NEW YORK – Far fewer Americans said “yes” in the first year of the pandemic, when wedding plans were changed, the new report said.

In 2020, there were 1.7 million weddings, up 17% from the previous year, and the lowest since 1963, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

This was not a surprise as the number of marriages in the US has been declining since 2016.

The pandemic has disrupted many marriage plans: communities have ordered people to stay home and banned large gatherings to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The CDC found that 46 states reported declining marriages in 2020. The biggest drop in the country was in Hawaii – by 48% – followed by California, which fell by 44%.

Nevada – long a popular venue for weddings – continued to have the highest marriages in the country. But even in this state in the first year of the pandemic there was a decrease of 19%. Four states have reported an increase in marriages – Montana, Texas, Alabama and Utah, according to the CDC.


In 2020, the U.S. divorce rate also declined, albeit not so sharply.

The latest report is based on marriage certificates submitted to state and local governments. The CDC has not yet released data on marriages in 2021.

Last year, wedding organizers said they saw a rebound with the postponement of the postponed ceremonies. But some experts say it’s hard to know when marriages in the U.S. could return to pre-pandemic levels.

“It wasn’t the best time for romance,” said John Santelli, a professor at Columbia University’s School of Public Health.


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