Even though people are marrying later in life than before (the average age is around 29), there are still 2.4 million weddings in the US every year. And the wedding industry is changing. Many couples prefer more casual settings and prioritise entertainment over fancy meals and elegant flowers.
The rise of social media such as Instagram and Pinterest sharply increased demand for unique weddings for more stunning photos. This resulted in a boot in destination weddings with 40% of them taking place in international locations.
Brides are ditching white gowns. After legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, weddings have become diversified, personalized, and nontraditional.
The bad news is that weddings cost on average over $33,000 and 60% of couples go over budget.
The good news is that now we have wedtech, which now has $360 million in funding, that makes planning easier and gives us access to wider options for wedding materials.
DIY Technologies for Wedding
According to The Knot, more than 40.0% of couples used wedding planners 2008, compared with 29.0% in 2018. There are many startups in wedtech that help simplify various aspects of wedding planning – digital invites, gift registry, and wedding planners.
Tools like The Knot offers a comprehensive planning platform to help couples find vendors and build custom wedding websites, which really come in handy for destination weddings. It acts as a project management function with checklists, budget tracker, etc.
Now you can even shop for and order diamond rings online. eCommerce websites like DiamondStuds.com make ring shopping much easier and allow you to compare options much more efficiently. Some of these platforms, such as DiamondWish for example, even let buyers create custom pieces online without having to visit 15 stores over two weeks. They provide great educational resources so even diamond noobs can feel confident in identifying and articulating their preferences without relying on physical contact.
Destination weddings, if done correctly, can help you maintain a smaller guest list and find ideal venues within budget. Opening the options to international locations means it’s much easier to host a wedding in the setting and the weather of your choice.
Too cold in New York for a December wedding? No problem, move it to Florida or even Barbados! If you find naturally beautiful spots for your weddings, you may not even need to fuss over where to take your wedding photos. You just use the natural beauty as a stage and take as many photos as possible for the ‘gram.
Invest in Entertainment
What most people remember about weddings is the entertainment, not the ceremony, food, or flowers. As entertainment takes up the bulk of the itinerary, it’s best to focus on locking the entertainment down and allocating the remaining budget to the rest.
In this gig economy, finding a DJ, band, or any entertainer/artist requires minimal effort. 78% of surveyed brides said that they wish they had made the entertainment their highest priority. The traditional wedding receptions with massive flowers, formal toasts, and fancy, overpriced catered wedding food is losing its popularity at an impressive speed.
So ruthlessly prioritize and invest in what matters. Typically, brides spend most of their budget on the dress, which you will never wear again. There will be a lot more room in the budget if you leverage bridal rental sites such as Wedding Concierge by Rent The Runway (luxury fashion rental site).
Venture beyond Traditional Venues
Wedding venues are not cheap – they find ways to charge for every additional service imaginable. If you are down to have less formal weddings, explore venues and sites which are not traditional wedding venues: local art galleries, restaurants with a terrace, old/rustic warehouses, libraries, gyms, even mansions on airbnbs.
You may have to coordinate more logistics but with all the DIY planners tools available to you today, that shouldn’t get in your way. The charges for these outside-the-box venues will also be so much cheaper than wedding halls.