Friday, January 18, 2008

Rock the vote: October leads as favorite wedding month

October Clawson Wedding by Flickr's chrisgscottSpectacular photo with some tasteful Photoshop effects of the October Clawson wedding by Flickr's chrisgscott

I checked in today, as I lounge in my Ft. Lauderdale hotel room in preparation for attending a friend's wedding tomorrow, to see that, as of this writing, October has taken the lead with seven votes for best month to get married.

I'm apparently not the only person who's noticed this trend. I also don't think its a new trend. This article believes that October is an ideal month because of the fairer, cooler (in most places) weather and the bounty of colorful flowers available in the fall. That makes sense, except for in California -- October, in recent years, has been a reliably fire-prone month in the Golden State, thanks to the Santa Ana winds. That doesn't mean that there has been a dearth of October weddings, though -- I think I've attended at least one October wedding the last three years in a row. That's especially noteworthy since I usually only attend two weddings a year.

Anyway, as I searched for the possible reasons why October is such an ideal wedding month, I stumbled on these interesting wedding statistics.

  • The average American engagement is 16 months.
  • During the engagement period, couples buy:
    • $4 billion in furniture
    • $3 billion in house wares
    • $400 million in tableware
  • June is the most popular month for weddings, then August, followed by September October and May
  • Every year an average of 2.4 million weddings are performed in the U.S.
  • The Wedding Industry is a 50 billion dollar a year industry
  • Average age for first-time brides is 25 years, for grooms it's 27.5
  • 175 guests are invited to an average wedding
  • One third of engaged couples retain a Wedding Consultant
  • An average honeymoon vacation is one week
  • The average household income of a newly married couple is $60,000/year
  • Couples are waiting longer to get married
  • Tuxedoes are typically purchased 5-6 months after the wedding gown
  • Median age for remarriage is 34 for women and 37 for men
  • Bridesmaids' gowns are general purchased 3-4 months in advance of the event
  • Average size of wedding party: 12
  • Most brides (30%) plan their weddings for 7 to 12 months
  • Most (about 75%) first-time brides will receive a diamond engagement ring (67% of repeat brides).
  • About 15% of weddings include ethnic customs
  • 35% of weddings occur in the summer; 29% in the spring; 23% in the fall; 13% in the winter.
  • 11% of winter weddings are Christmas weddings
  • $22,000 is the average amount spent on a traditional American wedding
  • A total of $72 billion is spent on weddings annually in the U.S.
  • $19 billion is spent buying presents at wedding gift registries
  • The average amount spent on a bridal gown is $800
  • David's Bridal accounts for 20% of all bridal-gown sales, and that percentage is increasing
  • The average ring costs $2,000
  • Las Vegas (100,000 weddings/year)
  • Hawaii (25,000 wedding/year)
  • Bahamas (5,000 weddings/year)
  • Jamaica (5,000 weddings/year)
  • U.S. Virgin Islands (4,000 weddings/year)
  • 80% of traditional weddings are performed in churches or synagogue.
  • Four out of five brides are employed.
  • There is a 43% chance of a marriage ending in divorce.
  • 35% of Brides and Grooms have a valid passport.
  • Percentage of couples living together before marriage: 64%
  • Percentage of engaged couples who’ve known each other longer than 3 years: 69%
  • 166,000: Wedding ceremonies performed annually in Istanbul, Turkey
  • Percentage of brides who say they’ll be changing their surnames: 60%
  • 93,750: Approximate cost, in dollars, of an average Japanese wedding
  • 150,000: Wedding ceremonies conducted in Canada in 2002
  • 53% of weddings occur in the afternoon; 31% in the evening; 16% in the morning.
  • 30% of receptions are held in churches; 20% in hotels; 20% in country clubs; and 10% each in fraternal halls, private homes, and other locations.
  • 38% of weddings have a buffet; 34% have a sit-down dinner; 28% serve only cake and punch.
  • 62% of weddings have a flower girl.
  • 56% have a ring bearer.
  • Brides 18 to 39 receive 85% of all wedding cards.
  • More than 4.2 million unmarried couples live together.
  • 67% of women continue to wear the same fragrance they wore on their wedding day.
  • January 4.7%
  • February 7.0%
  • March 6.1%
  • April 7.4%
  • May 9.8%
  • June 10.8%
  • July 9.7%
  • August 10.2%
  • September 9.6%
  • October 9.4%
  • November 7.4%
  • December 7.8%
  • Reception 28.3%
  • Consultant 15.0% (if hired)
  • Wedding Rings 11.5%
  • Photography/Video 6.6%
  • Bridal Gown 6.1%
  • Music 5.2%
  • Flowers 4.6%
  • Bridal attendants' apparel 4.5%
  • Rehearsal dinner 4.2%
  • Men's formal wear 3.2%
  • Invitations 2.8%
  • Attendants' gifts 2.1%
  • Mother of the bride apparel 1.7%
  • Bride's veil 1.6%
  • Clergy and ceremony fees 1.2%
  • Limousine 0.9%
  • Groom's attire 0.8%
I don't know exactly how old these statistics are, but they are interesting nonetheless.

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