Jan 20, 2023 - Things to Do

Weddings boom continues in Cleveland

Illustration of coins falling into a cake as if it were a piggy bank.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Wedding season is still months away. Yet Northeast Ohio business owners are already anticipating 2022's surge of nuptials to continue in 2023.

Why it matters: Roughly 2.6 million couples tied the knot in 2022, with more than 200 million guests and 31 million vendors hired in the U.S.

Driving the news: Today's Bride Wedding Show expects to draw more than 8,000 attendees to the I-X Center this weekend for its annual event featuring dozens of DJs, photographers and florists clamoring to be hired.

Flashback: With the pandemic in full effect, nearly 50% of weddings were postponed nationwide in 2020, and 20% were postponed in 2021, according to the Wedding Report.

  • Today's Bride, an Akron-based magazine, estimates the Northeast Ohio wedding industry lost more than $50 million due to cancellations and couples opting for smaller ceremonies in 2020.

The intrigue: The backlog led to more weddings taking place in the U.S. in 2022 than any year since 1984, according to the Wedding Report.

  • Jennifer Judy, vice president of Today's Bride, tells Axios when the final numbers are tallied, 2022 will probably have been a record year for Northeast Ohio as well.
  • IBISWorld projects the market size of the wedding industry in 2023 to equal if not surpass that of 2022.

What they're saying: Mike Miller, co-owner of Cleveland's Music Box Supper Club, tells Axios that Saturdays at his venue are already booked from May 1 through Nov. 30.

Yes, but: Cleveland wedding planner Arlonda Stevens says this could just be an industry bubble caused by the pandemic backlog.

  • "This is some of the greatest demand I've seen," she says. "But I think in 2024 things will get back to where they were before the pandemic."

If you go: Today's Bride Wedding Show runs from noon-6pm Saturday and 10am-5pm Sunday. Admission is $15.


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