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It's not you, it's them: Engaged couples are cutting back on lavish weddings

·2 mins


Traditional Wedding Industry Faces Challenges Amidst Changing Trends #

The traditional American white wedding, with its extravagant cakes and lavish floral displays, has long been a symbol of a certain lifestyle. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation have led to a shift in the wedding industry.

According to research firm The Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding broke the $30,000 mark in 2023 due to inflation. But now, with consumers’ wealth being impacted by inflation, some engaged couples are reevaluating their wedding expenses, which is a blow to wedding vendors.

In addition to the impact of inflation, vendors in the wedding industry are facing another challenge - a decline in the overall number of weddings. After reaching a 25-year high in 2022, the number of weddings is expected to decrease by nearly 17%.

The recent surge in weddings was partially fueled by postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021. However, with the pent-up demand being satisfied, the days of high wedding demand may not return anytime soon.

Generational trends may also contribute to the decline in the wedding industry. The largest cohort of Millennials is getting older, and younger generations like Gen Z and Gen Alpha place less importance on having elaborate weddings.

As a result, some couples are opting for more modest wedding celebrations. The trend towards cohabitation instead of marriage is also contributing to the flat market in the wedding industry.

The changing landscape is impacting various aspects of the wedding economy. Some couples are cutting nonessential wedding services, while wedding businesses are diversifying their offerings to adapt. For example, a bakery owner started wholesaling baked goods to coffee shops and providing catering for touring bands.

Despite the changes, many couples still value certain wedding traditions and vendors. Even those who cut costs may still hire makeup artists and photographers to make their special day memorable.