2018 Newlywed Report
The most comprehensive snapshot of modern wedding journeys in the U.S. based on data from the largest, most inclusive report of its kind, with insights from nearly 18,000 newlyweds married in 2017.
No two weddings are alike, which is what keeps the wedding industry so fascinating year after year. From celebratory hashtags and social media announcements to mixed-gender wedding parties and the inclusion of local food, it’s no surprise that personalization is the one constant theme. In this year’s Newlywed Report, you’ll notice a continued shift in the traditional wedding season and how couples are relying on technology from the engagement through their wedding day. Planning is also starting earlier than ever before. Based on the largest survey of its kind, WeddingWire gives you the truest look into modern day engagements, ?planning, average cost and more.
‘Tis the season for proposals, as nearly 40% of all engagements happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. While 52% of individuals are surprised by the ring, 1 in 3 show their partner photos of the ring and/or style they like. Though the average couple is engaged for 13 months; couples are quick to pick a date – the majority now setting their sights on a Saturday in the fall.
$5000 average cost
Popular Female Ring Styles
74% diamond 53% halo setting 50% 1-2 carats
Top Engagement Dates
Christmas day is the most popular day of the year to pop the question; with Christmas Eve rounding out the top 3.
86% of couples announce their engagement on social media
Where Couples Post the News
- 76% Facebook
- 35% Instagram
- 12% Twitter
Fall is now the most popular season to get married, with roughly 40% of all weddings taking place during these months.
Top 5 Wedding Dates
- 1 October 7
- 2 October 14
- 3 September 30
- 4 October 21
- 5 November 11
Wedding Month Distribution
Setting budgets, finding vendors and knowing you’re on the right track are some of the biggest challenges couples face while planning for their wedding. In fact, 3 out of 4 millennials are doing some type of wedding planning before they’re even engaged. The majority of today’s planning is done online where couples utilize planning tools (think: checklists and budget trackers) and a broad array of technology to help manage the process.
83% of planning is done online
The Planning Process
42% on mobile/tablet
41% on desktop
The Role of Technology in Weddings
Couples rely on technology throughout the entire wedding journey, from mobile apps to wedding websites. However, when it comes to the big day, 1 in 4 couples ask guests to ‘unplug’.
- 36% send online save-the-dates
- 52% use a wedding planning app
- 62% create a wedding website
- 19% set up a group chat
- 54% generate a wedding hashtag
Top Sources for Finding Vendors
Couples largely utilize wedding-related websites to help find potential vendors, then rely on recommendations and online reviews to make their hiring decision.
- 1 Wedding-related websites
- 2 Online searches
- 3 Pinterest
- 4 Wedding shows/expo
- 5 Facebook
Social Media Used During Planning (Used weekly or more)
While Pinterest and Facebook are the top two social media sites most frequently used for wedding planning, couples utilize Pinterest 2X more than any other social channel for inspiration.
- Pinterest 69%
- Facebook 60%
- Instagram 44%
- YouTube 42%
- Twitter 29%
- Snapchat 27%
Top Vendors Hired
13 on average hired
75% hair + makeup
74% wedding dress
The average age of today’s marrying couple is 32. With a new generation redefining cultural and societal norms, we’re seeing new behaviors grow in popularity – such as couples meeting online, a 16% increase in interracial marriage and an increase in mixed gender wedding parties.
- 33 average age of grooms
- 31 average age of brides
- 56% plan to buy a home within next 2 years
- 70% change name to partner’s
- 1 in 4 meet online
- 54% dated less than 2 years
According to PEW Research Center, there has been a 5X increase since the legalization of interracial marriage 50 years ago.1 Today, 19% of all WeddingWire couples identify as having an interracial marriage.
Although no two couples are alike, there are unique nuances to be found amid newlyweds of similar backgrounds. For instance, when compared to all couples, Asian couples tend to invite more guests to their weddings, LGBTQ couples are more likely to live with their partner prior to getting married and Gen X are least likely to spend the night apart before the wedding.
Today’s Couples by the Numbers
- 32 average age of couple
- 127 average number of guests
- 9 number of wedding party members
- 79% lived with partner prior to marriage
- 67% asked for parent’s blessing
- 71% spent night apart before wedding
Calculations based on partners with equal identifiers (i.e., same reported race).
While certain traditions, like having a first-dance, have been embraced by couples for generations – others like walking down the aisle to non-classical music are on the rise. Regardless of the exact details couples decide on incorporating into their wedding day, couples are focused on finding way to make their big day a direct reflection of their personal style.
Follow the timeline below to see when couples hire their vendor team and the role each one plays in bringing the couple’s personalized wedding day details to life.
77%of wedding receptions are indoors
54%have food served buffet-style
68%have an open-bar
42%of couples do a “first-look”
80%of brides wear white
63%of grooms dress in something more casual than a tuxedo
52%of couples say they’ve seen their band/DJ perform in person prior to booking them
50%of couples do a bouquet toss
82%have a cake-cutting ceremony
37%weddings include a dessert bar/table
2 in 3millennials create a traditional registry
CREATE WEDDING WEBSITE
62%of couples create a wedding website
1 in 2 add accommodations into their website
63%of couples book at least one hotel room block for their guests
BEAUTY AND HEALTH
31%started a new exercise routine or diet to prepare for the wedding
1 in 2bridesmaids pay to have their hair done by a professional for the wedding
DISCUSS REHEARSAL DINNER
43%of the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner
39%of couples create their own vows
87% of couples perform a first dance
(% vs. 2 years ago)
63% groom(s) dressing more casual than tuxedo (7%)
61% walking down aisle to non-classical music (7%)
59% wedding party: females wearing different dresses (14%)
54% creating a wedding hashtag (10%)
40% wedding party: including mixed genders (14%)
(% vs. 2 years ago)
75% order of day: ceremony, cocktail hour, reception (-10%)
74% father-daughter and/or mother-son dances (-9%)
70% changing to partner’s last name (-12%)
45% begin honeymoon 1-2 days after reception (-12%)
Adding a Personal Touch
Now more than ever, couples are steering clear of the cookie cutter wedding and adding unique elements that highlight their relationship and impress guests.
40% had unique musical choices during ceremony (ex. bagpipes)
21% Added local elements based on city where couple met or grew up (ex. food or decor)
18% Included ceremonial customs related to race/religion (ex. jumping the broom)
17% hired special entertainment for guests (ex. fortune teller, caricature)
On average, couples budget nearly $16K for their wedding ceremony/reception but spend approximately 40% more once they begin to understand the true cost of each element. Varying attributes like age, region and marriage number also play a significant role in the fluctuation of spend – as Millennials spend nearly $10K more than Gen X on their wedding and those getting married for the first time spend 2X more than those on their 2nd+ marriage ($30K vs. $15K).
All-in Average Wedding Cost
$5,000 Engagement Ring
$36,000 Total Wedding Cost
Budget vs. Reality
Couples underestimate how much they’ll spend on their wedding by roughly 40%.
Percent Contributed to Total Wedding Cost
On average, millennials (who account for approximately 80% of today’s marrying couples) are paying for roughly 40% of their wedding, while their parents and other family members are contributing the remaining 60%. In fact, 20% of millennial couples don’t spend a dime of their own money and get their wedding fully paid for. The majority (56%) of parents pull money out of their savings account to help pay for the wedding and nearly 1 in 10 dip into their retirement!
Most Expensive Cities to Get Married Including surrounding metro areas
- New York
- San Francisco
- Washington, DC
Average Wedding Cost by Category
Rehearsal dinner +
Event rentals and photobooths
Lighting and Décor
Wedding party attire
Wedding party gifts
Hair and makeup
Beauty and Health
Favors and gifts
Average Wedding Cost in 25 Largest Metro Area Markets
|New York + surrounding
metro area, NY
|San Francisco – Oakland, CA||$36,000|
|Hartford – New Haven, CT||$34,000|
|Los Angeles, CA||$33,000|
|Miami – Ft. Lauderdale, FL||$31,000|
|San Diego, CA||$29,000|
|Sacramento – Stockton, CA||$25,000|
|Orlando – Daytona Beach, FL||$25,000|
|Tampa – St. Petersburg, FL||$25,000|
|Dallas – Ft. Worth, TX||$25,000|
|Minneapolis – St. Paul, MN||$22,000|
|St. Louis, MO||$21,000|
View the full report from WeddingWire.com at http://publications.weddingwire.com/i/953286-weddingwire-2018-newlywed-report
What a fun wedding this was! Rob Martin has been and still is a long time and well trusted DJ for PRO DJs here in Seattle. This wedding was a little different for him though. Instead of being behind the DJ booth it was his turn to get married!
It all started in the Thornewood Castle Gardens standing on the steps for the ceremony. A surprise came half way through with an owl carrying the grooms rings! They said their vows, signed the marriage license and it was official, Leo & Rob were married!
Cocktail hour commenced right after on the Castle patio and lawn overlooking the water where guests ate, drank and could even play life sized chess.
Soon everyone gathered in the main ballroom where Leo, Rob and their wedding party walked down the grand staircase to be introduced to their pumped up and excited guests.
Leo and Rob thanked everyone and then it was time to eat, drink and party! They even had a live performance after their first dance for all the lovers. After that we couldn’t get people off the dance floor even if we tried. Of coarse we would never try that 🙂
Congratulations Rob & Leo Coronado, it was such a treat to be part of your wedding!
Check availability for your wedding date at http://www.prodjs.djintelligence.com/availability/calendar/
You get the full meal deal today. Here is video taken from the latest wedding hosted by PRO DJs at the Great Hall at Greenlake. Below this post is the FULL audio from start to finish. Enjoy!
For a couple years now we’ve had the pleasure of working with Judi Bloom and her wonderful team of planning experts at Quackers. It was only a matter of time before one of them personally knew a bride, and that bride was none other than Carol Upton’s daughter! Carol has worked closely with Judi at Quckers for a long time, including many weddings we’ve worked together. So who’d they call when they needed a DJ? PRO DJ’s of coarse 🙂
Katie Upton and her fiancee Eric Anderson wanted something a little extra special, such as a New Years Eve wedding. Nothing spells p-a-r-t-y like a reception on the biggest party night of the year!
The day started off with rain but quickly dried up into overcast skies with breaks of blue making for a perfect day. The Tacoma Art Museum was being readied before guests arrived. In a unique twist the Murray Family Event Space inside the museum was used for the ceremony & dancing. Without an alter we were asked to create a lighting scheme to give an alter feel in addition to adding light accents in the otherwise gray room.
You can see two pillars of white light illuminating from behind the 4′ flower pedestals creating an alter feel. To the left we used 2 projected gobo patterns & 4 uplights to the right. These lights filled in the un-utilized space to create a warm and inviting touch.
The guests arrived and the ceremony was under way. The sound system was set up in the back of the room out of the way of guests and the alter. The officiant was clearly heard by all wearing one of our wireless lapel microphones. Upon the conclusion of the ceremony everyone was escorted into the Marie Helmer Lobby for dinner, toasts and cake cutting.
This presented a unique challenge for providing sound but was accommodated by setting up 2 satellite speakers that were fed from the main sound system still fully setup in the Murray Family Event Space. Upon extensive sound checks prior to guest arrival the wireless microphone worked perfectly in all areas of the museum, setting up a completely separate sound system was not needed. This saved space as less equipment was needed and sound in all areas were synchronized.
The purple paper crown seen above was a tradition in their family when they used to get together. Each guest had a “cracker” waiting for them at their assigned tables. A “cracker” is a cylindrical housing encasing one colored paper crown wrapped in gift paper twisted off on both ends. Each guest would grab both ends of the twisted gift paper and pull apart to receive their own crown to wear. When the two ends are pulled apart a “popping” or “cracking” noise is heard, hence the name “crackers”.
Later in the evening once dinner, toasts and the cake cutting concluded it was time to invite guests back into the Murray Family Event Space for the couples first dance.
All the chairs used during the ceremony were removed and the overhead lights turned off leaving an open space with ambient lighting solely provided by PRO DJs. Once the couple finished their dance with each other and their parents it was time to invite everyone else to join in!
The entire wedding went off without a hitch. From the weather, A Divine Event planing, Poncharee photography, Snuffins Catering, the Tacoma Art Museum and to the sound & lighting provided by PRO DJs everyone and everything worked perfectly to make for a successful day the couple will remember for the rest of their lives.
We’d like to credit & give thanks to Poncharee photography for providing these pictures to show to you. We’d also like to thank Kerra at A Divine Event for referring us to Jonathan & Jeanne so we could take part in celebrating their special day.