As pandemic restrictions ease, 2022 appears to be the year of weddings as a record number of couples are planning to get married this year.
Market research firm The Wedding Report estimates there will be 2.6 million weddings this year, the highest since 1984.
A special date this week is also bringing in a rush of couples looking to tie the knot on what is being called “Twosday.”
Tuesday also has the added value of being all twos. This particular occurrence is something the National Weather Service says won’t happen on a calendar again for another 400 years, so it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime date.
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“What a great idea to get married on those numerical lineups. We see that people get married on Valentine's Day or Halloween – but this is 2-2-22. It's one of those dates that are unique and allow couples to get married on a special day,” said Judge Paul Raleeh of Collin County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1.
He said his courtroom typically sees about 15 to 20 weddings per month. However, there is a record of about 50 weddings booked on Tuesday alone. That’s even more than another popular numerical date several years ago on 12-12-2012.
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Raleeh said they're so busy, he's cleared the whole day's docket just for weddings.
Some Dallas County courts are reporting similar numbers, with one courtroom in North Dallas reporting 60 weddings scheduled for Tuesday. It’s ultimately up to the judge to decide on the number of weddings they plan to take on.
Judge Katina Whitfield in Mesquite said she’s planning for 17 weddings, which is far more than she normally officiates in a day. She said she tries to make each ceremony special for every couple and even gives them gifts to mark the occasion.
Raleeh said due to the pandemic and rising expenses this year, he’s not surprised to see record numbers of couples choosing a courthouse wedding.
"So in the last couple years, we've noticed an increase in the weddings that are coming to the justices of the peace throughout the state,” he said. “And that's because of a couple of different reasons. I believe first is the cost of a normal traditional wedding – that's thousands of dollars. And people are turning to the justice court for the ceremony and then choosing to spend that money on the reception."
He said the pandemic also led to Zoom weddings becoming popular, especially during the height of the outbreak.
But in 2022, inflation, supply chain issues, and rising costs of food and materials are adding to the financial strain.
But it's not just the bride and groom. If you're planning to attend a wedding this year, expect to pay more.
Research data shows people spent an average of $430 to attend a wedding in 2019 but that number is likely trending up with inflation and rising fuel costs for transportation.
Raleeh said they typically do courthouse weddings for second-time marriages or military couples. But lately, there are a lot more first-timers as people take advantage of other options.
Either way, he said he hopes couples remember the true meaning behind every union.
"I think that sharing your ceremony at the courthouse, in a church, or in a private venue – you have to remember, no matter what location or who's performing the ceremony, it’s love,” he said. “Just relax. Go with the flow. Have fun because it's your special day. And any glitches or any problems that happen, it just becomes your personal story. So just have fun and get married!”