2019 Wedding Trends and Data in SWVA Part 2

Hi friends!

This is a second part series on data that I’ve collected right here in SWVA that is designed to help fellow wedding vendors much like myself here. Think of it as a way to get information from potential clients and from other vendors too. If you need to read the first part of this article series, click here.

Let’s keep going with a few more trends and data that I have here that might be of importance to you.

After the Wedding

One of the questions that I ask year after year is about couples thoughts after the wedding day. I asked it in a two part series and the results are pretty interesting.

The question asked was this: What is more important to you after the wedding?

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I first asked this question regarding the first six months after the wedding and more than 63% of couples said that the wedding photo’s were the most important thing after the wedding day. That followed by the wedding video at 22%, 9% said a slice of wedding cake and the remaining 6% said a flower from the wedding.

Here is where things get interesting however-when I asked the question a year after the wedding, meaning after their first anniversary, the numbers changed dramatically.

79% of couples said the video followed by 14% stating the wedding photos, 16% said a dried flower and the remaining 5% said other.

What the data is telling me is that over a period of 6 months the switch from photos to video becomes more important. This is because over time, we start to forget what took place at the wedding to some degree and the longer time goes by, the more you start to forget the little details of the wedding day. While the photos start off as the most important, those that got a video seemed to overwhelming be more thankful for that their video than anything else.

Physcology would also back this data in suggesting that we need things to help remember the past. As time goes by further along video is more and more important here. Just some food for thought.

Catering, Cakes & Flowers

In my 2018 surveys, polls and questionnaires, I asked roughly 350 couples about their catering, wedding cake and flower experiences.

With regards to catering, I asked about price, more specifically, what price range would a couple expect to pay for catering here in SWVA?

Here in our area more couples stated that $10-$15 per plate was the range they would be most comfortable with. While this seems low compared to other areas of Virginia, when you adjust for the cost of living in our area, it seems in like with a $15.73 average.

The second highest range of couples that answered were $30+ per plate, followed by $15-$20 per plate and tied were less than $10 a plate and $20-30 a plate.

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I also asked the same couples about their cakes and more specifically what type of yummy deserts did they (or will they) have at the wedding?

There was no surprise that traditional wedding cake seems to still be popular but I found that wedding cupcakes have eaten that number somewhat from just 5 years ago. It seems that the overall trend of cupcakes at a couples wedding is on the rise within the last 5 years.

Colors

One thing that I’m seeing as time pass’s is the colors couple choose for their wedding day. In 2012 the popular colors were orange, navy and light purple. In 2006 the most popular colors in our area of Virginia were the earthly tones, browns, greens and lighter, softer reds.

In 2019 (well 2018) there seems to be many colors brides alike are wanting. In the colors most chosen in the survey, Navy Blue followed by true blue (I didn’t know there was such a thing) Emerald Green and Slate Grey rounded up the main colors. The secondary colors people seem to be choosing include Yellow and Ruby, Ivory and Burgundy.

Price vs Value

Finally we come to price vs. value. This is a question asked by more than 512 couples in Roanoke, SWVA and that partly includes the Lynchburg area.

The question is:

Which is more important to you, the wedding vendor price OR wedding vendor quality?

Overwhelming, 91% of couples choose the best wedding vendor quality over price, leaving 9% saying they wanted the lowest cost. What is interesting here however is that when we look back at the data from the first article I wrote a week or so ago, we find that people wanted their wedding mostly on the cheap compared to other areas of the state and the national average of $33,000.

There seems to be another disconnect between couples and the reality of expected prices of the various wedding vendors here in the area. One thought for me would be the influx of people wanting to cash in on the wedding business and setting up shop (too many vendors in select categories i.e. wedding photography and wedding venues) and thus has kept pricing in the region suppressed more so than other local wedding markets.

What is happening however it seems, is those offering extremely low pricing are getting burnt out more quickly, they either realize they can't sustain the volume of work at the lower cost and get burnt out or they go out of business because the low cost doesn't translate into breaking even or making a profit at the end of the year.

In either case, this is sort of the client exceptions vs. their budget reality. That’s not a bad thing, but there is a big disconnect with couples and vendors in the area and what they're worth.