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The Cost of Postponing a Wedding Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Frank Stagliano and Erin Duggan have had three wedding dates in the past year. After rescheduling from March 2020, then to September and now to July—the New Jersey couple is rethinking the tradition.

“I can’t stomach spending a cent more for an event that we aren’t wholeheartedly in,” Ms. Duggan said.

Nearly half of all U.S. couples who planned to get married in 2020 postponed part of their celebration, either just the reception or the entire wedding, according to a February survey from wedding-planning website The Knot.

And now, plenty of couples are looking at the financial math of a big wedding reception and saying, “Forget it.” They’re putting money that would have been spent on a reception toward paying down loans or buying a house. Those who are going through with it are navigating added fees and rescheduled vendors.

The average cost of a 2020 wedding, including both the ceremony and reception, was $19,000, a drop from $28,000 in 2019, according to data from The Knot. Because couples invited fewer guests, and thus had to pay less overall for food and drink, they could save on some costs, said Lauren Kay, executive editor of The Knot.

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