The number one source for weddings, The Knot, publishes a lot of very informative reports throughout the year to help brides and grooms when it comes to planning their wedding.  In one of those reports is the Top 2014 Wedding Trends which takes a look at all of the current trends, good and bad, in the wedding industry.  We’re going to take a look at their trends and expand on them.  Our additions are in italics.

Original Post: 2014 Real Wedding Study Statistics

Top 2014 Wedding Trends

USING SMARTPHONES FOR PLANNING: Couples are researching everything from gowns to vendors on mobile applications. In 2014, the use of smartphones to access wedding planning websites has nearly doubled from 2011 (33%) to 2014 (61%). In fact, 71% of couples accessed from their smartphones. About 6 out of 10 brides are actively planning their weddings through their mobile device: researching gowns on smartphones (61%), up from 27% in 2011; researching wedding vendors on mobile (57%), up from 22% in 2011.

Not only are brides accessing wedding planning website, but also vendor websites as well.  We’ve seen our own increase in the number of hits to our mobile website.  The Online Event Planner is also designed to be accessed from a mobile device and allows our couples to make selections, no matter where they are.

PERSONALIZATION IS ON THE RISE, INCLUDING CHANGES IN VENUES: Couples are showing their unique style by choosing unexpected places to wed. Since 2009, historic buildings/homes and farm venues have grown in popularity. Historic buildings/homes make up 14% in 2014, compared with only 12% in 2009, and farms make up 6% in 2014, up from 3% in 2009. While banquet halls (22%), country clubs (11%) and hotels (11%) are still popular options for couples, about 40% are looking for unusual venues that better reflect their personality.

Not only are couples choosing new places to get married, they’re also adding personal touches to both traditional and non-traditional sites.  We encourage our couples to add little touches and even started the Sports-Themed Wedding Division of Metro DC DJs for just this reason.  There are a lot of sports fans who like to add sports elements to their weddings, without it dominating the theme.  We can help.  But if you want to go all out, yeah, we can help you with that and go all sports!

Spending is on the rise across reception categories, and couples are spending more on their catering, musicians and cake in 2014. Spending for cocktail hours also rose to 76% from 69% in 2010. Couples are spending less on the ceremony. In 2014, 33% of couples hired pianists and organists for their ceremony, down from 49% in 2009, and 28% of couples held their ceremony in a religious institution, down from 41% in 2009.

Couples want people to remember the reception, that’s where the bar is being set.  The number of couples who opt for a 10-15 minute ceremony, or even a justice of the peace with a mock “formal” wedding has gone up.  We’ve seen it ourselves when couples have a quick ceremony to help get the dancing started earlier. 

On average, the bride’s parents contribute 43%, the bride and groom contribute 43%, and the groom’s parents contribute 12% of the total wedding budget (others account for the remaining 2%). Only 12% of couples pay for the wedding entirely themselves.

In 2014, 45% of couples went over budget, about 1 in 4 (26%) of couples stayed within their budget, and only 6% of couples came out under budget. 23% didn’t even have a wedding budget, up from 17% in 2009.

We’re surprised about how low of a percentage of couples who pay for the wedding entirely themselves.  From our own experience, nearly 70% of couples are doing it themselves with no outside help.  This goes from large scale weddings, down to simple gatherings. 

BUSY LIVES MEANS SAVING THE DATE: More couples are using save-the-dates. The percentage of couples who used save-the-dates was 75% in 2014, compared with 72% in 2013 and 57% in 2009. In 2014, 50% of couples had their save-the-dates professionally made, up from 29% in 2009.

Please, use save the dates, more and more couples are telling us they’re inviting 200 people, and wind up with 50% or more of that because life gets in the way.  Not everyone has a 9-to-5 job and when we’re invited to a wedding, we need to make sure someone else hasn’t already booked the date for their own wedding.  Kids and their activities that take place on the weekend along with family trips that have to be booked in advance come in to play as well.  Please, use save the dates.

Wedding DJ, Sports DJ, P. A. Announcing, Mitzvah DJ, Emcee, Host, Corporate DJ. I get to help people have a great time!