We didn’t exactly need a survey to tell us that couples have spent the last several decades moving away from the idea of the traditional life timeline of love → marriage → kids. But, while perceptions have been steadily shifting over time, the COVID-19 pandemic undeniably accelerated the trend by forcing us all to reassess what’s most important in our lives—whether that’s buying a home, having a child, or, of course, getting married.
To understand how attitudes have shifted around marriage and family planning since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zola teamed up with Modern Fertility, the reproductive health company making personalized fertility information and support much more accessible, to survey nearly 1,400 people who have gotten married or engaged since March 2020.
What we found is that while couples are hopeful that the pandemic will soon be coming to an end—with the vast majority now feeling even more confident about moving forward with their wedding plans—2020’s impacts on wedding and family planning will undeniably be lasting. Nearly half of respondents said the pandemic has changed their timeline to expand their families, but ironically, respondents were more likely to feel stressed and/or anxious in the past year about planning their wedding. Moreover, 1 in 5 respondents currently planning a wedding said they were open to having kids before getting married.
But, couples are still eager to meet at the altar. With the vaccine rollout well underway, couples are feeling much more confident and optimistic about the future, pointing to a return to the traditional wedding season with most respondents exchanging ‘I do’s’ between May and October 2021. And despite all the stressors of the past year, over 1/3 of couples say they’re more excited now about their upcoming reception and feel even closer together than ever as a result!
Read on for more insights and see the full report here:
COVID-19 has had a lasting impact on wedding and pregnancy plans.
When it comes to the wedding reception, some couples are considering trade-offs.
“Ultimately, the stress I was bottling up [about postponing our wedding and therefore our timeline to conceive] led to really wonderful conversations with my partner, a new degree of openness, less worry, and a decision to start trying before our rescheduled wedding celebration. If I’m six months pregnant as I walk down the aisle, so be it! In a way, pushing forward with our plans to grow a family–and potentially having big, visible evidence of those plans as we finally get to say “I do” in front of our long-parted family and friends–feels like the best “screw you” to COVID I could imagine.”
“We had originally planned to be married in the fall, honeymoon in the winter and then start trying for kids shortly after. Now, my wedding will be summer 2022 and we will try for kids after that. I am worried about how my age will affect our chances of a healthy pregnancy, but I also don't want to be pregnant before we are married, or pregnant at my wedding. We have considered getting legally married this year and having a party later instead of a wedding, and in that case, we may start trying for kids sooner rather than later.”
"We got legally married on our original wedding date (August 2020) in a small ceremony with our immediate family but postponed the reception to June 2021. We are holding off on trying to have a child until after I am vaccinated — if it weren't for COVID we would have tried right after the wedding."
“When it came to our wedding Covid-19 both ruined dreams and created beautiful memories. We postponed twice (June to September 2020, now October 2021) for the in-person big celebration, then ended up having a very-small 12-person wedding with my immediate family while Zooming in my husband's family and extended family in August 2020. Making the decision not to have his mom present brought great tension, grief, and sorrow to our journey — but it also brought us closer together, solidifying WE are each other's MVP. We are excited and hopeful to celebrate fully in October 2021."