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The Business of Weddings

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By Miri Rossitto

Weddings

An anticipated 2.6 million weddings are set to occur this year – the most since 1984, according to a report from The Knot, a popular wedding planning site.  An average of 5,825 weddings is projected to occur each day.  Between 2009 and 2019, around 2.1 million weddings happened each year.  

This record number is due to cancellations, postponements, and zoom marriages during the past two years.  Everyone is ready to celebrate weddings with a return to larger guest lists and lavish ceremonies and receptions.

But even before the pandemic, weddings have been one of the most lucrative events for businesses all around.  And it touches multiple industries from event coordination to wedding rings to photographers to wedding dresses, and much more.  Most couples spend around 30% of their savings on a wedding.  In 2019, the average American wedding cost over $29,000.  The wedding industry alone brings in a revenue of over $57 billion a year, with a projected rate of increase in the next decade or so – as projected by Forbes magazine in a recent case study.

A sample wedding breakdown can look a little like the breakdown at right.

The biggest expenditure of a wedding is the venue.  The average cost of a wedding venue is anywhere from $12,500 and $15,500, depending on catering services, chair/table set-up, decorations.  Because of the details that go into organizing a wedding, some venues may charge a little higher for weddings than any other events.  The beauty and genius of the wedding industry is all services and companies work together or recommend each other.  Your selected venue can have a set of photographers, event coordinators, caterers, entertainment specialists they work with.  Usually, venues will offer packages if the bride and groom select a vendor from their list.

However, the biggest challenge for businesses in the wedding industry is promoting their brand in a market that’s saturated with a lot of vendors, and we mean A LOT!  More often than not, couples who are planning their wedding will go with businesses who reflect their values and vision of a perfect wedding.  That includes going outside a venue’s vendor list if certain businesses don’t meet the couples’ expectations.  As a business, you will need to find the balance between standing out and partnering up with other vendors.  For example, a photographer who’s done wedding photo sessions at a venue can work with the venue to have their photos on their website.  Or use their photos from the venue on their website.  It’s a constant interplay of collaborations while showcasing your “wow” factor as a wedding vendor.

To make sure you stand out, you might consider some of these strategies:

Keep your website current, straightforward, and visually appealing.

Utilize social media tools to showcase your products and services through stories, reels, videos.

Obtain referrals and feedback from satisfied wedding couples you’ve worked with.  Sometimes, word of mouth is still one of the most effective ways to obtain clients.

The wedding industry is one of the biggest revenue generating businesses in the country.  With the significant increase in weddings this year as a result of the pandemic, businesses catering to wedding services need to take a unique approach to their branding while collaborating with other businesses.

Miri Rossitto is founder and CEO of COWE Communications. She can be reached at (818) 970- 9177. Follow @coweofficial on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Photographer: $2,400

Venue: $10,500

Event planner: $1,500

Reception band: $3,700

Reception DJ: $1,200

Florist: $2,000

Videographer: $1,800

Wedding dress: $1,600

Catering / person: $70

Wedding cake: $500

Transportation: $800

Favors: $400

Rehearsal dinner: $1,900

Engagement ring: $5,900

Invitations: $590

Hair Stylist: $110

Makeup artist: $100

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