Vaccine News Fuels Return to Lavish Weddings as Couples Hope to Say ‘I Don't' to Zoom Ceremonies

After news of the vaccine broke, couples who had been on the cusp of postponing their spring 2021 weddings decided to keep them in place

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The coronavirus and strict new mandates limiting travel and public gatherings derailed thousands upon thousands of wedding weekends, putting a once-burgeoning wedding industry in an ongoing state of flux.

NBC News spoke with a half-dozen wedding industry insiders who said that among the themes to emerge in 2020 are the rise of micro-weddings, the death of destination weddings, the growing popularity of Covid-19 riders in wedding contracts and the emergence of 2021 as a popular year to wed.

The promise of a vaccine, wedding experts said, has given couples a renewed sense of optimism. Still, they say, 2020 remains a year of setbacks.

"2020 is really just one big loss for the wedding industry," said Steve Sendor, publisher of Sophisticated Weddings magazine.

"In the New York area alone, the applications for marriage licenses are down 60 percent this year compared to last year, and the wedding industry has lost between $400 and $600 million in revenue," Sendor said.

Sendor said many couples were forced to postpone their dream weddings not once but in some cases twice this year to work with Covid-19 restrictions in their states and out of a desire to include elderly and immunocompromised guests on their big days.

"A lot of couples are getting married legally in 2020, but they're putting off the big party and big wedding reception until next year," he said.

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