We get a lot of questions about the best ways to break into the luxury wedding market. Think: couples who spend $60,000 or more on their wedding. That's why we made it our business to learn all about how big budget couples are planning their weddings with a very special survey our Luxury Real Weddings Study. The results from our 2016 study just rolled in and there's a lot of juicy insights we couldn't wait to share. Here, 5 ways couples are spending big on luxury weddings.
Photo: Chelsea Nicole Photography
Higher spending couples prefer to leave everything to the professionals. On average, they are hiring 11 pros to pull off their weddings (compared to 8 in the average budget wedding). Theyre trusting and investing in more professionals to give them the custom wedding of their dreams.
Take note : Although spend and popularity in wedding pro services are up all around, there are a few standout categories that are making big gains. Luxury couples are far more likely to hire a wedding planner (54%) and send out professionally designed save-the-dates (79%). So if youre a planner or designer, make sure youre prepped to offer luxury packages to potential clients.
Photo: Erin Costa Photography
Almost 80% of luxury couples get married on a Saturday, making it the most popular day of the week for weddings by far. Think about the law of supply and demand. The more couples who want a Saturday wedding, the more they'll be willing to spend to get that date. Add to that, over 80% of luxury couples reported that at least half of their guests needed overnight accommodations, which often lands on the couple's tab. Big budget couples are putting a lot of dollars into getting their most ideal date and location for their wedding.
Take note : September is the most popular month for big budget couples to get married. So you can count on them looking to book fall Saturdays far in advance. Don't be afraid to make the most of the demand and match your prices accordingly for specific in-season dates.
The more the merrier. Get this: the average wedding party in a luxury wedding has twelve people total. And that means extra costs for the couples. Items to budget for when it comes to the bridal party? Attendant gifts (89% buy for bridesmaids, 86% buy for groomsmen) and hair & makeup on the day of. In fact, over 60% of brides contribute to the bridal party's hair styling and 55% pitch in to help cover the cost of day-of makeup.
Take note: With the average bridesmaid dress costing over $200 (up from $141 in 2013) and the average groomsmen ensemble coming in at $199 (up from $162), luxury couples are even asking their bridal parties to shell out extra cash. That's good news for bridal salons and menswear boutiques.
Photo: CLB Photography
You can't stop the party. Big budget couples are putting serious funds into hosting multiple events surrounding their wedding. Think: bridal showers, bachelor parties and day-after brunches. The average number of events per luxury wedding? Five. The more events, the more dollars couples will need to invest in their wedding budget.
Take note : The rehearsal dinner is by far the most popular wedding related event. In fact, 94% of luxury weddings have one. But over half of couples host a morning after brunch, too. Looks like there might be a new must-have on the horizon for big spenders. Venues should consider adding an option to include an additional event (after parties are a big request too) to their package choices.
Photo: Chelsea Nicole Photography
It should come as no surprise that average dollars spent per guest in the luxury weddings bracket is at an all time high almost $480 per person. Why? It's all about the guest experience. With fun and classic as self-descriptors both up 5 points since 2013, couples want their weddings to feel both timeless and exciting for their guests. And they're willing to spend more to make their weddings totally Instagram worthy.
Take note: Less couples are using the words vintage and creative to describe their weddings. So if you're a wedding planner or designer, you can count on big budget couples looking for less artsy elements and more traditional looks.