Summertime and the Weddings Are Plenty

Summer is here and with it comes wedding season. Summertime is the hottest (in all senses of the word) time to get married. AYTM surveyed over 600 consumers who recently got married or who are  planning their upcoming wedding to find out the latest wedding trends. We asked about wedding themes, locations and venues, who gets invited, best sites for wedding inspiration, and how much the whole extravaganza is going to cost..

The results were as follows – 

Some Like It Hot

Among our respondents, summer was the most popular season to have a wedding — chosen by 36%, with Fall not far behind at 31%, followed by Spring with 24%, and Winter was chosen by just 9%.

When asked, we found the leading reasons for choosing a summer wedding included:

  • Warm days and nights (59%)
  • Wanted to be outside (53%)
  • More daylight hours (41%)
  • Easier to get vacation time (32%)

Among those choosing seasons other than summer – the main reason was by far “Too hot” chosen by 71%. While “Insects” (35%) was the second reason for skipping the summer wedding trend.

The Basics

Who is Planning the Event

  • 52% of respondents said both themselves and their partner were handling the majority of the wedding planning duties.
  • Just 4% said they were using a wedding planner.

Location and Venue

  • Most popular wedding location was the beach chosen by 30%
  • Church/temple/mosque, friend’s house, and resort were the top wedding venues. Church/temple/mosque was especially popular among respondents ages 55-64

Budget

  • 41% of respondents told us their wedding budget was less than $5,000, followed by 27% spending between $5,000 and $10,000

The Guest List

  • 27% will be having less than 25 guests, while 24% said they are inviting 25-50 guests
  • 53% said the guest list is a combination of family, friends, and co-workers

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Even with today’s modern conveniences, couples are choosing to stick with age-old wedding superstitions and traditions. 40.3% of respondents said the bride will be wearing something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. This wedding rhyme dates back to the late 1800s in England and these items are said to bring the couple good luck. Couples with a household income of $50,000-$75,000 were more likely to incorporate this tradition into the bride’s wedding ensemble. Another long-time wedding tradition is the hosting of the bachelor/bachelorette party to celebrate the groom/bride’s final night as a single person. This tradition dates back as far as the 5th century BC in ancient Sparta. 41% of respondents are planning to have a bachelor/bachelorette party – this tradition is popular among the young with those 18-34 more likely to hold one than those ages 45-64.

While most keep with tradition, unconventional trends chosen by our respondents included:

  • Bride will wear a dress in a color other than white (23%)
  • Have cupcakes instead of wedding cake (21%)
  • Include their pet in the ceremony (18%)
  • Wear sneakers instead of dress shoes (13%)
  • Have guests donate to a charity rather than purchase gifts (9%)

When asked about unconventional trends, one respondent said this: “We did not do many traditional wedding things, like feeding each other cake, dancing, etc. If it was not a tradition that spoke to us, we ignored it. We saw each other before the wedding and took pictures before the ceremony. We did not have any showers or bachelor/bachelorette parties. We also had an unconventional theme, unique theme-based clothing, and I wrote the entire ceremony which was performed by a friend who got ordained just for our wedding.”

Digital Wedding Trends

Online/tech-related trends were popular among our respondents. 24% met their future spouse via online dating sites. 26% plan to have a photo booth at the reception and 34% plan to have a videographer record the day for posterity. 20% plan to have a customized website for their event where guests can go to get all the pertinent information. As you might expect, this trend was overwhelmingly chosen by the young (ages 18-24). 24% have created a social media hashtag for their event. Experts recommend if you go this route you keep it simple and the best wedding hashtags are puns based on the couple’s first or last names.

Lord of the Wedding Rings

Using a wedding theme was not a popular choice among our respondents, with only 22% saying they were planning a theme wedding. Typical themes included:

  • Star Wars
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Country Chic
  • Night in Paris
  • Old Hollywood
  • Blue and Gold

Where did our respondents look for inspiration? Pinterest was the big winner garnering 53% of respondents. With respondents ages 18-34 more likely to be checking out the wedding pins on Pinterest. 44% look to the weddings of their friends and family to gather ideas. Online wedding sites/apps and wedding magazines were also popular. Least popular places to look for inspiration included celebrity and royal weddings. One respondent wrote this: “used my imagination. I know, highly unconventional.”

The Takeaway

While there are some who enjoy Fall for the crisp weather and colorful foliage, summer’s long, warm days are the top choice when it comes to getting married. Threat of thunderstorms and insects was no deterrent for summer wedding planners, who see this season’s pros far outweighing the cons. Another trend we saw in the data was that many couples are planning their weddings themselves on a small budget and tightening up the guest list. Wedding planners beware – time to up your game and offer some unconventional services if you want to make yourself indispensable to today’s price-conscious couples. Traditional wedding activities such as white wedding gowns, feeding each other cake, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and getting married at a place of worship remain quite popular. Most are melding these long-held traditions with newer digital options and personalization to create a wedding they will never forget.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Allie Smith
Allie Smith is the former Director of Charts for eMarketer with over 15 years of experience in the world of market research. Her love for charts and graphs is only outweighed by her love for her whippets. She spends her free time watching Law & Order reruns while knitting cute hats for dogs.