- Wedding season varied broadly depending on geography and climate in 2022.
- Milder temperatures brought peaks of activity in the spring and in October.
- Northern metro areas had the latest and longest wedding seasons, though rainy Seattle tailed off in October.
Spring is wedding season, right? Or at least, June is the peak month for weddings, right? Actually, the reality these days is a bit more complicated, and it varies depending on where you go. There's no doubt that our business partners in hospitality are ramping up for the season... but when exactly is the season?
To find out, we looked at shift bookings on our platform, month by month last year, in markets across the United States. And we weren't just looking for any shifts – we were looking for shifts booked by restaurants, caterers, and private/country clubs on weekends. We left out hotels and resorts, since they may have seen more of the general surge in travel last year. But because people often travel for weddings, weekends are still the most popular days of the week for tying the knot.
A May-October romance?
In milder climates, it seems like there are two main peaks for the shift bookings: spring and October. The warmer the climate, the earlier the spring peak arrives. Here are how bookings evolved last year in the Phoenix metropolitan area, for example:
The spring peak came in March and extended into May, with a second peak in October, which has become the most popular month of the year for weddings. The October peak even exceeded activity during the winter festive season. And the same was true in sunny Miami:
Though the shift bookings didn't change by quite as much in Miami, the trend was almost identical. Now let's go a little further north, to the slightly cooler spring climate in Atlanta:
Here the spring peak came in April and May, with much less activity in relatively chilly March. Moving to slightly cooler climes in the Bay Area, the spring peak was mainly in May, but October still came on strong:
The longest season
As we move further north, the peaks start to stretch out. With cold weather common in March and April, there are fewer months in the year available for outdoor weddings. So happy couples looking for venues have to make use of the summer months, too. And so, the trend in Chicago last year looked like this:
Even the October peak, which was so clear in all the metro areas with mild weather, seemed to start early in Chicago. And much the same happened in the New York area:
In fact, though TheKnot.com's latest Real Weddings Study predicts that October will once again be the most popular month for weddings in 2023, the study says the most popular day will be September 23. Apparently people like matching dates and years.
That argument doesn't hold much water in Seattle, though, where the average rainfall in October is more than double the amount in September. The peak arrived there in August:
So is there anywhere left that loves traditional June weddings? Providing we are picking up wedding activity with these weekend hospitality shifts – and anecdotal evidence from our account management team suggests we are – then yes, there is one place. It's Houston:
At least in Texas, June weddings are still a thing. The only question left, after so many pandemic-postponed weddings finally took place last year, is whether there's anyone left to get married.
These metrics, derived from data aggregated across the Instawork platform, compare the two weeks starting 4/27/2023 to the previous two weeks. To control for the overall growth of the Instawork marketplace, only shifts involving businesses that booked shifts in both periods are included:
$0.26 rise in hourly pay
1.3% point rise in share of short-notice shifts
1.0 hours drop in hours per existing worker
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