Planning Pod Blog


Fresh insights and best practices for event professionals

Market your events business to today’s budget-conscious bride

by | Feb 3, 2010 | Industry Intelligence and Research

As I’m sure you know, the recession has definitely impacted the wedding industry. 62.3% of brides say that the economy has influenced their wedding plans and budget. Though every bride is different, the following statistics show what most brides are willing to cut back on, and what they don’t want to give up. So rather than focusing your marketing approach on what brides are willing to spend money on, you can use these statistics to show couples that you know how to save them money in the areas where they are more reluctant to spend.

Surprisingly, 58.4% of brides said that their top area for cutbacks is the honeymoon. If you offer honeymoon planning services, being able to get couples the most bang for their buck will be very advantageous in drawing in clients. Flowers and decorations came in a close second, with 57.9% of brides indicating that they would limit them. We recommend having a long list of floral vendors in every price range to appease every bride’s budget.

54.5% of brides also indicated that they would be limiting reception food and drink, but only 45.5% said they would cut back on their number of guests. What this means: brides are willing to cut back on the amount of food and drinks in order to accommodate more guests. Indeed, there has been an increase in “cocktail receptions,” and fewer “dinner party receptions.” We recommend expanding your list of caterers to include vendors specializing in finger foods and hors d’oeuvres.

51% of brides indicated wedding day transportation as an area for cutbacks. This includes cutting things like limousine services from their budget. Also, 45.5% of brides said they would cut back on their budget for the reception venue, but only 23.3% said they would cut their budget for the ceremony venue, which hints at the fact that more couples are holding the ceremony and reception at the same place. In addition to reducing cost for the venue, this may also save money by reducing transportation from one venue to the other. Thus, advertising your long list of limousine service connections may not be your best event marketing strategy right now.

Contrary to findings that more and more brides are utilizing more photography on day after photo shoots like the “trash-the-dress” trend, we’ve found that 47.5% of brides intend to cut back on photography and videography for their nuptials. These brides may be choosing to take advantage of other options like giving guests disposable cameras, asking them to take pictures and developing the photos themselves.

The next area of budget cutting is wedding attire. 39.1% of brides said they intend to spend less on the wedding dress, tuxes, and so forth. This may indicate a shift towards more casual weddings. Other recent trends such as the popular 50’s inspired tea-length wedding dress correlate with these findings. This year’s bride isn’t necessarily formal, so make sure to market your business as being able to coordinate any type of wedding from backyard picnics to formal events.

With the advent of the Internet, it’s no surprise that 37.6% of brides intend to spend less on invitations and other stationary for their wedding. The technology-savvy bride is utilizing email for everything from invitations to save the dates. Other ways brides are cutting parchment costs include things like sending out event postcards rather than formal invitations, which require the added expense of envelopes.

Reception and ceremony music cutbacks were smaller but still significant areas for budget cuts. This year’s thrifty bride is now making her own CDs or Ipod playlists for the reception (20.8%), but only 14.4% of brides, are cutting back on ceremony music. Conclusion: brides are more willing to spend money on unique and beautiful ceremony music than a band or DJ for their reception, so lengthen your list of options for ceremony music.

Now that you know what brides are willing to spend their resources on, market yourself as connected to the best bang-for-your-buck vendors in that area.