Do More Elopements Result in Fewer Big Weddings?
More Elopements = Fewer Big Weddings!
Fewer Big Weddings? At WhereToElope.com, we believe that More Elopements does equal Fewer Big Weddings! The recent increases in the number of “elopement-style,” smaller, intimate weddings with 2 to 30 guests represents a paradigm shift in the wedding industry. Here’s why: Monthly online searches for “where to elope” have more than doubled in the past three years from 110,000 to about 246,000 and has maintained that level.
There are many reasons for today’s couples to elope: Finances; escaping family drama; time constraints; freedom from the norm; and remarrying. “Eloping” no longer carries the stigma that used to be attached to “running away” to get married.
The bottom line is that Elopement Packages are in more demand now than they’ve ever been! That’s why the first half of our recent ‘Vendor Resource Elopement Packages Webinar explains these changes in millennial societal trends, what eloping couples are looking for and why the number of elopements are increasing.
Examining Big Wedding Costs and Trends
The graphic reveals that there are between 2.0 and 2.3 million weddings annually in the U.S., which creates a $40 billion Wedding Industry. That’s an average of $18,181 per Wedding! We estimate that small Elopement style weddings that cost between $500 and $2,500 or less, and currently represent around 10 percent of all Weddings. That’s approximately 246,000 Elopements annually, plus 135,000 “Las Vegas Weddings” or “Reno Weddings” each year! In our “Why You Eloped” poll results, 67 percent of couples elope because they want to SAVE MONEY.
According to costofwedding.com website, traditional big weddings will usually cost $18,900 to $31,500, for an average of $25,200, with most couples choosing to spend less than $10,000. Plus you will need an additional $4,500 for the traditional week long honeymoon resulting in $30,000 or more spent on that large traditional wedding.
The staggering cost of traditional big weddings may reveal a major reason why the number of marriages in the United States actually dropped by 7.5 percent during the height of the recent recession (2007-2008). The high cost is also one of the main reasons why 1/3 of weddings now take place mid-week in order to save some money! On the other hand, as shown by the packages listed on our Wedding Elopement Packages website, eloping offers couples the opportunity to save up to 90 percent or more on the cost of their wedding while still providing a short 2 to 3 day honeymoon or “minimoon” as they are frequently called.
Mid-week is when most hotels, inns and wedding venues have excess capacity or vacancies, so as shown in the listings on our WeddingsOnWednesday.com website it just makes sense for them to offer a lower cost mid-week Elopement Package or special pricing on rooms and catering to attract more mid-week bookings!
Millennial and Societal Trends
Eloping typically appeals to people of all age groups, including re-marriages for Baby Boomers (born in 1946-1964) and Gen-X or Echo Boomers (born in 1965-1980). But it’s evident that the demographic most interested in elopements are the Millennials or Gen Y who were born after 1980 and are coming of marrying age. Remember, Millennials view marriage very differently than previous generations! They are the generation that is least likely to be considered ‘religious’ and, maybe because of the weak economy, they are choosing to marry around 5 years later than what was “traditional.” The majority of Millennials 18-35 years old (65 percent to be exact) will cohabit prior to getting married.
As a result of these societal trends, Millennials are not really interested in the big traditional church wedding.
The Millennials, Remarriages and a recent increase in Same-Sex marriages because of legal decisions are really driving the growth of the elopement market and creating the paradigm shift that is reshaping the wedding industry as a whole. This trend toward fewer and later weddings was recently reinforced when the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the marriage rate at 60 percent is at a 93-year low.
Eloping is the Hottest Alternative to a Traditional Big Wedding!
Eloping is a cost effective, romantic and exciting way to get married for $2,500 or less! For more details on why eloping has become the hottest alternative to a traditional marriage, check out our new How to Save 90% on Your Wedding book and eBook.
The End of $100++ Per Person Weddings?
The trends we see indicate that soon 60 percent or more of all “Weddings” will be Small Elopement Style Weddings, plus Mid-Week Bargain Weddings resulting in significantly Fewer Big Weddings. We ask, “Could the days be numbered for the $100++ plus-plus per person pricing (plus sales tax and plus gratuity) large wedding receptions? We think so… The wedding industry paradigm shift has already begun and there will be fewer big weddings!
Our WeddingElopementPackages.com visitor research indicates that many couples are rejecting traditional per person plus-plus (++) catering pricing for their wedding in favor of “one price” packages that better fit the number of anticipated guests invited to their weddings. So, if you are a wedding vendor who isn’t offering Small Wedding Packages, Elopement Packages or Mid-Week Booking Discounts at your Hotel, Inn or Venue, you might be missing out on a growing number of potential bookings that are happening during your down times.
Do you Agree or Disagree?
Please leave a comment below and let us know if you agree or disagree that more elopements results in fewer big weddings?