This year's wedding boom presents a unique opportunity for retailers

The trend: 2022 is likely to be a record-breaking year for weddings, as couples who postponed their nuptials due to the pandemic are ready to tie the knot.

More on this: As many as 2.6 million weddings are expected to take place this year, up 18.2% from 2.2 million in 2019, prior to the pandemic, per The Knot.

  • Total sales in 2022 of wedding-related products and services such as attire and catering are expected to rise 31% to $68.66 billion from 2021, which is well above pre-pandemic levels, per The Wedding Report estimates reported in CNN.

Eyeing an opportunity: The wedding boom should provide a strong tailwind for retailers that are attuned to consumers’ desire for shopping experiences in line with their unique needs.

  • In addition to marketing engagement rings and wedding bands, Signet is testing Rocksbox Bridal Subscription, a jewelry subscription service that aims to “make it easy and affordable for every member of a bridal party to shine at showers, engagement dinners, and at the magical ‘I do’ moment,” said CEO Gina Drosos, during the retailer’s earnings call.
  • Walmart-owned plus-size retailer Eloquii launched a bridal line in sizes 14-28 in response to “white dresses” being one of the site’s top searches last year, per Sourcing Journal.
  • Azazie, an online seller of bridal and wedding dresses and accessories that offers new customers free fabric swatches and the ability to try on items for free at home, has already seen a 200% increase in sales this year, Ranu Coleman, chief marketing officer, told CNN.

The big takeaway: After two years in which a large share of weddings were canceled, pushed back, or scaled down, wedding-related retailers are eager for the return of pre-pandemic-style celebrations.

  • While ongoing supply chain issues along with consumers’ growing concerns about inflation could limit retailers’ gains, many couples are willing to splurge for their big day. 69% of couples are spending more than they initially budgeted, either because costs are higher than they anticipated and/or they’re willing to spend more to get what they want, per a survey by wedding planning company Zola.
  • Retailers that offer a unique and personalized experience will be well positioned to capitalize on the year’s wedding boom.