Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From WSJ: "The Grim Forecast for 2009 Wedding Spending"

This just in from The Wall Street Journal::

"Bridal shopping season is just around the corner, following the bump in engagements that happens on Valentine’s Day. But this year, designers of wedding gowns and accessories are expected to take a hit. Sales of wedding gowns in the U.S. are expected to decrease 2.8% this year, compared with 2008, to reach $973 million, according to a new projection by Los Angeles-based market-research firm IBISWorld, which compiles its estimates based on reports from retailers’ and manufacturers’ industry groups. While the sales drop isn’t as large as the 4.2% decrease the wedding dress category saw in 2008, it represents a continuing decline in an area that had seen steady growth since at least 2001, says Toon van Beeck, a senior industry anylyst for IBISWorld.

He notes
that the average amount spent on a wedding is expected to drop 8% in 2009 to reach $20,000—just two years ago, in 2007, the average amount that a couple spent on a wedding was $30,000.

“This year, the economy will play a big role” in wedding planning, Mr. van Beeck says, predicting that wedding spending will also likely be affected by couples who postpone their plans “so the ceremony can be done when the financial time is right.”

areas of the industry that are expected to take a hit include engagement rings and the hiring of wedding planners. Couples getting married in 2009 are expected to spend $785 million on hiring wedding planners, representing a decrease of 4.2% from the 2008 figure, Mr. van Beeck says. In 2008, the drop in spending on wedding planners was only 1.7%, he says. “Many of the 2008 weddings were already booked and paid for,” he says. But “for 2009, people were able to mitigate this cost, hence the steeper decline.”

There is, however,
one small bright spot in the wedding industry business: Rentals. For several years, spending on wedding gown rentals had held steady at about $40 million each year. This year, however, spending on rented gowns is expected to rise 7.5% to reach $43 million."


AmyJean {Relentless Bride®} said...

I was already on this trek of really trying to budget and save money... but with the economy, it looks like i may have to tighten up a bit more :-/ Either way, nothing will ruin the fun of planning and the day of... not even a bad economy :)

Anonymous said...

There's two way to look at this info. One one side it is depressing and scary. On the other hand you can view this as an opportunity to focus on what you're good at, focus on delivering true value to your customers. After all, if it's bad, it's bad for everybody and if you have a good business, you'll emerge stronger at the other end of this.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Olivier. True value is a good way of putting it. In my mind, in this business, true value lies in great customer service. Especially in the photography business... we spend the whole day with the bride/groom, and if we give a bride/groom a one-of-a-kind experience, that's what is going to elevate us above the current economy. Thanks for the post Rebecca!