Wedding spending in the US dropped in 2020 and will remain low in 2021, even as the number of people tying the knot next year is expected to surge, a survey found.

This year, 1.1 million couples wed, compared to an average of 2.13 million over each of the last two years, according to the latest data published by the Wedding Report. The average spend on a wedding in 2020 was $19,850, down from $24,680 in 2019, an August survey found, with many cancelling or pushing off their events to 2021 due to the coronavirus.

The coming year will witness about 2.77 million nuptials, as about 650,000 couples bring their celebrations forward, the wedding statistics forecaster noted. However, couples are expected to trim their guest lists, as well as their overall budgets. Those getting married will spend an average of $21,680 on their event next year.

The resulting loss over [the two-year period] will be about $23 billion, a huge blow to the industry,” the Wedding Report noted.

Spending levels are not likely to return to pre-pandemic figures until about 2024, data showed.

But… even in the most challenging times love cannot be canceled

In 2019, couples shelled out approximately $5,900 on an engagement ring, up from the $5,000 average over the three years before that, according to data from the WeddingWire. Some 87% of respondents preferred rings that featured a diamond, while 71% were interested in side stones. About 54% of those surveyed wanted a white-gold band, and 47% picked a round-cut stone.

The pandemic has altered how US consumers shop for engagement rings, rather than having a major impact on the amounts they spent, according to a survey by wedding resource The Knot.

Proposers made greater use of online tools during Covid-19, for example, by spending time researching rings on the internet or connecting with jewelers on social media, the organization said in its 2020 Jewelry & Engagement Study. As a result, nearly a third of engagement-ring purchases happened online, though 63% still occurred in person, either at a local jeweler (51%) or a national retailer (33%).

Still, 86% of couples said the virus had not impacted their spending. The average cost of an engagement ring stood at $5,500 — a relatively moderate decline of 7% from $5,900 last year, The Knot noted.

In the unprecedented conditions, proposers found themselves under pressure because of limitations on in-person shopping and the need to plan the occasion quickly to keep up with the constantly changing situation. Some 83% felt an expectation to create a highly unique proposal in 2020, up from 75% in 2019, while nearly half had to change their original plans, for example by rethinking the location, date, or whether to include their loved ones.

Furthermore, those popping the question visited just two retailers on average in 2020, compared with three in 2019, and viewed only eight rings, versus 15 last year.

Despite challenging times and changes to many original proposal plans due to Covid-19, couples around the nation continued to strengthen and progress their relationships, showcasing how even in the most challenging times love cannot be canceled,” commented Kristen Maxwell Cooper, The Knot’s editor in chief.

The Knot based its findings on a survey of more than 5,000 US adults aged 18 to 54 who got engaged between April and November 2020.