Average wedding budget: $28,427 (excludes honeymoon).
Most expensive place to be married: Manhattan, $76,678 average.
Least expensive place to be married: Alaska, $15,504 average.
Average spent on a wedding dress: $1,211.
Average marrying age: Bride, 29; Groom, 31.
Average number of guests: 139.
Average number of bridesmaids: 4 to 5.
Average number of groomsmen: 4 to 5.
Most popular month to be engaged: December (16%).
Average length of engagement: 14 months.
Most popular month to be married: June (17%).
Popular wedding colors: blue (33%), purple (26%), green (23%), and metallics (23%).
Percentage of destination weddings: 24%.
Today (2013), Millennials spend approximately $200 billion annually as consumers; however, by 2015, that total will increase to $2.45 trillion. During the next 5 to 10 years, they will the largest group spending money to start and raise a family: buying homes, cars, furniture, consumer goods, etc.
One of the reasons Millennials is such an enormous consumer market is that there are already 21% more of them than Baby Boomers, or 95 million as compared to 78 million. By 2030, these totals will be 78 million and 56 million, respectively.
Of all the ways to define the Millennial Generation, none is more important than that it is also the first digital, mobile and interconnected generation. The Internet has been available to them throughout their lives and they are the drivers of the phenomenal growth of mobile technology and social media. For example, 59% of them use smartphones compared to 33% for non-Millennials.
What you must also know about Millennials is their media habits. Interestingly, they have not shunned traditional media as much as you might think. Yes, regular mobile phone usage is the highest, at 94%, but 93% say they watch TV, 83% listen to the radio and even 66% read a newspaper.
Dig a bit deeper into the studies and statistics and what you’ll find, however, is that a large percentage of Millennials access news through social media. That number was “only” 42% during 2012, but it increased by 27% just since 2010.
Social media as a primary source of influence on Millennials’ buying habits is also increasing rapidly. During 2012, it was 40%. In addition, young adults spent 20% more time on the Internet during 2012 as compared to 2011. Of even greater importance, is that 63% of Millennials rely on their smartphones for shopping…and that includes their weddings.
The conclusion is rather clear: every wedding photographer must make a substantial commitment to social media as a primary advertising channel to attract the attention of young adults that are engaged, planning a wedding and looking for a photographer.
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Whether you’re an experienced wedding photographer or someone aspiring to become one, your success has as much to do with a thorough understanding of the wedding market and your target customers as it does with your technical and compositional skills. If you don’t already do so, then part of your professional education schedule should include reading wedding and bridal magazines to remain current with the latest statistics and trends.
An excellent source for such information is the annual survey of American brides (also the largest) from TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com, the results of which are released during March of each year. Here are a few of the 2012 findings that should help you be more knowledgeable about the current state of the wedding market.
An additional very important statistic is that of the $28,427 spent on the average wedding, the average photography expenditure is $2,379.
A number of these statistics can help you focus your photography business and maximize your revenues and profit. For example, if you’ve been shooting weddings for a number of years, but most of them are “average,” then to generate “above-average” revenues, you must target prospects with larger weddings, measured in terms of the number of guests or the size of the wedding party. These are numbers you can ask the bride and justify knowing, but she is unlikely to tell you the total amount being spent on her wedding.
It’s not surprising that the favorite month for a formal engagement is December and the favorite month for a wedding is June. Since the average engagement is 14 months, you know that couples who become engaged during December are not typically married the next June, but probably the following June, or the early spring, 14 months later. Based on these statistics, it would appear that early to late fall is an excellent time to advertise your services and offer an early-booking special. You want to build awareness in the minds of the couples that are about to become engaged instead of waiting until after they’re engaged.
Maybe, the most important statistics are the average ages of the bride and groom. At approximately 30 years of age, they are prime members of the Y Generation, also known as the Millennial Generation. This is first generation to become adults during the 21st century, having been born from approximately 1978 to 2000. As of 2013, however, some Millennials are still teenagers, but they are your future customers.
Understanding the profile of the Y Generation and some of these young adults’ unique traits and perspectives are vital if you expect your marketing to connect with them.
Image credit: geoffhoppy / 123RF Stock Photo
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