Everybody loves a summer wedding, right! Well, June weddings are still really popular but August is the actually the top month to get married in Ireland.
That’s just one of the interesting facts we found out where we surveyed some 1,200 brides & grooms to be throughout Ireland to see what they are planning for their big day.
Maybe not surprising either, but Friday is now the most popular day to wed. This may be due to the rise in popularity of the 2-day wedding, with the wedding day itself being followed by another gettogether such as a BBQ or garden party. Thursday is also becoming a strong contender with 1 in 7 opting to get married on that day. These are important things to know if you are a Wedding Co-ordinator or supplier!
Home is still where the heart is with 94% heading down the aisle here in Ireland after an average engagement of 1-2 years. Good news for the Irish Hospitality Industry!
Civil ceremonies and blessings are becoming much more the norm now with Church weddings accounting for just over 50%. It’s interesting to note that the majority of people are still getting married in a hotel with the balance opting for a Castle or Country House. Size of wedding also varies greatly but the big Irish weddings are still a feature with about 20% having over 200 guests!
Couples really know what they want too visiting on average just 3 venues before making a decision. This is a key fact for Wedding Co-ordinators – you have a 1 in 3 chance of getting that wedding business if you have a show round so be on top of your game, have the room set up and give them your undivided attention!
Couples, understandably, want to feel super special on their day and so knowing that their venue only hosts one wedding is the most important factor to them when choosing a venue, quickly followed by the quality of the food and value for money. While, just one wedding may not be a runner for bigger hotels, there are ways around this and Venues need to be ready to address those concerns early. How can you differentiate the entrance for the Couple so that they don’t meet the other bridal party or so that their guests don’t get mixed up? Have you 2 sets of red carpet?. Can you stagger the times to ensure the kitchen is operating to it’s best capacity? For smaller hotels or hotels with just one function room, one wedding per day is a key selling point so be shouting about!
The power of word of mouth/friend’s recommendations is still very high with over 40% of couples saying they sourced their wedding suppliers this way with a further quarter saying it was online. 10% took the recommendations from their venue. Couples prefer to deal with suppliers via email but they do like to get a brochure posted out to the from their venue!
Wedding inspiration is mostly found on Pinterest, followed by online research via websites, blogs, Facebook, Instagram and wedding magazines. The popularity of wedding fairs is less significant at 1 in 4.
Couples are still spending on extras with the majority hosting an evening buffet/finger food and two thirds serving canapes on arrival. A further 58% will have a candy cart and a quarter will offer a cocktail/prosecco reception on arrival.
Mini-moons are rising in popularity too, with many couples planning their big getaway after the wedding is over. This is an opportunity for Hotels to jump on and create offers for newlyweds, extending their VIP status for a few days more here at home!
So, what about posting those lovely wedding pics of the happy couple on social media? Almost 80% of people believe it is not OK to post photos on social media before the wedding party. In fact, 1 in 6 couples will have an outright ban on social media for their wedding with a further 35% having a ban on it for the morning of the wedding ceremony.
We’ve noticed some really interesting trends over the past year also from our dealings with Venues and talking to couples such as the rise of Thursday and even Sunday weddings. We also see some couples pushing their wedding date out by a full year or holding off making a booking as they focus on buying a home in a rising property market.
Getting engaged and married is such a special time in a couple’s life and that really needs to be front of mind for any wedding venue or supplier when dealing with them. With over a quarter of couples describing their wedding as ‘Alternative’, being able to offer the couple something unique or different to the norm will make you stand out!
Until next time!
Ciara Crossan is Founder & CEO of WeddingDates. Celebrating 10 Years in Business.
*Research undertaken in January & February 2018 among 1,100 + respondents throughout Ireland via Survey Monkey by WeddingDates.
Updated 16/03/2023: Our Irish Wedding Industry Report 2023 is available here.