Wedding crasher

Plan a big party, probably indoors. Invite your far-flung relatives, many of them old and feeble, who will drive or fly in. Make sure there’s plenty of sweaty dancing, pathogen-spewing singing, hugging and kissing. If public health officials were to mock up the perfect COVID-19 superspreader event, they might settle on a wedding.

Hence the not-at-all-surprising drop off in California nuptials in 2020. We can see the torrent of cancelled and postponed weddings in the data — a 33% decline from the previous year.

And the numbers alone don’t fully capture the devastation that COVID has wrought on the wedding-industrial complex. Many of the weddings that did take place looked very different from the perfect day the two main participants had expected: fewer attendants, more masks and perhaps a gubernatorial-sanctioned Zoom connection or two.