Confidence in the Recession-Proof Weddings & Special Events Industry

Photo courtesy Sarah Stefani

According to Merriam-Webster, confidence is “a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances.” Based on this definition and the trends in the wedding industry, weddings and special events pros should be confident that their businesses can continue to grow no matter how the rest of the nation’s economy is doing. According to IBISWorld, the wedding industry saw growth in revenue, the total number of businesses, annual growth, and employment for 2019. The total revenue in 2019 for the wedding industry is reported to be an estimated $76 billion!

The “Why” Behind the Industry’s Wellness

Although fewer people seem to be getting married these days, marriage is still considered common practice. The number of marriages in the United States seemed to peak in the early 1980s, where 2.5 million marriages were recorded per year. The average over the last few years has been hanging around 2 million marriages a year, according to the publication, ‘The Conversation’. Although a decrease from the all-time high, wedding costs have skyrocketed. The average budget shot up from $27,000 to more than $44,000 from 2017 to 2018 according to Brides 2018 American Wedding Study.

Key Trends

While there’s no denying some significant shifts are happening in the way soonlyweds are planning to their budgets, there are a number of key trends supporting the theory of a strong, recession-proof industry overall. Most of these lie in the engagement, planning, and budget sectors of a wedding.


It has to start somewhere. With the average cost of an engagement ring reaching $5000 and engagements lasting, on average, a whopping 15 months, the importance of the pop-the-question moment has never been greater. Thanks to social media, it’s a crucial, personal storytelling moment usually being shared with the world within hours of saying “Yes!”.


Today’s wedding customers are starting their style research well ahead of their engagement. Once they’ve put the proverbial ring on it, they’re immediately on the hunt for the tools and the pros they need to help them plan and pull off their ultimate wedding day experience, and be as efficient as possible in the planning process. 35% of Millennials research their wedding day attire online while 25% drill down on their venues through the web. Overall, 80% of planning is online. If you’re looking to sustain your business in the digital age, let alone grow it, an aesthetically pleasing and easily accessible online presence is an absolute must. Consider the following priority factors as you design your site, its navigation and its effectiveness in communicating the right information to prompt that all important outreach:

  • Location
  • Price
  • Photos
  • Reviews
  • Availability
  • Quick Responsiveness

Make sure that your business can address these needs to best secure future prospects.


Couples will underestimate their wedding ceremony and reception budget by a whopping 45%! Interestingly enough, only about half of Millennials’ parents are paying for those boosted budgets. 40% of Millennial couples are covering the expenses themselves. Most couples set a rough budget before researching any vendors in their area, which leads to underestimating the total costs of products and services. The top reasons that the total cost usually increases include:

  • The budget was set too low initially
  • Couples fall in love with things they “need to have”
  • Initial guest count changes
  • Couples opt for upgrades such as higher bar tabs

What Can You Do To Maximize Your Wedding Business?

Trends are one thing, but if you’re a business in the recession-proof wedding industry, how do you make the most of the opportunity? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Provide Answers

Today’s weddings and special events customers were born and have grown up in an on-demand world. They’re world-wide-web empowered. This means they expect answers to their inquiries faster than their Amazon Prime orders hit their door step. Make sure your business provides all the information they’re looking for up front. Put yourself their shoes and provide the timely responsiveness and courtesy you’d be looking for.

Get Social

Take advantage of the traffic and the built-in organic promotion by positioning your brand on social media channels. It will land some great photos of your business in action and organically generate new leads without gutting your marketing budget.

Accept Credit

To maintain your recession-proof status in this industry, you should always accept credit if possible. While one of many, credit is a huge advantage to to wedding planning consumers. It allows them to pay for larger expenses safer and with protections against fraud. Some cards even have introductory bonuses or 0% APR periods which allow these consumers more time to pay off their purchases or earn points for future trips. And, in an online world, it helps if your customers pay for your goods or services right through your website. As a merchant, focus on the factors surrounding the service provider you select and their associated fees. There are a number of merchant accounts you can choose from.

Internet merchant accounts are generally for businesses that operate solely online. This gives you the ability to process credit and debit card payments through your website.

Retail merchant accounts are typically for businesses that have a storefront location. The customers’ credit and debit cards will be swiped through a payment terminal. Lastly, there are mobile credit processors, which allow businesses to use their smartphones and tablets as payment terminals making card payments accessible anywhere.

There are transaction fees and terminal rental fees associated with most merchant accounts. Transaction fees are usually 1.5%-4% of the total purchase amount when a buyer pays with credit or debit cards. Terminal rental fees are generally $20 to $100 per month.  Make sure you calculate these fees as you plan for your business.

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Credit Card Insider’s mission is to empower consumers and professionals to use credit cards to their advantage, with confidence. This starts with an understanding of how credit cards work and how to build credit. Credit Card Insider’s focus is on the long term: building habits and knowledge that lead to excellent credit decisions.

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