This story first appeared in the September 29, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

NEW YORK — With American couples spending some $50 billion during their engagements on wedding attire, jewelry, beauty and honeymoons, they’re clearly a coveted group for vendors to reach. Approximately 2.3 million marriages take place in the U.S. annually, with the average bride being 27 and her groom, 29. It is expected that the number of people turning 27 will grow 30 percent between now and 2018. Below are bridal statistics, supplied by Fairchild Bridal Infobank, about the booming bridal business.

 

 

 

Average Costs of Attiring the Wedding Party
Bride’s Wedding Dress
$790
Bride’s Headpiece/Veil
$181
Other Bridal Accessories
$186
Day-of-Wedding Hair and Makeup
$357
Bridal Attendants’ Apparel
$735
Mother of Bride’s Apparel
$236
Groom’s Formalwear (Rented)
$110
Formalwear for Ushers, Best Man
$575
(Rented)
(5 attendants)
 
Key Stats of American Weddings this Year
* 2.3 million weddings * 18 million bridesmaids and groomsmen
* 1.8 million first-time weddings * 304 milliong wedding guests
* 44,000 weddings every weekend
 
Total Amount of Money Brides and Grooms Spend
During Engagement Period for Wedding and Honeymoon
Jewelry
$9 billion
Wedding Attire
$5 billion
Beauty
$606 million
Registry
$6 billion
Day of Wedding
$24 billion
Honeymoon
$7 Billion
 
Most Popular Months to Get Engaged
December
19 percent
July
9 percent
August
9 percent
October
9 percent
November
9 percent
February
8 percent
June
8 percent
September
7 percent
April
6 percent
May
6 percent
January
5 percent
March
4 percent
 
Most Popular Months to Get Married
June
10 percent
July
10 percent
August
10 percent
October
10 percent
April
9 percent
May
9 percent
September
9 percent
March
7 percent
November
7 percent
December
7 percent
January
6 percent
February
6 percent
 
Who Pays For The Wedding
Only the bride’s parents
27 percent
Only the bride and groom
27 percent
Both sets of parents and the bride and groom
15 percent
Both sets of parents only
7 percent
Other combinations
24 percent
 
Marriages By Region, Year 2000
South Atlantic
424,391
East North Central
307,668
Pacific
321,523
West South Central
287,450
Middle Atlantic
271,060
Mountain
285,814
East South Central
175.274
West North Central
140,851
New England
95,240
 
Length of Average Engagement
2002.00
16 months
1999.00
13 months
1997.00
13 months
1994.00
12 months
1990.00
11 months
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