Are weddings shrinking? Survey says “yes”

March 3, 2010 – The recession has had an impact on just about every sector of the U.S. economy, and weddings have been no different. A recent study conducted by our staff among brides getting married in 2010 shows that the recession has had an impact on two-thirds of all brides when it comes to their event spending. But has it actually caused the size of events to shrink?

According to research conducted by The Knot, the average event size for 2008 and 2009 has hovered around 149 people, with the average event spend over $28,000 and the average number of bridesmaids at 5 and groomsmen at 5.

But what a difference a year makes. 70.7% of 2010 brides are having fewer than 150 guests to their event, with almost half (44.5%) having fewer than 100 guests. And two-thirds of brides (64.9%) are having 4 or fewer bridesmaids, while two-thirds of grooms (65.6%) are having 4 or fewer groomsmen.

In fact, of the brides surveyed, almost half (45.5%) stated that they have scaled back on the number of guests that will be attending their event. So the size of events has actually declined. But what this tells us is that couples are focused on maintaining the quality of their event and devoting the resources they have into creating the day of their dreams.

And what about that average event budget of $28,000 in 2009? Of this year’s brides, only 7.4% have said they will spend more than $30,000, with a shocking 71.4% intending on spending less than $20,000. To save money, many brides are making their own decorations, invitations and other event items, while others are taking a more low-key route with BBQs and potlucks instead of surf-and-turf and white linens. But, despite cutting back, couples are still getting married, and brides are still dreaming big, and that’s as it should be.