Wedding market data last updated 2/2020
Our wedding statistics are collected and aggregated from different sources. The primary source for number of weddings comes from Federal, State and local governments. The primary source of wedding cost and other fact data comes from proprietary surveys to pre and post wedding couples with a wedding date not greater than 6 months from the sample collection. All survey data is collected from random anonymous participants in electronic form.
Over 600,000 survey samples have been collected since 2005. The most current wedding cost calculations are derived from 4,785 surveys samples collected in 2019. We also use data from the CDC, Census Bureau, Department of Labor, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), COLI, GeoLytics, Inc. and Easy Analytic Software, Inc., as part of the process.
A key principle in market research is sample diversity. Without a diverse sample you could end up with biased or unbalanced results. This is the main reason we collect samples from pre and post wedding couples. We also go to great effort to make sure our samples are geographically and demographically diverse. Geographical distribution is typically 1-3% from large population areas and .5-1% from medium to small population areas. Demographic distribution includes multiple ethnicities, education levels, occupation types, income levels, first, second, and third plus marriages, and ages 16 plus.
While 5,000 or even 25,000 samples sounds impressive, the reality is that a sample size over 400 for the wedding population doesn't bring much more than the ability to segment data. We collect as many samples as possible so we can segment and build models for each geographical area.
Our models attempt to account for weddings that travel into a market (destination weddings) and weddings that originate from a market. We also take into account the economic and demographic factors of each market. We do not take into account current natural disasters.
The foundation for number of weddings is derived from wedding licenses registered at the US and State level. US and State level numbers are actuals published by the CDC, Census, or State. All other markets use proprietary models to arrive at final number.
You should note that even if a marriage license is issued at the County Recorder's Office or local Clerk, the couple can marry anywhere within the State making any numbers provided by a County inaccurate. Only State level numbers are the accurate account of weddings in that State.
We currently collect data on 59 products and services in 10 categories. We use proprietary models that combine local demographic data, local economic data, and survey samples to arrive at spending and demand for each item, for each market.
Products; The final numbers are based on spending of couples getting married, not prices. This includes purchases of both new and pre-owned items. Services; The final numbers are based on spending of couples getting married, not vendor prices. This includes purchases of services from professionals, someone that simply provides the service, or a hired family member or friend.
We take a bottoms up approach to "Average Wedding Cost." The total "Average Cost" is calculated using "Weighted Demand Average (WDA)," which is; average spent times demand equals the weighted demand average. Sum of weighted demand average equals the total average wedding cost. Using WDA instead of a summed average gives a better calculation, because it takes into account all items that couples may or may not purchase.
All other items are calculated from a combination of survey data and proprietary models.
This research is a work in progress. New data is continuously collected, aggregating, re-evaluating, and field tested to improve its reliability and accuracy.