7 Takeaways for Venues From The Knot’s Real Weddings Study

We pored through The Knot’s annual report and picked out key wedding venue marketing takeaways.

Each year, we wait with bated breath for The Knot Real Weddings Study, an industry-trusted report that surveys over 14,000 brides and grooms across the United States who were married the prior year, about all things wedding-related, including spending, planning, personalizing, and more. While wedding venue marketing professionals realize that real change tends to evolve slowly, they nonetheless look to the report to help shape their strategies. With that in mind, here are a few of our takeaways from this year’s report.

There Was a Slight Uptick in Average Cost

Last year’s edition of the Knot’s study reported that the $33,391 average cost of a wedding in 2017 was a slight downturn from the prior year. But in 2018, that cost jumped to $33,931, just over a 1% increase from 2017. The average venue spend was $15,439, or just over 45% of the total wedding cost, and 86% of couples invested in a professional wedding venue.

The Most Popular Month to Get Married: Not June, Not July, Not August…

September is the most popular month to get married – not overwhelmingly so, at 18% of the responses, but some will be surprised that it’s a more popular date than earlier summer months. Note: this means that September is the most common time to get married, not necessarily the most desired time.

The Most Popular Month to Get Engaged: December

No surprises here. With the holiday season and the approach of a new year, December has long been one of – if not the most – popular months to get engaged. Remember to time your social ads accordingly!

Almost Every Couple Contributed to Paying for the Big Day, and Most Set a Budget

91% of couples contributed to the total cost of their wedding, and 9% of those couples paid for the entire wedding. In the past, when parents picked up a larger slice of the bill, they may have had more say than they do now, according to wedding marketing expert Alan Berg. Also: 80% of couples surveyed reported setting a budget beforehand, though 45% go over their budget.

The Average Marrying Age Continues to Tick Up

Men averaged out at 30.5 years old, while women were at 29.1 This is an important consideration, especially when using newly engaged social media ads to reach couples.

Destination Weddings Drove Many Bookings

Nearly a quarter – 23% – of couples reported having a destination wedding. If you have a venue (and a destination) that affords it, consider casting your marketing net a little wider to try to capture some of these bookings.

It Still Takes A Team To Help Pull Off A Wedding

Those vendors who help pay for your event brochure are as important as ever: 95% of couples hired a professional caterer, 68% hired a florist, 67% hired a professional cake baker, and 29% hired a designer/planner to help execute their vision.

…Plus, Other Revelations in the Original Report

While these are the data points we noted, you might want to check out all of The Knot’s findings for other interesting bits of information, like average engagement length, traditions that are being tossed (and those that are still going strong), how day-of timelines are changing, and many more nuggets.



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