We are so excited to share the latest data from our 2023 Ultimate Couples Survey, where more than 1300 newly engaged couples in the United Kingdom shared the highs and lows of planning their wedding. From how many guests they plan to invite to how much they’ll be spending and what extras they are looking for.
This report is 37 pages worth of inside knowledge on how to prepare your venue for success this year and is a must-read for anyone working in the wedding industry. Here are our 7 top takeaways from this year’s report:
1. Coordinated Planning
The number of brides planning their weddings solo has now risen to 26%, and fewer than 4% are hiring stylists or planners to help. With 28% of surveyed couples naming the wedding coordinator as a significant factor when choosing their wedding venue, there is potential to elevate the services of the wedding coordinator as a part of a venue’s packages.
2. Cost Conscious Couples
More than anything, the 2023 survey demonstrates that brides and grooms are keenly focused on cost. This year, couples telling us cost is more important than quality are at an all-time high of 42%. Similarly, this year 78% cited value as an important factor when choosing a venue, moving Overall Value up to second place in criteria. It is vital for venues to focus on pricing and on adding value to packages by including extras.
3. Shifting Priorities
A shift from environment to economy is just one of the symptoms of couples’ current spending priorities. With overall value surpassing food quality as the higher priority for 78% of couples, many are opting to decrease the guest list and their spend, with 31% spending under £50 per head. Simplified meals with fewer choices, buffets and more casual alternatives to the sit-down dinner are likely to appeal to these couples.
4. Accentuate The Personal
Couples are enquiring at an increasingly select number of venues, most between 1 and 5, but less than 25% of respondents tell us that venues succeeded in making them feel special during the enquiry process. Making the online enquiry process simple, delivering brochures immediately, and personalising communications are all key moments for personal connection.
5. Maximise The Showround
This year’s statistics make it clear that the venue tour is more important than ever. Couples are sending fewer enquiries and booking fewer viewings before choosing a venue than ever before. On average, each viewing will give a venue a 1 in 3 chance of making the sale, so personalisation, taking time, and being responsive to a couple’s plans and ideas are crucial.
6. On The Shoulder
The UK continues to have steady demand in the shoulder seasons, with 25% of weddings booked for March, April and May and an even greater 27% booked for September, October and November. This gives an opportunity for venues to create attractive seasonal packages.
7. A Fair To Remember
Wedding events are back on the matrimonial landscape, with 80% of our survey takers planning to attend a wedding fair, wedding expo, or a hotel or venue Open Day. Getting inspiration and meeting vendors are these visitors’ priorities, meaning wedding events are once again prime sales drivers.
You can download the UK report here.
If you missed the live webinar where Ciara Crossan, Founder and CEO of WeddingDates discussed the key findings of the report, you can watch a playback here.
We hope this report will give you and your team valuable insight into the emerging trends and will help your business prepare for the year ahead. As always, we’d LOVE to hear from you. If you wish to book a demo with us or provide feedback on the report you can send an email to email@example.com or fill in the contact form.