The wedding business is booming. After the pandemic forced couples to postpone walking down the aisle, weddings are ‘through the roof this year,’ according to Zola CEO Shan-Lyn Ma.
“We have one of the busiest wedding years since the 1980s,” Ma told Yahoo Finance (video above). “Guests are excited to go to weddings again, and they are invited to more than ever before.”
A report by The Knot estimates the number of weddings will hit 2.6 million this year, up from 2.2 million in 2019.
And the surge in weddings comes as inflation hits a 40-year high, making it more expensive for not only the couple getting married, but for their guests as well.
Zola’s recent Wedding Guest Report found guests will spend more than $550 on average for each wedding they attend, but costs can vary greatly depending on involvement and location. Guests can expect to spend nearly $600 to attend a wedding by car in 2022 and $1,314 by plane.
In total, Zola estimates each guest will spend more than $1,500 to be a wedding guest this year.
When it comes to where guests are spending their money, 29% say their top expenses are booking travel and buying gifts, followed by hotels.
And that makes sense when you look at the latest inflation data: Domestic flights are up 47% since the start of the year, gas prices are up about 55% from a year ago, and hotel prices have soared 33%.
Despite those higher prices, people are still showing up to celebrate, making weddings larger than pre-pandemic levels.
“The number of guests invited to a wedding this year is up. On average couples are inviting over 100 guests,” Ma said. “And many more people are turning up.. because weddings this year are the first time a family has been together in two years.”
Seana Smith is an anchor with Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @SeanaNSmith.