Fewer weddings during the coronavirus crisis

© Hollandse Hoogte / Patricia Rehe
During the weeks following the introduction of coronavirus restrictive measures, fewer marriages were concluded than in the same period last year. The decline in partnership registrations was less significant. There were mainly fewer weddings on Fridays and Saturdays. Nice round dates such as 20.04.2020 still had relatively many weddings. Just before the coronavirus pandemic, a record number of weddings took place on nice round dates in the month of February. This is evident from provisional figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

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The introduction of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus took place in week 12 (ending on 22 March). These measures included a maximum of 30 people imposed on all weddings. The new measures were followed by a sharp drop in the number of concluded marriages compared to previous years. The weekly average number of couples tying the knot was almost halved in weeks 12 to 20 inclusive, relative to the same period in 2019. Still, every week over 500 couples on average said ‘I do’.

Concluded marriages and registered partnerships, weekly averages
Verbintenisweek20182019*2020*
Marriagesweeks 2 to 11 incl.562571669
Marriagesweeks 12 to 20 incl.1032985523
Partnershipsweeks 2 to 11 incl.376408436
Partnershipsweeks 12 to 20 incl.372420356
* provisional figures

Mainly fewer weddings on Friday and Saturday

For years now, the Friday has been the most popular day to get wed. Since the introduction of coronavirus measures, there have mainly been fewer Friday weddings. Last year, on average more than 300 couples were married on a Friday in the period week 12 to 20 inclusive; this year, the average stood at slightly over 100. Relatively the sharpest year-on-year decline is seen on Saturdays. In weeks 12 to 20 inclusive, there were barely any more Saturday weddings.

The most popular day for weddings after the Friday is the Monday. In a large number of Dutch municipalities, Monday weddings are available as an inexpensive or free option. The Monday showed the least significant decline this year, namely from over 200 to 175 weddings per week on average. Monday 27 April has not been taken into account; there tend to be hardly any weddings on King’s Day. Monday 4 May - Dutch Remembrance Day - is included nevertheless, even though relatively few weddings take place on this date of 4 May.

Average number of concluded marriages per week, weeks 12 to 20 inclusive
weekdag20182019*2020*
Mondays207203177
Tuesdays164166129
Wednesdays14610376
Thursdays12911666
Fridays358327117
Saturdays1129610
Sundays691
* provisional figures

More weddings on nice round dates

Round dates are generally more popular wedding dates. Even during the lockdown, there were particular dates on which relatively many couples were married. This year, the 20th of each month is a popular date. Friday 20 March 2020 was almost as popular among couples tying the knot as Friday 22 March 2019. There were almost 1.5 times more weddings on Monday 20 April 2020 than on an average Monday in April 2019.

In February 2020, there were still 1.5 times more weddings than in the same month in previous years. A top day was Thursday 20.02.2020 with over 750 weddings, over 10 times as many as on other Thursdays that month. Another popular date was Sunday 02.02.2020. Sundays are usually less popular, but on this date almost 60 marriages were registered. In addition, Valentine’s Day was popular in line with tradition, while relatively many couples were married on Saturday 29 February. On the other hand, relatively few marriages were concluded on Friday 13 March, just before the announcement of a lockdown.

Most popular wedding dates in 2020, up to week 20* incl.
DatumNumber of weddings (weddings)
Thursday 20.02.2020754
Monday 20.04.2020309
Monday 20.01.2020256
Friday 14.02.2020243
Friday 15.05.2020212
* provisional figures

Registered partnerships declined less sharply

The number of couples opting for a registered partnership has seen a steady rise in recent years.
After the introduction of measures against coronavirus, the number of concluded registered partnerships was down on the same period in 2019. This is partly on account of King’s Day being one Monday less; the Monday is the most popular day of the week for the conclusion of registered partnerships. Taking into account the number of available Mondays, there was barely any decline in the average number of concluded registered partnerships on Mondays compared to previous years.

Much less significance is given to nice round dates for partnership registrations than for marriages. Nevertheless, on a day like Thursday 20 February almost 4.5 times more registered partnerships were concluded than on the other Thursdays that month.

Average number of concluded registered partnerships per week,
weeks 12 to 20 inclusive
weekdag20182019*2020*
Mondays158175163
Tuesdays98114113
Wednesdays596256
Thursdays414637
Fridays404135
Saturdays231
Sundays000
* provisional figures

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