CHEVY CHASE, MD–March 15, 2017–WeddingWire, Inc., the leading online marketplace connecting consumers with event and creative professionals, released today the results of the 2017 Newlywed Report, the largest analysis of 2016 weddings in the industry. The findings are based on a comprehensive study of more than 13,000 couples, behavioral data of WeddingWire users and various additional research conducted throughout 2016. WeddingWire’s 2017 Newlywed Report provides unparalleled insight into how today’s real U.S. couples are getting engaged, searching for and selecting vendors, and spending their money planning for the big day.
“The fundamentals of wedding planning have generally stayed the same over the last few years, as has the national cost for wedding ceremonies/receptions at around $28,000, or $240 per guest,” said Andy Whittaker, Director of Market Insights at WeddingWire. “That’s not to say we haven’t seen interesting shifts in the last year. Sending save-the-dates via mail is decreasing, bridesmaids are more likely to wear mix-and-match dresses and fall weddings have grown in popularity.”
The complete 2017 Newlywed Report sheds light on the entire wedding journey for today’s couples, from selecting the ring, to hiring a vendor team and calculating costs, to walking down the aisle and jetting off for the honeymoon. Some of the most notable findings from this year’s report include:
National Spend: The average cost of wedding ceremonies/receptions has stayed relatively the same as last year at $28,000, with more than 60 percent of the budget allocated to catering, venue, music and photography/videography. Slightly more than 50 percent of millennial couples have the majority or all of their wedding paid for by their parents, however couples also tend to underestimate how much they’ll spend on their wedding by about 40 percent.
–Average number of wedding guests: 124
–Average spend on engagement ring: $5,000
–Average spend on honeymoon: $4,000
Top 5 Most Expensive Cities to Get Married:
–New York City
Planning: Couples are increasingly reliant on mobile devices when it comes to checking things off their wedding to-do list. Couples report conducting 50 percent of their wedding prep from a smartphone or tablet device, spending one to two hours a day planning from a smartphone with one third of couples using at least one wedding-related app. Over 65 percent of couples also access Facebook and Pinterest at least weekly to help organize their efforts and inspirations. It’s important to note however, that even with the increasing availability of planning tools, resources and inspiration platforms, 63 percent of brides say that they feel pressured to have the perfect wedding.
Top 5 Challenges in 2016
1. Determining budget and guest size
2. Making decisions
3. Keeping track of expenses
4. Knowing you’re on the right track with planning
5. Finding vendors
The Big Day: About 40 percent of couples are engaged 10 to 15 months, with the typical engagement length being 13 months. Seventy-one percent of couples say their “I do’s” between May and October, with fall becoming an increasingly popular time to get married, whereas summer weddings have reigned in the past. The most popular month to get married in 2016 was October, followed by September.
Top 5 Most Popular Wedding Dates in 2016:
Today’s Couple: The average age of couples continues to increase, with brides exchanging vows at age 30 and grooms at age 32. Same-sex couples skew older than the national average; however, females are 33 whereas males are 38. Couples are also staying true to their roots and choosing to get married close to home–in 2016, 84 percent of couples got married within 50 miles of the city in which they live. Most commonly, couples have nine people in their wedding party, with a continued increased in mixed gender wedding parties.
Wedding Vendors: Couples dedicate hours researching vendors online, with 87 percent reading reviews when searching, to ultimately hiring a total of 13 professionals on average. Communicating with those wedding pros is key – 40 percent expect at least weekly correspondence and 57 percent follow their vendors on social media after they’ve booked their services to confirm their quality of work and get inspiration.
Wedding Ceremony and Celebration Trends: Couples are becoming experts in combining time-honored traditions with highly personalized elements to ensure their weddings feel like a reflection of themselves. The majority of couples (87 percent) perform a first dance and share a slice of something sweet with a cake-cutting ceremony (84 percent), while 50 percent incorporate a theme into their celebration decor and one in four couples get their party buzzing with a signature cocktail.
–Wedding Gown Trends: sleeves, mixed lace, high necks, off the shoulder
–Men’s Formalwear Trends: tweed suits/vests, feather bow ties, gray and burgundy tones, floral neckties
About WeddingWire’s 2016 Newlywed Report
The 2016 Newlywed Report is primarily based on WeddingWire’s 2016 Newlywed Survey – the largest survey of 2016 weddings in the industry (N=13,100). The data collected from WeddingWire’s annual Newlywed Survey is distributed to WeddingWire.com couples married between January 1st and December 31st, 2016. Respondents represent couples from all over the country with various ethnicities, income levels and sexual orientation. To provide the most comprehensive view of research collected, WeddingWire has also included findings from ad hoc studies conducted in 2016 as well as behavioral data analyzed by the company’s own team of data scientists. In a typical year, WeddingWire conducts research with more than 150,000 brides, grooms, guests and wedding professionals.