Wedding Trends Report 2017

Every wedding is unique and the results of WED2B’s latest trends, which was filled in by thousands of brides in December 2017, certainly, reflect that. The answers reveal that modern brides clearly know how to manage their budgets, like to spend plenty of time planning the perfect day and aren’t afraid to ask for money instead of gifts. Some traditional wedding day elements, such as sit-down dinners, classic iced wedding cakes and hand-tied bouquets are as popular as they’ve ever been. When it comes to how many bridesmaids, four or fewer is the big winner and finally, when it’s all over, most couples hope to jet off on honeymoon to pure paradise. With over 4,000 respondents, our 2017 trends give an accurate picture of modern day engagements and wedding planning, revealing what today’s brides want and how they plan the best day of their lives...

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Methodology

The 2017 WED2B Wedding Trends was sent out to UK brides in December 2017, via email and Facebook. We asked them for all the details of their wedding planning, from their total wedding budget to what wedding gift they would like to receive. In response, we received over 4252 completed surveys and below we’ve collated the results to give you a comprehensive view of how modern brides plan their big day.

Planning

Money Matters

Setting a budget is one of the biggest tasks a couple have when they start planning their wedding and the average couple plan to spend between £5,000 and £10,000 on their celebrations. Just 4% of couples will be spending more than £20,000 on the big day.

  • LESS THAN £5000 20%
  • £5,000 -£10,000 49%
  • £10,000 - £20,000 27%
  • £20,000 + 4%

When did you get engaged?

The big moment actually happened a year ago for many of these couples. Only 4% of the brides we spoke to were newly engaged and the majority had been engaged for over a year.

  • When did you get engaged? - In the last month

    4%

    In the last month

  • When did you get engaged? - Less than 6 months ago

    15%

    Less than 6 months ago

  • When did you get engaged? - Between 6-12 months ago

    26%

    Between 6-12 months ago

  • When did you get engaged? - Over a year ago

    55%

    Over a year ago

Average Engagement Length

Modern couples are happy to wait for that walk down the aisle, often so they have more time to save up to cover the cost of the wedding. Only 3% of brides were having a short engagement and the majority were spending between one and two years planning their big day.

  • 3%

    Less than 6 months

  • 15%

    6 months to a year

  • 48%

    1-2 years

  • 34%

    2 years +

Venue Planning

Location, Location

After setting a budget the next key decision is location. The vast majority of brides are planning a wedding in the UK with 12% heading overseas to say their vows.

  • Abroad 12%
  • UK 88%

Most popular wedding dates

Unsurprisingly the most popular time to get married is in the warmer summer months. Spring is the second most popular season while just 13% of couples are planning a festive, winter do.

  • Most popular wedding dates - Winter

    13%

    Winter

  • Most popular wedding dates - Autumn

    18%

    Autumn

  • Most popular wedding dates - Spring

    24%

    Spring

  • Most popular wedding dates - Summer

    45%

    Summer

Arriving at the ceremony

Making that big entrance normally happens on foot for happy couples and most brides were planning to get ready at their venue, which is a great way to save money. If transport was required then the traditional wedding car was the most popular option. Relatively few brides were planning to arrive by horse and carriage. Feel inspired by our car & transport suppliers.

Style of venue

When we asked brides about their preferred style of wedding venue it was a close call between hotels, country houses and barn venues. Check out our venue suppliers for more inspiration.

  • Style of venue - Barn

    20%

    Barn

  • Style of venue - Country House

    23%

    Country House

  • Style of venue - Hotel

    26%

    Hotel

  • Style of venue - Other

    31%

    Other

Indoors or Out?

The UK is known for its changeable weather, so it’s no surprise that 79% of brides are planning to marry indoors. 21% did say they were going to marry alfresco but this also includes many of those who were saying their vows overseas.

  • Outdoors 21%
  • Indoors 79%

The best time to get married

As you might expect, the middle of the day is couples’ favourite time to get married and 92% will be getting married between 12pm and 5pm.

  • The best time to get married - Other

    0.5%

    Other

  • The best time to get married - Later Than 5PM

    2.5%

    Later Than 5PM

  • The best time to get married - Before 12PM

    5%

    Before 12PM

  • The best time to get married - Between 12-5PM

    92%

    Between 12-5PM

Who’s on the guest list?

Over half of the people surveyed were inviting between 50 and 100 friends and family to share their special day. Only 6% were inviting more than 150 guests. There are also plenty of brides who are planning something a little more intimate, with just over 19% inviting fewer than 50 guests.

Entertainment

Choosing the entertainment

Plenty of our contemporary couples were planning to add extra elements to make sure guests had a great time. For example, 50% of brides are planning to have a photobooth to keep people entertained, 10% will be hiring a magician and 24% will add some games into the mix. Check out our entertainment suppliers for more inspiration.

  • Choosing the entertainment - Magician

    10%

    Magician

  • Choosing the entertainment - None

    16%

    None

  • Choosing the entertainment - Games

    24%

    Games

  • Choosing the entertainment - Phonebooth

    50%

    Phonebooth

The wedding #hashtag

Will you or won’t you be sharing the big day on social media? It was very close but just over half of the brides who completed the WED2B wedding survey will be having a wedding hashtag.

  • No 39%
  • Yes 61%

Arranging the music

When it comes to music, the majority of couples are booking a DJ while 21% will go for a live band. Only 3% were planning to book a string quartet.

  • Arranging the music - String Quartet

    3%

    String Quartet

  • Arranging the music - Other

    13%

    Other

  • Arranging the music - Live Band

    21%

    Live Band

  • Arranging the music - DJ

    63%

    DJ

THE BIG DAY OUTFITS

Beautiful bridesmaids

The average number of bridesmaids is four or less and just 20% of brides are planning to have five or more. Alternatively, 7% prefer to keep it simple with no bridesmaids whatsoever.

  • Beautiful bridesmaids - None

    7%

    None

  • Beautiful bridesmaids - Five Or More

    20%

    Five Or More

  • Beautiful bridesmaids - Four or less

    73%

    Four or less

Make Up / Accessories

Choosing a bouquet

When it comes to flowers, the classic hand-tied bouquet is the most popular, with 53% of brides choosing to carry one down the aisle.

  • Choosing a bouquet - Other

    15%

    Other

  • Choosing a bouquet - Posy

    12%

    Posy

  • Choosing a bouquet - Round

    20%

    Round

  • Choosing a bouquet - Hand Tied

    53%

    Hand Tied

The Perfect Shoes

46% of brides will be wearing classic ivory shoes although 20% are breaking with tradition and going for something more colourful. While 1% will be wearing wedding wellies!

  • Wellies 1%
  • Coloured Shoes 20%
  • Other 33%
  • Traditional Ivory 46%

Bridal Make-Up

Most brides will hire a professional make-up artist to get their bridal beauty look just right. The rest are either choosing to do it themselves or asking a family member to help out.

  • Bridal Make-Up - Other

    4%

    Other

  • Bridal Make-Up - Family

    11%

    Family

  • Bridal Make-Up - Yourself

    14%

    Yourself

  • Bridal Make-Up - Make Up Artist

    71%

    Make Up Artist

Big day hairstyles

Of all the wedding hairstyles, an up-do is the most popular look for brides, while braids were the least popular, with only 3% wearing their hair this way.

Also, the clear favourites when it comes to hair accessories are hair combs and pins, which were being worn by the majority of brides. Classic tiaras are also popular while 10% will be leaving their hair unadorned.

Decor and details

The theme for the day

The most popular decor for last year was other and rustic, with most brides choosing their theme for their reception. Vintage themes were slightly less popular at just 19%, overtaken by a preference for a little sparkle and glamour instead.

  • The theme for the day - Vintage

    19%

    Vintage

  • The theme for the day - Sparkle

    21%

    Sparkle

  • The theme for the day - Rustic

    27%

    Rustic

  • The theme for the day - Other

    33%

    Other

The wedding breakfast

Despite the growing popularity of food stalls and sharing plates, most couples will still be going for the classic sit-down meal for their wedding breakfast. Buffets were the second most popular option with other styles.

A dress rehearsal?

One tradition that seems to be less popular with UK brides is the rehearsal dinner, a meal for friends and family that’s usually held the night before the wedding. Only 12% of brides said they would be following this American trend.

  • Yes 12%
  • No 88%

The wedding rings

Lots of couples are looking for good value when buying their wedding bands, with most spending less than £500. Just 11% of the couples surveyed will be spending more than £1,000.

  • The wedding rings - £1000+

    11%

    £1000+

  • The wedding rings - £500-£1,000

    41%

    £500-£1,000

  • The wedding rings - Less Than £500

    48%

    Less Than £500

The drinks reception

A glass of fizz is the most popular choice for celebrating at the drinks reception, with 34% serving Champagne after the ceremony. Other options included mixing your bubbles with orange juice to make a Bucks Fizz or serving cocktails or cocktails instead.

Post Wedding

Dream honeymoon destinations

And, once the celebrating is over, we asked brides where they would love to go on their honeymoon. A beach paradise was the outright winner, with 65% dreaming of white sand and clear, blue sea. 15% have a taste for adventure.

  • Dream honeymoon destinations - City Break

    9%

    City Break

  • Dream honeymoon destinations - Other

    11%

    Other

  • Dream honeymoon destinations - Adventure Holiday

    15%

    Adventure Holiday

  • Dream honeymoon destinations - Beach Paradise

    65%

    Beach Paradise

The gift list

And, finally, we asked what types of gifts couples would prefer to receive. The overwhelming answer was money, showing that modern couples aren’t afraid to ask for cash to put towards something special. Gifts for the home and personalised gifts were also popular, however only 1% said they would like to receive gifts of food or drinks.

  • Food & Drink 1%
  • Personalsed gifts 11%
  • Gifts for the home 10%
  • Monetry gift 78%

Supplier Directory

The WED2B wedding suppliers directory showcases the finest wedding suppliers in the bridal industry, bringing you local quality suppliers that can help bring your wedding vision to life. Everything from transport and photographers to florists, cake makers and entertainers.

We’re looking to partner with selected suppliers to offer our brides access to an exclusive directory of approved wedding suppliers. If you would like to get 6 months free listing, visit www.wed2b.com/wedding-suppliers for more information.

2019 WED2B Wedding Trends

We will be sending out the 2019 WED2B Wedding Trends to brides during the summer of 2019. If you would like to contribute new questions to be considered for the trends, please email them to info@wed2b.co.uk

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