Engagements are set to rise in 2024, experts say. Here’s what’s driving people to tie the knot.

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With love and romance taking center stage on Valentine’s Day, many couples find themselves pondering the ultimate commitment. Experts forecast a surge in engagements, declaring 2024 the year of the proposal.

Jewelry titan Signet anticipates a record-breaking 2.5 million couples are set to get engaged this year, marking a notable increase from previous years. This uptick in engagements is being attributed to the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, which temporarily put social interactions on hold.

“So in 2020, the world shut down, right?” said Sarah Schreiber, who helps lead Brides, an online publication. “Singles could not get together. The singles were not mingling. When those pandemic restrictions lifted, everybody came out, the dating seemed blossomed again. Relationships boomed. Consider the fact, the average American couple takes about three years to get engaged. Everybody is getting ready to take that next step.”

Schreiber also said social media helped transform proposals into grand, public spectacles, making engagements “blown out and big.”

Sara Due, a fourth-grade teacher, was proposed to at a Milwaukee Bucks basketball game two months ago. She said her wedding is already planned, with the exception of minor details — like shopping for a veil.

Meanwhile, Keisha Wilson has seven months to go before her big day. Wilson and her friends are shopping for bridesmaid dresses in Manhattan.

“It’s exciting,” Wilson said. “It’s my first and only wedding.”

Businesses like Bella Bridesmaids are feeling the impact too, with a significant increase in demand for wedding attire. Owner Erin Wolf reports a 30% business uptick in January alone, compared to last year, as they scramble to accommodate the flood of bookings. Wolf said they are booked at least two to three weeks in advance on weekends.

“We are just really shaping up to have one of our best seasons yet,” Wolf said.

As the year rolls along, Schreiber said couples should be swift and flexible in their wedding planning, since wedding venues will be filled quicker in the upcoming months.

“Couples getting engaged in 2024 need to act faster, and they really need to be flexible with their planning,” she said.

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