The Perfect Day at What Cost?

Weddings are some of the most fun events to be apart of! Everyone loves the sparkle and magic of love being displayed in grand fashions, but the amount of time and money that goes into them is ridiculous! Every year the fight among brides everywhere to have the most elaborate, beautiful  wedding begins and huge amounts of money are spent. That means great things for the constantly expanding wedding industry.

Money Money Money

An article titled “The Past, Present, and Future of the Wedding Industry” by the Huffington Post says, “The industry is estimated to be $60 billion dollars in the U.S. and $300 billion globally.” Wow! That’s a lot of dresses and shoes! What makes that number even crazier is that the industry is always expanding. While the Huffington Post points out that it only grows by about 2% every year, when you consider how long people have been holding weddings it seems to be an industry that is only getting larger and more powerful. So exactly how expansive is the industry? Well, the article claims that “the wedding industry comprises almost 600K businesses that employ about 1 million people.” With numbers like that it is no surprise that more and more people start up businesses related to the wedding field.

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Image of Beth Godwin from Bluebird Weddings & Events

In a personal interview I conducted with Beth Godwin of Bluebird Weddings & Events based out of Greenville, when asked how the industry has grown she said, “More and more couples are throwing lavish events to celebrate with their family and friends and customizing their events. This leads to new and unique opportunities for various vendors to fill. With the city of Greenville becoming more and more of a destination, the wedding industry is growing.”

This further proves that people are beginning to spend more and more on their weddings as the cost of things go up with the desire to throw an elaborate event. Could this be in relation to the large amounts of TV programs and media that portray such elegant and lavish receptions? I think so. According to a CNN article by Katherine Vasel, “The average cost of a wedding rose to $32,641- an increase of more than $5,000 since 2010.” In the interview Beth also points out that Greenville is becoming more of a destination therefore the wedding industry is expanding. This seems to be the theme in many places as more populated places tend to have more expensive weddings and therefore larger industries within the city. The CNN article also listed the top three most costly things about a wedding as:

  1. The venue at an average of $14,788
  2. The ring at an average of $5,871
  3. The wedding dress at an average of $1,469

The only positive thing about those numbers is that the cost of the wedding dress is nowhere near the $11,000 dresses we see people by on TV (Sorry, Klienfeld!). Not only has their been a dramatic spike in entertainment shows about weddings since then (see Say Yes to the Dress and Four Weddings which started in 2007 and 2009), but there has also been a major increase in technology used in weddings that the industry must adapt to.

Technology and the Industry

As we have seen in just about every aspect of our lives, technology is becoming a bigger part of everything that we do. It is becoming a bigger part of weddings as well. From the way invites are sent out, to music, and wedding documentation the wedding industry is quickly having to adapt to meet the needs of couples.

One of the first ways that technology has changed the wedding industry is in terms of planning and researching. The Huffington post articles points out that “Today, women seek inspiration online, do research on their laptops, and download the best wedding planning apps to their phones. The use of smartphones to access wedding planning apps nearly doubled from 2011 (33%) to 2014 (61%).” For brides this is helpful because there are so many different outlets for them to find ideas for the things that they want, but for wedding planners in the industry this has become a struggle that they have to work around. As Beth pointed out, “They shouldn’t have to worry about the numerous behind-the-scenes details.” Brides that are so consumed in their online research can have a hard time relinquishing the reins to the professional (can you say potential bridezilla?!).

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Photo by Bluebird Weddings & Events

The second way in which technology has changed the industry is through the idea of documenting the day. Everyone now wants to be able to have their wedding documented in every way possible with direct links to social media. In my interview Beth discussed how she started out planning corporate events with her previous company and eventually expanded into creating her own business for wedding planning. When asked what was one of the services she most often provides she talked about her duties with total event planning and videography. An article on Social Times talks about the new found importance of videography at weddings by saying “With services such as Ustream, distant friends and family can view the whole service from afar (both live and at any convenient).” This is just one of the ways that technology is becoming a bigger part of weddings. Documentation has become one of the most important factors for the bride as she wants everyone to be able to link pictures from her wedding online for all to see. This has led to a hashtag craze as all brides now want to find the perfect one that represents their day (examples of these include #turningtarvin & #happilyeverlangston).

Overall the wedding industry is constantly growing and developing. From the average expense of a wedding to changing technologies, it is the job of wedding planners and people involved on all fronts to make sure that the bride gets her perfect day no matter what the cost.

Featured Image by evgenlymamay on Flickr

 

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