Mintel finds weddings in a recession have fewer bells, all the bliss

June 7, 2009

Chicago (June 8, 2009)—With the depressed economy looming over the heads of future brides and grooms, the question begs to be asked, will the big day still be perfect with recessionary cutbacks? A just-published focus group presentation and video from Mintel shows that while the economy is influencing wedding day choices, today’s brides and grooms still feel the joy of wedding bliss.
America’s engaged couples are embracing tradeoffs for the big day with a “can do,” creative approach. Gone is the day of the starchy, traditional wedding; it is being replaced with a more intimate, personalized affair that paves the way for new traditions and humor.
“Seven out of 10 couples we talked to are planning their weddings with cautionary measures due to the economy,” notes Kat Fay, senior analyst at Mintel. “However, despite revised plans and cut backs, couples still feel certain their wedding days will be memorable without portraying a sense of being scaled down.”
According to Mintel, many couples are trading in the elaborate wedding cake for individual cupcakes, replacing the DJ or band with an iPod docking station or nixing the full open bar for a beer and wine selection only. In addition, flowers are being replaced with balloons and less expensive decorations, Saturday weddings are being moved to Fridays or Sundays, and platinum wedding bands are being replaced by silver or white gold.
Despite the economy, happy couples still refuse to scale back on some wedding selections says Kat Fay: “Professional hair and make-up often stays in the budget to ensure beautiful photos, and while there are trade-offs, they are not at the expense of the enjoyment and comfort of family and guests. High quality food and drink, for example, remains a priority.”
A silver lining to marrying during a recession may be found on the home front.  Several couples feel they will be able to purchase a home sooner than anticipated due to reduced home prices and lower mortgage rates. Because of this, many brides and grooms are foregoing the traditional bridal registry and replacing it with a simple request for cash.
Perhaps getting married during a recession really does remove the stress and fanfare of the big event and concentrates more on the idea of a “happily ever after.”
To get the latest opinions and shared experiences of today’s brides and grooms, Mintel conducted qualitative focus group research from April-May 2009.
About MintelMintel is a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence. For more than 35 years, Mintel has provided insight into key worldwide trends, offering unique data that directly impacts client success. With offices in Chicago, London, Belfast, Sydney, Shanghai and Tokyo, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand. For more information on Mintel, please visit

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