The wedding industry generates in the United States over 60 billion dollars a year in wedding and ceremony related expenses (this figure does not include the honeymoon, which is estimated to be between 4 and 8 billion dollars a year).
In the past, the typical engaged woman was 21, lived at home and had her wedding mostly planned by her mother. But now, the bride-to-be is mostly older and has more money to spend.
A 1999 Millennium Report conducted by Brides Magazine’s found that while brides and grooms represent only 2.6% of all households in the United States, they account for up to 70% of major household items purchased.
However, we need to keep in mind that though the wedding industry is huge in terms of dollars, it is often difficult to track exactly where that money is being spent. This is because the industry is made up of multiple smaller enterprises like caterers, wedding consultants, dresses, jewelry, various beauty suppliers (hair, makeup), photographers, favors/bridesmaids gifts, music, honeymoon related, etc. In addition, many of these smaller enterprises also do other events and don’t necessarily break their business down into wedding versus non-wedding.
Here Are Some Interesting Facts!
After The Vows…
- 72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment.
- Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.
- Brides say that during wedding planning, their highest priority was their attire, followed by the reception site and caterer – reception entertainment is among the least of their priorities. Within one week after their reception, 78% of Brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority!
- When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.
- 65% of all couples that chose a band to entertain at their wedding, said, if they had it to do over again, they would have chosen a disc jockey.
- Based on the survey statistics above, assuming a $10,000 food/drink minimum you’ll spend a minimum of $1500 on gratuity at 15%. Which has a bigger impact on the outcome of the event? Quality entertainment, or a 15% gratuity on food/drink?
- The average engagement in the United States lasts 15 months.
- During the engagement period, couples buy: $4 billion in furniture, $3 billion in house wares, $400 million in tableware, $19 billion is spent buying presents at wedding gift registries.
- The average amount spent on a bridal gown is $800.
- Tuxedos are typically purchased 5-6 months after the wedding gown.
- Bridesmaids’ gowns are general purchased 3-4 months in advance of the event.
- One third of engaged couples retain a wedding consultant.
MORE WEDDING STATISTICS
- Every year an average of 2.4 million weddings are performed in the U.S. (approx. 150,000 per year in Canada).
- Today’s median age for first-time brides is 25 years. For grooms, it’s 27 years.
- Second marriage median age is brides 35 years, grooms 38 years.
- The average amount spent on a traditional American wedding is $22,000.
- 67% of women continue to wear the same fragrance they wore on their wedding day.
- The number 1 wedding city in the U.S. (and number 2 in the world) is Las Vegas with an average of 114,000 weddings per year (the number 1 in the world is Istanbul, Turkey with 166,000).
- The number 2 wedding city in the U.S. is Gatlinburg, TN with 42,000 weddings.
- The number 3 wedding city in the U.S. is New Orleans, LA with an average of 36,000 marriages.
Source: Association for Wedding Professionals Int’l <http://afwpi.com/wedstats.html>
Marriages by the month:
June is the most popular month for weddings, followed by August, May, September, and October.
* In areas where there are harsher winters, the percentage of weddings November through March substantially decreases.
Source: Greeting Card Association
Wedding Costs by Category:
Consultant 15.0% (if hired)
Wedding Rings 11.5%
Bridal Gown 6.1%
Bridal attendants’ apparel 4.5%
Rehearsal dinner 4.2%
Men’s formal wear 3.2%
Attendants’ gifts 2.1%
Mother of the bride apparel 1.7%
Bride’s veil 1.6%
Clergy and ceremony fees 1.2%
Groom’s attire 0.8%
Source: Association of Bridal Consultants
Among couples who choose a traditional wedding, 99 percent take a honeymoon. Couples spend an average of $4,000 on their honeymoon. That’s three times as much as the average U.S. adult spends on a vacation.
The length of an average honeymoon is nine days.
37 percent of honeymoon trips are to domestic locations; 63 percent are foreign.
Half a million couples will celebrate a destination wedding this year.
Most frequently chosen honeymoon destinations are:
The Cayman Islands 10.5%
U.S. Virgin Islands 7%
British Virgin Islands 7%
St. Marten 5.6%
Puerto Rico 3.8%
The items that honeymoon bound couples were most likely to purchase included:
Wardrobe – 71%
Swimsuit – 69%
Sunglasses – 69%
Sunscreen – 58%
Luggage – 50%
Video Camera – 37%
Still camera – 31%
Sports gear & equipment – 7%
Transportation Used for Honeymoon:
Airplane – 76%
Rental Car – 60%
Their own car – 16.5%
Ship/Boat – 27%
Railroad – 3%
Most Popular Honeymoon Activities:
Visiting a new place for sightseeing, restaurants, entertainment and nightlife- 75%
Beaches and Lakes – 45%
Casinos – 20%
Cruises – 25%
Golf/Sports vacation – 10%
Skiing trips – 5%
WEDDING MAGAZINE STATISTICS
At a national level, brides buy over 7.5 million bridal magazines per year. Brides buy 4 to 6 issues of their favorite bridal magazine. Most bridal publications are purchased from bookstores and newsstands. The “pass along” value of bridal magazines is an average of 8 to 10 people. Over 80% of all Brides and Grooms use the Internet to assist in planning some portion of their wedding.
In addition, the engaged couple who spends between $15,000-$23,000 is computer literate and has attended or graduated from college.
Association of Bridal Consultants
Association for Wedding Professionals Int’l
Condé Nast Bridal Group
National Bridal Service
National Vital Statistics Report, 1998
National Center for Health Statistics
Survey of Newsstand Reports, 1997
Travel Industry Association of America