National Wedding Month is in full swing and HotelPlanner.com is revealing the top travel trends of today’s brides. With the majority of engagements happening over the holiday season, the New Year is the start of wedding planning for many engaged couples.

Weddings are part of a $75+ billion-dollar industry and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 2 million couples tie the knot each year. When the bride and groom or wedding planner is looking for the perfect venue and catering services for their guests, hotels play a vital role in the wedding experience.

HotelPlanner.com surveyed nearly 5,000 brides that have recently married in the last year to find out their wedding destination preferences, length of stay, type of accommodations used, group size, and other key details when booking group hotel rooms for their wedding party.

Most surprising in the findings is that brides are favoring secondary cities such as Austin, Minneapolis, Nashville and New Orleans to get married in as these locations offer the more affordability, provide an intimate setting plus offer interesting local attractions unique and specific to the area.

On an international scale, Europe has seen a rise in wedding bookings most predominantly within Spain, the United Kingdom, and Italy in popular cities like Madrid, London and Rome. Brides looking to splurge on a destination wedding are choosing European destinations offering old world history, romance, and breathtaking scenery.

From wedding travel, the location and number of out-of-town guests are important factors for event planners when deciding on a hotel. A room block is usually 9+ rooms that a hotel puts on hold at a specially negotiated discounted rate. The hotel will usually release any unused rooms 30 days prior to arrival with no penalty to the bride and groom.

HotelPlanner.com’s service helps couples and wedding planners book the big event by providing discounted hotel rates, professional planning advice at no charge and allows wedding planners to earn rewards through the Groups Rewards Program that can be used for future hotel stays.

“From our stats, February is a big month for brides and grooms to start searching for wedding friendly hotels for that special day,” said Tim Hentschel, CEO of HotelPlanner.com. “We see significant growth in wedding group travel every year at this time. The beginning of the year is the best time to plan a wedding as a lot of venues book up to a year in advance. By planning your wedding now and booking hotel rooms blocks, you give yourself the time to get all the details right and have something to look forward to, so the earlier the better.”

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