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Attitudes towards Weddings - UK - December 2016

“Nearly half of all adults have attended at least one part of a wedding/civil partnership celebration in the last three years, presenting opportunities for retailers to tap into the need for gifts and new clothes amongst future guests. The charity sector could also look to benefit from stronger associations with the highly emotive event, perhaps by encouraging more couples to ask for donations to a cause instead of - or even in addition to - a more conventional wedding gift.”

–    Jack Duckett, Senior Consumer Lifestyles Analyst

This report will cover the following areas:

  • Tying the knot between weddings and charitable giving
  • Putting the fun in weddings

Although the number of marriages in the UK has declined over the last 40 years, the trend for bigger and more extravagant weddings has given rise to expanding guest lists. Indeed, nearly half of all adults have attended at least one part of a wedding/civil partnership celebration in the last three years, indicating that the retail sector could benefit from tapping into the need for new outfits and wedding gifts amongst future guests.

For many of today’s brides and grooms the focus for their wedding day is on having fun with their guests. There is a myriad of different ways operators can help couples to make their wedding day more entertaining, ranging from less formal foodservice options to funfair-type rides for reception guests, while gamification could also be used to encourage attendees to mingle.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Executive Summary

        • 49% of Brits attend wedding celebrations as guests
          • Figure 1: Proportion of adults who have attended a wedding in the last three years, October 2016
        • Encouraging charitable donations
          • Figure 2: Types of gift given by guests who gave a wedding gift, October 2016
        • John Lewis tops wedding gift list suppliers
          • Figure 3: Retailers used as gift list provider for wedding, October 2016
        • Weddings prove expensive for guests too
          • Figure 4: Mean expenditure by wedding guests, October 2016
        • The high cost of attending stag and hen parties
          • Figure 5: Average amount spent on attending stag/hen parties, October 2016
        • Brides and grooms take inspiration from family members
          • Figure 6: Main sources of inspiration while planning weddings, October 2016
        • Food and drink tops list of priorities
          • Figure 7: Top wedding priorities, October 2016
        • Focusing on fun
          • Figure 8: Attitudes towards wedding planning, October 2016
        • Second hand wedding dresses
          • Figure 9: Attitudes towards wedding dresses amongst women, October 2016
        • What we think
        • Issues and Insights

          • Tying the knot between weddings and charitable giving
            • The facts
              • The implications
                • Putting the fun in weddings
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                      • Number of marriages gradually falls
                        • Religious weddings vs civil weddings
                          • Cohabiting numbers rise
                            • Same-sex marriages offer opportunities for new business
                              • Financial situation impacts wedding plans
                                • Who foots the bill?
                                • Market Drivers

                                  • Number of marriages gradually falls
                                    • Figure 10: Number of marriages and divorces in England and wales, 1933-2013
                                  • Summer weddings continue to dominate
                                    • Figure 11: Number of marriages by month in England and Wales, 2003 and 2013
                                  • Religious weddings vs civil weddings
                                    • Figure 12: Marriages by ceremony type, England and wales, 1993 to 2013
                                  • Age people are getting married
                                    • Figure 13: Average age of first marriage in England and Wales, men and women, 1973-2013
                                  • Cohabiting numbers rise
                                    • Figure 14: Number of people cohabiting in the UK, 1996 -2012
                                  • Cohabiting before marriage
                                    • Figure 15: Cohabitation prior to marriage, by age of brides and grooms at time of marriage, 2013
                                  • Financial situation impacts wedding plans
                                    • Figure 16: Trends in current financial situation compared a year ago, September 2013-September 2016
                                  • Who foots the bill?
                                    • Figure 17: Who contributed financially to wedding plans, October 2016
                                  • Same-sex marriages provide opportunities for new business
                                    • Figure 18: Number of marriages of same-sex couples by month in England and Wales, 29 March 2014 to 30 June 2015
                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                  • Media resources most likely to inspire brides
                                    • It’s all about the dress
                                      • Wedding reception factors top list of priorities
                                        • Focusing on fun
                                          • 49% of Brits attend wedding celebrations as guests
                                            • The rising popularity of hen/stag parties
                                              • Cash is the most common gift given…
                                                • …although gift lists prove popular
                                                  • Encouraging charitable donations
                                                    • The high cost of attending weddings
                                                    • Sources of Wedding Inspiration

                                                      • Brides and grooms take inspiration from family members
                                                        • Figure 19: Main sources of inspiration while planning weddings, October 2016
                                                      • Media resources most likely to inspire brides
                                                        • Figure 20: Main sources of inspiration while planning weddings, by gender, October 2016
                                                    • Wedding Planning Priorities

                                                      • Wedding reception factors top list of priorities
                                                        • Figure 21: Top wedding priorities, October 2016
                                                        • Figure 22: The Pizza Project, October 2016
                                                      • Brides prioritise the perfect dress
                                                        • Figure 23: Top five wedding priorities, by gender, October 2016
                                                        • Figure 24: Whistles wedding dress range, October 2016
                                                    • Attitudes towards Wedding Planning

                                                      • Weddings focus on fun
                                                        • Figure 25: Attitudes towards wedding planning, October 2016
                                                      • Keeping kids entertained
                                                        • Figure 26: Attitudes towards wedding planning, cont., October 2016
                                                      • Second hand wedding dresses
                                                        • Figure 27: Attitudes towards wedding dresses amongst women, October 2016
                                                    • Wedding Guests – A Demographic Overview

                                                      • 49% of Brits attend wedding celebrations as guests
                                                          • Figure 28: Proportion of adults who have attended a wedding in the last three years, October 2016
                                                        • Wedding guest lists skew younger
                                                          • Figure 29: Proportion of adults who have attended wedding celebration events in the last three years, by age, October 2016
                                                        • Wedding attendance rises alongside household income
                                                          • Figure 30: Proportion of adults who have attended wedding celebration events in the last three years, by household income, October 2016
                                                        • The rising popularity of hen/stag parties
                                                          • Figure 31: Proportion of adults who have attended a hen/stag party in the last three years, by age and gender, October 2016
                                                        • Guests' connection to marrying couple
                                                          • Figure 32: Wedding guests’ connection to the marrying couple, October 2016
                                                        • Religious vs civil services
                                                          • Figure 33: Attendance at wedding event in the last three years, by connection to the marrying couple, October 2016
                                                      • Choosing Wedding Gifts

                                                        • Deciding what gift to give
                                                          • Figure 34: Choosing what gift to give, October 2016
                                                        • Younger guests turn to gift lists
                                                          • Figure 35: Choosing what gift to give, by age of guest, October 2016
                                                        • Cash proves most popular gift
                                                            • Figure 36: Types of gift given by guests who gave a wedding gift, October 2016
                                                          • Encouraging charitable donations
                                                            • Figure 37: Oxfam Unwrapped gift service, October 2016
                                                          • John Lewis tops wedding gift list suppliers
                                                            • Figure 38: Retailers used as gift list provider for wedding, October 2016
                                                        • The Cost of Attending a Wedding

                                                          • Weddings prove expensive for guests too
                                                            • Figure 39: Mean expenditure by wedding guests, October 2016
                                                          • Men outspend women on new clothes
                                                            • Figure 40: Mean costs of attending a wedding, by gender, October 2016
                                                            • Figure 41: Reiss.com’s menswear wedding shop section, October 2016
                                                          • Close family spend most on attending wedding
                                                            • Figure 42: Mean costs of attending a wedding, by guest’s relationship to couple, October 2016
                                                          • The high cost of attending stag and hen parties
                                                            • Figure 43: Average amount spent on attending stag/hen parties, October 2016
                                                            • Figure 44: GoHen Hen party planning Facebook page, November 2016
                                                        • Guests’ Attitudes towards Attending Weddings

                                                          • Over three quarters of wedding guests favour cash gifts
                                                              • Figure 45: Guests’ attitudes towards attending weddings, October 2016
                                                            • 71% of guests enjoy attending weddings
                                                              • Figure 46: Guests’ attitudes towards attending weddings, October 2016
                                                            • Guests keen to avoid wedding day expenses
                                                              • Figure 47: Guests’ attitudes towards attending weddings, October 2016
                                                            • Young adults interested in renting outfits
                                                                • Figure 48: Proportion of adults interested in renting an outfit/accessories to wear to a wedding, by age and gender, October 2016
                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                • Consumer research methodology

                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                • Ted Baker

                                                                Attitudes towards Weddings - UK - December 2016

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