I’m not a Math nerd, I teach Social Studies, but my goodness friends, DATA geeks me out! I talking full on “Sheldon Cooper”! So last month, I asked Brides if they would take a couple minutes to fill out a google forms page for me, and the response was AMAZING! 300 women filled out that formed and I used the information to write Six Things Brides Would Do Differently. If you haven’t read that post yet, DO IT! I’ve received so many emails from Brides telling me how much they loved that post, it warms my heart! Anyways, since data geeks me out, I wanted to share with you the data, or the facts about weddings, that I gathered from my google form. So let’s dive in!
Facts About Weddings
First off, the whole point of collecting a ton of responses is to have legit data that access a lot of various backgrounds. I’m pleased to tell you that the length of Marriage was spread out nicely. The largest group for length of Marriage was 3-5 years, followed closely by less than a year. One-two years was third. This is outstanding because a Brides wedding day is still pretty fresh in her mind. If it was the most perfect day she’s still recalling all the joy and butterflies!
I found an article by the Knot today that talked about how much money Brides were spending on their wedding the past year. When it comes to big websites like the Knot, or WeddingWire, I wonder where they’re getting their information from. Especially when they talk about Brides spending over $30,000 for their wedding. Below (299 responses..someone either didn’t want to answer or accidentally skipped over this question), 29% of Brides spent $5,000-$10,000 on their wedding. This is the amount that Josh and I spent, HOWEVER, we got away with our food bill being about $300 thanks to my Mom and Grandma cooking an AMAZING meal! (Want to know the top 10 easiest ways to save while wedding planning, read this post!) Realistically, if it wasn’t for my Momma and Grams, we would had been in the $10,000-$15,000 range. PS. I wouldn’t change that for the world!
About 73% of couples had help paying for their wedding. This is where one of the Six Things Brides Would Do Differently comes into play. Because the couple had help from parents paying for the wedding, they felt they had to do what the Moms wanted. (If you want to do a first look, but your mom says “NO!”, do a FIRST LOOK. You won’t regret it!) I was a Bride that had very little monetary help which meant with my mom wanted me to spend money on printed programs, I chuckled because I knew what a waste of money printed programs were going to be.
When it came to which vendor a couple spent the most money on for their wedding, this one definitely caught me off guard, but it makes TOTAL sense! Like I said above, for our wedding, there was about $300 spent on food. That’s it. For about 100 people, we paid about $3 a head! INCREDIBLE, right?! Well, what my data found with it came to which vendors Brides spent the most amount of money on, Venue was first (which I figured), however, Caterer was SECOND! Like I said, while I was surprised at first, it made total sense as I thought about this facts about weddings! If it’s $25 a plate (not including alcohol) and you invite $200 guests, you’re looking at a $5,000 Catering bill. $5,000 for dinner. Maybe that includes cocktail hour, maybe it doesn’t (it probably doesn’t for that price). $5,000 is probably double what the couple has spent on a Wedding Photographer, and the photographer is providing lasting MEMORIES, while dinner is filling a guest belly for the evening.
Now some Brides commented that Venue and Catering was a package deal, so they chose the “Other” option. I even had a couple Brides respond and say they simply eloped and that was their biggest expense while wedding planning!
I’ll be the first to admit that for this next question, I left quite a few of vendors out of the list, because at the time, I just wasn’t thinking. So bare with me as I explain these facts about weddings when it comes to which vendors Brides spent the LEAST amount of money on. 34% of Brides responded that they spent the least amount of money on their DJ, but the vendors that are missing that picked up a lot of the “OTHER” percentage were Cake and Flowers. Want to know the stat that breaks my heart the most? 14.5% of Brides spent the least amount of their wedding money on the Photographer. The person that is there to capture the wedding day, exactly as it happened. That breaks my heart.
About 75 responses in, I got the bright idea to include one more question into my form on the facts about weddings. And that question was “Do you wish you spent more on photography”. While 18.3% of Brides answered that a wedding photographer was their largest wedding expense, 2 out of every 5 brides surveyed said THEY WISH THEY SPENT MORE ON THEIR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER! 40% of Brides! The most important day of your marriage, and Brides weren’t happy with their experience with their wedding photographer so much so that they wish they would had splurge a little more on a better photographer.
Here are some responses from disappointed Brides:
- The only thing I would change about our wedding day was the photographer we chose. We chose a cheaper photographer who didn’t have a lot of experience shooting weddings and the pictures from our big day really proved that. Your wedding is a moment that you want to capture and cherish for years to come and when I look at our wedding photos I don’t reminisce on how wonderful the day was and what was captured in the photos – I focus on how upset I am with the quality of the pictures. All of my ceremony pictures have a green tint to them!
- We went with family/friends for the photographer and videographer. The quality was not there. Regret it now. Spend the money so worth the memories!
- Although my wedding day was everything I had hoped for, I was somewhat disappointed in the quality of the photographs I received afterwards. They were nice, but they were just lacking in some way. I don’t really feel like there was much editing, just a few hundred photos thrown on a disc for me (though I did like that I was given copyright to them). It’s almost as if they lacked “character.” We did our wedding for around $5,000, but I wish we would have gone with a higher end photographer. We were more focused on saving money so we’d have more to spend on our honeymoon in Italy. The thing is, you get what you pay for. Wedding pictures are what you’ll look at for years to come. Our kids & grandkids will look at those photos someday…now I tell everyone when they get married if they’re worried about a budget: save where you can, but don’t skimp on good quality photos.
- All in all we had a perfect day and I wouldn’t change a thing, however if I knew then what I know now I would have used a different photographer and spent more $ on the only piece that helps me remember and cherish the special moments of that day.
- We had a family friend take pictures and I wish I would have had a professional. This is one of the biggest days of your life and you to have wonderful pictures to remember the moments.
- I would have spent more money on an excellent, well-established photographer. The only thing I have to show my children of our wedding day are out of focus, poorly lit, poorly executed images. AND I didn’t receive them until half a year after my wedding!
HALF A YEAR AFTER HER WEDDING?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Ladies, listen up, I PROMISE YOU, it does NOT take 6 months to edit a wedding. If a photographer tells you you’re waiting 4-6 months for your photos, walk away. Personally, you shouldn’t be waiting any longer than 4-6 weeks. And that timeline realistically should only be that long for acts of God that keep your photographer from editing your wedding photos!
Are they facts about weddings what you expected? Did you expect something else, or different data to be reflected? If so, tell me in the comments what you were expecting to see about facts about weddings!
A big THANK YOU to all 300 ladies who contributed to my google form! Your input is going to help hundreds of Brides with things that they would do differently when wedding planning, and give them some insight on the facts about weddings!
This is awesome Loren! You put a lot of thought into this post! I love how the numbers showed just how important the photography is and how most brides still wished they had spent more on the wedding photographer.
Thank you! I had so much fun writing this post and the post associated with it – 6 Things Bride would do Differently
You did this research by yourself!? I’m so impressed! Go, girl! Great info.
With the help of 300 Brides 🙂 Numbers like this geek me out!!
That’s a lot of facts! Nice job putting all that together!
Very interesting!! Great facts and heart breaking that some people don’t realize how much they actually appreciate photography till it’s too late.
My thoughts exactly! How can we educate to prevent this more?
This is fabulous!!!! And I love the visuals too!
This is such interesting information, I’ve never seen these types of details before. Awesome info
[…] Last year, I surveyed 300 married women and asked them what they regretted anything about their wedding. You can read that post here. If you want to view the data from the survey, you can do so here. […]