- In 2022, 2.5+ million weddings were planned
- The average cost of a wedding in the US is $28,000 – $35,000
- A quarter of all US weddings are destination weddings
- The destination wedding market in the US is worth $16 billion
- Brides spend an average of $1,635 on their dress
- 91% of couples sign up for a gift registry
- The US gift registry market is worth $19 billion
- Honeymoons in the US add up to over $12 billion annually
Everyone loves a wedding. But it seems that the US really love their weddings. One of the biggest wedding industries in the world, the US certainly enjoys sharing the love.
This year, it was estimated that well over 2 billion weddings would take place in the US. After a long two years of restrictions and social distancing protocols, many jumped at the chance to tie the knot in the ‘new normal’. And this trend isn’t set to slow down any time soon. Predictions for 2023 show an uptick in the US wedding industry, with even more couples set to celebrate their union.
Take a look at what’s been happening in 2022 in the US wedding industry and the trends and statistics set to make waves in 2023.
The Biggest Wedding Year Yet
According to the Wedding Report, 2022 will see slightly more than 2.5 million weddings. Some analysts have observed that the last time this record was broken was way back in 1984.
This frenzy of matrimonial activity comes at a time of rising inflation, ever-increasing prices, and skyrocketing fuel costs. There are also still reports of supply-chain issues in the US that could impact negatively on planning a wedding. For example, there is a shortage of restaurant-grade chocolate in the US which is impacting specialist bakery’s ability to supply chocolate food products for weddings.
These challenges don’t seem to be causing too much of a stumbling block as yet, with couples happy to make a few changes to their dream days simply to be able to tie the knot. After all the restrictions of Covid, having to rethink a budget or swap chocolate for another flavour doesn’t seem too bad.
Popular Wedding Months
Most weddings take place between the months of Fall and Summer in the US. In fact, 77% of all US weddings are held during these months. Overall, October is the most popular month for weddings. It’s a time when the Autumn foliage is at its best and it’s not too cold yet. Some 22% of weddings take place in the 10th month.
December appears to be the favourite month for getting engaged in the US.
What Are The Most Popular US Wedding Destinations?
Let’s examine what are termed destination weddings first, as they are almost a category on their own.
Destination weddings are defined as those weddings taking place outside the hometown of the bridal couple. They’re big business in the US, bringing in about $16 billion annually, with many of the couples choosing this option having been married before.
While many of the wealthier choose international destinations for weddings away from home, the most popular states for destination weddings in the US are the states of California, Nevada, and Florida.
Popular locations outside the US include the Caribbean, Mexico, and the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. Climate has a lot to do with it, as 90% of couples choosing a destination wedding cited climate as the major consideration.
Destination wedding guest lists appear to be quite small, with the average number of guests sitting at around 50. Even at this small number, the average budget for a destination wedding is about $35,000.
Costs Of Weddings In The US
The pandemic devastated the wedding industry and most vendors have had to increase prices to pay their salaries and bills.
Catering, transport, venue hire, and associated services have all increased their prices. The average budget for a US wedding ranges from $28,000 to $35,000 (including an engagement ring). A bridal gown will set you back upwards of $1,600, with most couples opting to register for a gift registry. This wedding sub-sector rakes in about $19 billion annually, with the average spend on wedding gifts sitting between $100-$150 per guest.
Some 40% of wedding vendors reported losses of more than $50,000 during the pandemic while 15% recorded losses of over $100,000. From jewellery to hairdressers and make-up artists, all prices and service charges have risen.
Vendors looking to the future are predicting smaller and more intimate weddings at local locations with some type of virtual offering for those who cannot attend or are worried about health and safety.
Health And Safety Considerations
Many couples (around 85%) will include elements of health and safety precautions in their wedding planning as a matter of routine. As mentioned above some will use virtual features such as live streaming and Zoom, while others are opting for smaller guest lists of 100 invitees or less.
What About The Costs Of The Bridal Gown?
Brides are spending more on their wedding dresses, with some reaching an extravagant $4,000. Just over a third of brides try on 3-4 dresses before picking one.
According to Statista, the global bridal gown market is worth $2.8 billion annually. The top US supplier of wedding dresses is David’s Bridal, which has garnered more than 28% of the US market.
Just How Big Is The Wedding Industry In The US In 2022?
Americans spend more on weddings than any other nation in the world. Some couples spend as much as a third of their savings on weddings.
According to IBIS World statistics, the wedding service industry market worth is more than $60 billion this year and is expected to grow by 2,1%. Businesses serving the US wedding industry number around 336,725, employing just under 1 million Americans.
Venues and catering services are possibly the biggest costs in planning a wedding, with top venues reaching a cost of $10,000, depending on the number of guests. Food and catering can top $5,000, while photography and visual services can range from $2,000 to $5,000.
Future Wedding Trends
As the world changes, so too do trends that affect the wedding industry. As we head into 2023, these are some of the trends you can expect to see:
Weddings get smaller and more intimate
People want that human touch for their weddings and couples want to connect with their guests, sharing beautiful and memorable settings with integrity.
White dresses fall out of favour
Although still quite popular, the long white dress is no longer mandatory. In 2023, bolder and stronger colours which reflect the couple’s personalities will become popular.
Pants lead the parade
For the bride, trouser suits will be a big trend in 2023, with many welcoming this gender-neutral option. From draping wide and floppy pants to a beautifully tailored jacket, pantsuits can be whatever you want them to be －elegant or chic.
Swapping suits for more casual attire
Suits are definitely no longer standard attire for grooms and best men and haven’t been for quite a while. A beautifully cut dress shirt and jacket with linen or cotton trousers are just as stylish a choice.
Unique wedding entertainment will also be big in 2023 with dancers and aerial acrobats becoming popular.
Au naturel décor
Another big trend being forecast is out-of-the-box decor for the wedding ceremony and the reception venue. Plants and natural material props such as wood and rattan will be a big trend.
Being kind to the environment will become a major consideration, from catering using local produce and suppliers to zero tolerance for plastics. The decor will be more natural and organic too. This is a popular trend among millennials.
Talking of those born in the 1990s and onwards, most millennials will opt for natural settings for their weddings with a pared-down feel. Conspicuous consumption is rejected in favour of more sustainable and less impactful ceremonies.
This market promises to become more popular as the effects of climate change become more apparent. Mindful weddings could just be the next big growth driver in the wedding industry.
More Marriages Than Before
Interestingly, a poll conducted by Zippia stated that more than 80% of respondents said the pandemic had made them want to get married more than ever before. The desire to have someone special to share the load of everyday life with was a driving factor in this increase.
Looking at the statistics, it’s clear that the US wedding market is one to watch and it will only continue to grow in the coming years. Here’s to falling in love being good for the economy too!