Although the U.S. marriage rate fell more than 5 percent during the recession, projections look promising for a new resurgence in the next few years as the economy improves and more and Millennials advance into their 20s (the average age for women getting married is 27).The average wedding costs more than $25,000, which brings the industry’s average annual revenues to some $51 billion. Trends in weddings, according to a recent survey from TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com, include brides wanting to create more of an experience for guests (think wedding after-parties), less formal weddings (think fun and casual, but not less expensive) and an upswing in “Save the Date” announcements going out far ahead of actual wedding dates.
Here are three other trends that wedding planners and event planners who work with brides and grooms should be aware of:
Same-Sex Marriage: With the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in June, the path has been paved for more states to allow same-sex marriages. The Marriott hotel chain is already planning an LGBT-themed campaign and ABC news projected a $16.8 billion windfall for the wedding industry if all same-sex partners who live together have weddings. Plus, the same survey from TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com showed same-sex couples spent more per guest and more on their overall wedding than the average wedding.
The Royals: Although their wedding was more than two years ago, the aftereffects of the royal wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton are still being felt. We have the royal couple to thank for an upsurge in church weddings, more lavish themes and of course, flamboyant hats.
Plus-Size Brides: Although the average American woman is a size 14, many designers have ignored this profitable market—until now. Traditional wedding retailers like J. Crew, David’s Bridal and Priscilla of Boston are jumping on the plus-sized bride bandwagon. The trend even spawned a TLC reality show on plus-sized brides, Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss. (In protest of the term “plus-sized,” one website has termed their dresses and their company Real Size Bride.)
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.