A guest blog post for you today – as couples focus on saving money, the wedding industry will be there to help! Wedding budgets have fallen by £6k in 6 years… and guest blogger Tom’s article explains why, and how, and what it means. He had me gripped with this one… and I know you’ll like reading it. Oh! And the presentation is the coolest thing ever to play with… click Play, and Enjoy! Claire x
In 2013, the cost of a wedding is set to fall. Again. Whereas in 2007, the average cost of a wedding was around the £22,000 mark, 2013 will see wedding spend dip down towards the £16,000 mark.
What’s fascinating about this is that the economic downturn has really focused the happy couples’ minds on driving down the overall cost of the wedding, and it’s really focused the wedding industry on providing added value in a turbulent economic period. The trend is not necessarily towards less lavish weddings – the trend is towards getting the best price for every single item on the list.
More and more people are cutting down the costs of stationery, for example, by doing it all themselves. Stag and Hen parties have taken a hit, and wedding planners are increasingly being sought not for the whole shebang, but for different aspects of the wedding, such as finding the venue, sourcing musicians, or even the flowers.
It’s still a £10bn industry, even if it’s not really new
Last year, Hitched claimed that the Wedding Industry (I’ve used capitals because it’s that big) is worth £10bn. Their figures were based not just on the spending of the bride and groom, but on the collective: everyone who attends a wedding has to spend money, at some point: clothes, travel, gifts, stag & hen parties… this brings the total cost of a wedding up to £36,127 on average.
However, it’s how this £10bn industry is re-shaping itself that is of particular interest. Look at the American version of Dragon’s Den, Shark Tank, and the founder of Nearly NewlyWed, Jackie Courtney. Her pitch to the ‘sharks’ was for 10% of a business that sold second-hand wedding dresses.
The sharks were reticent, but Courtney is part of a growing market – the ‘pre-loved’, ‘nearly-new’, or let’s be brazen about it, the ‘second-hand’ wedding market. Her example was an $11,000 wedding dress that sold second-hand for $3,800.
For a dress that you only ever wear once, a third of the original price is tempting. What’s more, you can sell the dress back to the retailer afterwards for half of the price. This turns it effectively into a rental service (in all but name), meaning that the business has near constant inventory, choice and margin.
Over here in the UK, there are hundreds of websites where brides and grooms alike can sell their wedding goods, from dresses to suits, bridesmaid’s dresses, accessories and more. This is an industry responding to the economic downturn by appealing to the thriftiness of the nation (and equally, their desire for a lavish celebration).
Along with these opportunities to save money, brides are turning to technology to help them save time and money on planning their wedding.
Even the insurers are in on the act
We love a bit of insurance in the UK. We’ll insure anything that moves, and what’s more, we’ll insure anything that doesn’t move. Therefore, it’s no surprise that wedding insurance is increasing in popularity. Currently, 47% of brides take out insurance, at an average of £24.23. This covers loss of the rings, failure of suppliers to deliver, stress counselling (yes, stress counselling), and way more beyond this. The biggie, of course, is cancellation.
It’s no surprise, really, given the expense involved, that some kind of insurance is proposed, but the burgeoning market in wedding insurance is proof that these rising costs need to be protected.
We’re getting thriftier; we’re doing things ourselves. We’re hiring wedding planners who can dip-in and dip-out of the planning process. We’re insuring ourselves. We’re even wearing someone else’s wedding dress.
Times have changed, and the wedding industry is moving with them.
Today’s guest blogger Thomas Siddle, is an experienced wedding industry and
wedding planning writer for Only Weddings: expert wedding planners based in