The wedding industry has never slowed in growth. Its revenue reached a whopping $78 billion over the past five years in the US alone. When we think of weddings, a few themes emerge across the globe: white gown, church bells, wedding parties, elegant dinners and flowers.
However, as everything became more accessible, we were able to access more options when it came to planning a wedding. The rise of instagram and social media also challenge wedding services providers to make everything “grammable”.
Observing the changes in the wedding industry tells us a lot about how our society has grown as well – from technological developments to cultural shifts influence how people get married.
So what can we gather from the transition of weddings over the past five years?
Diamonds prices have slowly yet steadily have gone down since its peak in 2012, experiencing a 6 percent decline in 2019. Increased competition, empowered by globalisation of trades and markets, led to continuous drop in prices despite steady increase in demand for diamonds, especially in the US which accounts for over 50% of the worldwide sales.
Five years ago, the diamond sellers were concerned about the possible lack of interest in diamonds among millennials. Their concerns have been proven unfounded. Millennials are less concerned about branding of the diamonds, however, which makes them search for lesser known players who still supply similar-quality gems.
They can access, review, and purchase them online, using digital diamond market such as Rockher. Affordability has increased the popularity of diamonds, expanding customer segments who buy diamonds not just for weddings or extra special occasions.
A new report indicates that about 25% of weddings are now destination weddings, 40% of which take place in international locations. As more and more people look for unique locations and settings that will stand out on Instagram, the desire to seek beyond their own communities has grown.
In 2015, same-sex marriage became legal. This also led to birth of more unique weddings for gay couples who had previously not been able to have official ceremonies. The joy of this much welcomed change resulted in amazing weddings that melted the hearts of millions.
People are wanting to show more individualism in their gowns, dinners, and even in flowers. About 6% of brides in 2018 wore colorful gowns at their wedding, compared to 0% in 2015.
Weddings are becoming more casual as people attribute different meanings and priorities to their weddings. s
The Rise of WedTech
Wedding planning has gotten a lot easier as well. The rise of technology changed the value chain and brought goods and services directly to the consumers. WedTech products range from digital invitations to crowdfunding platforms (in lieu of gift registrations) and creating websites/itineraries for destination weddings.
With over 100 startups, the wedtech industry has raised around $360 million in funding in 2018. Firms like Zola, which is the fastest growing wedding startup in the US, are offering new ways for couples to create wedding gift registries, not limited by physical products or brands. For instance, guests can give Airbnb gift cards as gifts or donate money to the couple’s honeymoon fund.
What people used to pay wedding planners tens of thousands for, they can do themselves using apps/websites like The Knot. Just like any other industries, technological development allowed consumers to become more self-sufficient, creating more room in their budget. Wedding vendors and services providers also can reach a wider customer base much more easily, as reflected in the seemingly unstoppable growth of the industry despite the introduction of DIY wedtech tools bringing down the cost.