collection infrastructure for hundreds of hotel and event websites. Based on this data, Milestone can compare bidding trends with previous years to forecast the number of weddings and revenue volume.
The resumption of wedding bidding is clear as seen here:
The pick-up in marriage demand is good news for the hotel and hospitality industry, which has seen a huge contraction across all lines of business.
Events and weddings help generate hotel revenue in the following ways:
- Event space rental
- Food and drink
- Group room blocks
- Revenue from audiovisual and ancillary events
The main improvement websites that websites should review are:
- Website RFP Lead Submission Forms
- Excellent site discovery and experience performance that will improve SEO and local visibility, including site speed
- Content that properly covers areas of interest and questions that event planners can type into a search engine, which includes images, videos, FAQs and reviews.
In addition to a well-performing website, companies must have a well-organized process to review and respond to RFP requests in a timely manner to maximize the win rate.
Some other interesting trends in the wedding industry are: segmentation and inclusion. Savvy marketers create content and services to appeal to ethnic and cultural groups, like Indians, Hispanics, and Chinese. Others include welcoming imagery and language for gay and lesbian couples. The US government’s American Community Survey reports that there were nearly one million same-sex couples living together in 2019, and about half are married. This represents 500,000 marriages with an estimated value of $13 billion.
If total U.S. weddings in 2022 return to 2,450,000 as projected, the corresponding revenue would be expected to top $67 billion. That would be around $23 billion above the depressed 2020 level.
You can download the full Marriage and Reunion Research Report.
About Milestone Inc.
Milestone Inc. drives online customer acquisition with its digital platform and managed services. They work with clients such as Speedpro, Marriott, US Bank, Nissan, McDonalds, Motel6 and Preferred Hotels, among others, to drive engagement and revenue.
Contact us at [email protected] or 408-200-2211
* Source for multiple 3rd party data points
Product Marketing Director
+1 408 200 6949