780 million CAD expected loss for Ontario wedding industry in 2020

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Alexandre Desoutter updated on 21 May 2024


...is the estimated financial loss deplored by the wedding industry in 2020, in Ontario, due to the lockdown and sanitary restrictions taken across the province all over the year. Indeed, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, many fiancés have cancelled or postponed their wedding originally planned for 2020.

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Ontario's wedding industry severely hit in 2020 : turnover expected to fall by 39.99% over the year

The wedding industry lost a lot of its turnover during the year 2020 in comparison with 2019, due to the impossibility to organise wedding celebrations with government restrictions taken to stop the pandemic.

This corresponds to a 780 millions $ fall in revenues for the wedding industry in Ontario in 2020, representing an annual 39.99% drop overall across the province.

MonthChange in turnover (2019-2020)Growth rate compared to 2019
Wedding industry's turnover difference in Ontario from 2019 to 2020 and its change rate comparing to 2019 (source : Hellosafe.ca estimates)

The table above shows that:

  • Before the start of the pandemic, the numbers for February 2020 were rather encouraging for the wedding industry, with a global turnover increasing by 39.89% in comparison to the same month in 2019, meaning a 27,771,350$ net gain in turnover for this only month.
  • However, the opposite occurs, starting in March 2020, with a strong decrease of the wedding industry's turnover with the spike of the pandemic. Indeed, April registers a big decrease, with a turnover declining by 80.84% in comparison to 2019 - which corresponds to the first spike
  • The same occurs at the end of the year, with a dramatic decline in the Ontarian wedding industry's turnover during the 3 last months of the year, corresponding to the second wave of the pandemic (-86,27% in December, representing a 100.4 million $ loss in revenue).

A falling number of weddings celebrated in Ontario in 2020

The turnover lost by the wedding industry is highly related to the fact that a lot of celebrations couldn't take place in 2020. Indeed, either the union was cancelled or postponed to 2021 (or even 2022). But still, a fair amount of weddings could be organized in summer, as shows the graph below, presenting the number of weddings celebrated in 2019 and 2020 each month:

Number of marriages celebrated per month in 2019 and 2020 in Ontario (Source: Ontario's government for January to September, Hellosafe.ca's estimates for October to December)

We can observe that :

  • February 2020 registered 3,307 weddings, i.e. 943 more than the same month in 2019, meaning the beginning of the year 2020 was promising.
  • With the arrival of Covid-19 in March, the number of weddings starts to decline a little. The decline turns dramatic in April, where the number of marriages passes from 3,100 in 2019 to 594 in 2020 (-80.84%)
  • The decrease continues in May, June and July, in huge proportions, which explains the losses suffered by the industry during this very hard period. The same occurs again at the end of the year, with a dramatic estimated decline in marriages celebrated in November and December 2020 in comparison with 2019.

2022, a breaking record year for the wedding industry in Ontario?

After a terrible year in 2020 for Ontario's wedding industry, 2021 is also likely to be a complicated year, with the Covid-19 pandemic expected to further complicate the daily lives of Ontarians for several months. In fact, even if the number of weddings should increase by 21.8% in 2021 compared to 2020 (8,666 more weddings to be celebrated), many couples will still prefer to postpone their celebration, despite a slight catch-up effect.

Year201920202021 2022
Number of weddings in Ontario
Variation over the year
Number of marriages celebrated in Ontario, 2019 and 2020 figures and estimates for 2021 and 2022 (source: Government of Ontario for 2019, then Hellosafe.ca's estimates)

On the other hand, 2022 should be the year of all possibilities for the wedding industry. In fact, with the vaccine strategy deployed in the province, the summer of 2022 should be the year of rebirth for the wedding industry in Ontario. With a strong carry-over effect of the weddings cancelled in 2020 and 2021 expected, more than 70,500 weddings could be celebrated that year in Ontario.

Thus, in 2022, the Ontario wedding industry could generate record sales of over 2 billion$.

  • If 70,547 unions were to be celebrated in 2022, this would represent…
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  • …a profit of over 2 billion $ for the Ontario wedding industry
  • This would allow the sector to breath again, even if the losses of 2020 and 2021 cannot be fully recovered.

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Focus: how much does a wedding cost on average in Ontario?

Generally speaking, the average cost of a wedding in Ontario is estimated between 20,000$ and 40,000$. Weddings often require you to dip into your savings as the amounts tend to become significant.

In the table below are listed the main expenses of couples for their wedding. The budget spent is thus distributed as follows:

CategoryAverage cost
Invitation, thank you card, menu, place cards
Room and meal
Centerpieces and other decorations
Gifts to guests
Wedding dress
Groom's suit
Hair, make-up and manicure
Bride's bouquet
Wedding rings and engagement rings
Wedding ceremony
Entertainment and music
Total average cost of a wedding in Ontario
Average cost of a wedding in Ontario by expense category in 2020 (Source: Desjardins Bank)
  • The most expensive part of a wedding is the reservation of the hall and the meal, which can cost up to 9,640$
  • The honeymoon and the purchase of rings are two other important elements of the wedding budget. In fact, they count respectively for 3,160$ and 2,160$
  • On the other hand, the bride's bouquet (108$) and the gift to the guests (216$) remain the least expensive items on average during a wedding.


Antoine Fruchard, director in chief at Hellosafe.ca

"The Ontarian wedding industry, like many other sectors, has been strongly affected by the pandemic, and continues to suffer in 2021. It is normal that couples wish to postpone their wedding because the current conditions are not optimal to celebrate what should be the most beautiful day of their lives. If a lot of hopes had been placed on 2021, both from the bride and groom side, we have to admit that these hopes have been disappointed, despite a slight increase in the number of marriages celebrated in comparison with 2020. Nevertheless, 2022 should come as a liberation for thousands of waiting brides and grooms. In fact, the wedding industry could reach record profits that year. That's all we wish for brides, grooms and wedding planners!"

Our methodology

To elaborate this study, we based ourselves on data published by Ontario's Government on the number of weddings from 2019 to 2020. Numbers presented for October, November and December are statistics estimates made by the Hellosafe.ca team, because official numbers were only available from January to September. To establish the breakdown of the wedding budget of Ontario couples, we based ourselves on a study conducted by the Desjardins bank, updated to date by taking into account various factors such as inflation. The figures projected for 2021 and 2022 are estimates made by Hellosafe.ca.

About Hellosafe.ca

Hellosafe.ca is a comparison platform which is shaking up the insurance market – giving you access to the best Canadian insurance deals in less than 30 seconds. Hellosafe.ca is supported and financed by Blue, an Insurtech Venture Capital firm. Blue already owns two leaders in the French insurance comparison market, Réassurez-moi and Coover. These platforms help more than 10 million people with their insurance every year. We have developed a unique comparison technology that gives access to cover details and quotes without customers having to give their phone number or email address. This engine is the result of four years of hard work.

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Alexandre Desoutter Redactor in chief

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a contributor to several publications. In this sense, his role leads him to carry out steering and support work with all HelloSafe editors and contributors so that the editorial line defined by the company is fully respected and declined through the texts published daily on our platforms. As such, Alexandre is responsible for implementing and maintaining the strictest journalistic standards within the HelloSafe editorial staff, in order to guarantee the most accurate, up-to-date information on our platforms and expert as possible. Alexandre has in particular undertaken for two years now the implementation of a system of systematic double-checking of all the articles published within the HelloSafe ecosystem, able to guarantee the highest quality of information.