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Destination Weddings - US - March 2011

Marriage trends in the U.S. are shifting, resulting in a lower percentage of the population opting for marriage and longer waits to first marriage among those who do. However, a look back over the past decade shows gains in the destination wedding market, and in this report Mintel provides a comprehensive overview of destination weddings.

We articulate how wedding service providers can achieve a competitive edge, with analysis of key marriage demographics, spending trends and market drivers. We discuss the elements that are most (and least) important to individuals to give providers guidelines for highlighting the services that are most essential for individuals who have made the decision to experience a destination wedding.

In addition, Mintel’s exclusive consumer research examines who is having a destination wedding and why, how a destination is selected, what resources are used for planning, challenges faced in the planning and execution, and how providers of wedding services can prioritize service offerings. This report will closely examine:

  • The changing face of marriage in the U.S. and how it impacts the industry
  • Demographics that are shaping the destination wedding market, currently and in the near term
  • How overall wedding trends are impacting destination wedding demands, and insights into opportunities to grow business based on these
  • Industry innovations, and shifts in service offerings
  • Most popular domestic and international locations and their marketing and promotional strategies
  • Typical guest list size and amount spent by couples who have chosen to have a destination wedding

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Destination weddings remain popular despite challenges to general wedding market
                      • Innovations: Guy talk, casual hosts, wedding tech
                        • Here comes the groom
                          • A more casual affair
                            • Weddings 2.0
                              • Need for more content
                                • Destination wedding incidence
                                  • Reasons for choosing a destination wedding
                                    • Destinations
                                      • Most and least important elements for a successful destination wedding
                                        • Most important
                                          • Least important
                                            • Costs
                                              • Research and planning
                                                • Planning difficulties
                                                • Insights and Opportunities

                                                  • Engage the guests
                                                    • Figure 1: Strategies for dealing with recessionary pressures, by household income, Oct. 2010
                                                  • Extend the celebration
                                                    • Give new meaning to registering for the wedding
                                                      • Focus on the second time around
                                                        • Play host to “Familymoons”
                                                          • Figure 2: Beaches Family Resorts by Sandals ad, 2010
                                                        • The trend of “weddings as entertainment” means a more informed (and interested) consumer base
                                                        • Inspire Insight

                                                            • Inspire Trend: Life—An Informal Affair
                                                            • Market Size

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Destination weddings continue to grow in popularity
                                                                  • Wedding market overview
                                                                    • Figure 3: Total wedding spending, by TheKnot.com and The Wedding Report, Inc. at current prices, 2007-10
                                                                  • Destination wedding market overview
                                                                    • Figure 4: Total destination wedding spending, at current prices, 2008-10
                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                  • Trend of postponing marriage could mean short-term slowdown, long-term growth
                                                                    • “I do” it yourself impacts general wedding market, but destination weddings don’t easily lend toward this trend
                                                                      • Is the idea of marriage becoming obsolete?
                                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Stagnation in U.S. weddings might spell drop in destination weddings
                                                                            • Figure 5: Annual number of weddings, 1950-2009
                                                                            • Figure 6: Percent of population 15+ who are married, 1960-2010
                                                                          • Looking back at long-term gains and short-term losses
                                                                            • Rising marriage age could benefit destination weddings market
                                                                              • Figure 7: Estimated median age at first marriage, by gender, 1950-2010
                                                                            • Time to target the holdouts
                                                                              • Figure 8: Marital status, by age, 2010
                                                                            • Possibility of more weddings ahead as population enters marrying age
                                                                              • Figure 9: U.S. population aged 18 or older, 2006-16
                                                                            • Strength of travel industry during recession implies travel is a necessity—not a luxury
                                                                              • Figure 10: Total U.S. sales and expected forecast of the travel industry, at current prices, 2006-12
                                                                              • Figure 11: Total U.S. sales and expected forecast of the travel industry, at constant prices, 2006-12
                                                                              • Figure 12: Number of domestic person-trips for leisure, 2006-13
                                                                            • Financial woes would be leading reason to keep “nearly-weds” at home
                                                                              • Figure 13: Reasons why domestic travelers did not take a trip in the U.S. in the past 12 months, by age, Oct. 2009
                                                                            • Disposable income is up, but caution might curb destination wedding spend
                                                                              • Figure 14: Disposable personal income and personal consumption, 2005-10
                                                                              • Figure 15: Attitudes toward discretionary spending, by household income, Oct. 2010
                                                                            • Rising consumer confidence bodes well for discretionary spending
                                                                              • Increasing acceptance of cohabitation as a lifestyle reduces societal pressure for marriage
                                                                                • Figure 16: Percent of unmarried-partner households, 2004-09
                                                                              • States that allow same-sex marriage could see boost in tourism/wedding dollars
                                                                                • Figure 17: Same-sex marriage laws in the U.S., 2010
                                                                              • Looking toward the future
                                                                              • Market Structure and Key Players

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Overview of the destination wedding landscape
                                                                                    • Top domestic destinations
                                                                                      • Las Vegas
                                                                                        • Hawaii
                                                                                          • International destinations
                                                                                            • Jamaica
                                                                                              • Italy
                                                                                                • The duration is the vacation
                                                                                                  • Airlines
                                                                                                    • Cruises
                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Gross revenues and forecast of the North American cruise industry, at current prices, 2006-12
                                                                                                    • Registries
                                                                                                    • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                      • Here comes the groom
                                                                                                        • A more casual affair
                                                                                                          • Weddings 2.0
                                                                                                            • Need for more content
                                                                                                            • Destination Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                              • Overview of the destination wedding landscape
                                                                                                                • Weddings are “play” in Las Vegas
                                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Analysis of Las Vegas destination positioning
                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Las Vegas Tourism (Visitlasvegas.Com) (Vegasfreedom.Com) (Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority) ad, 2010
                                                                                                                • Hawaii promotes “endless variety” and romance
                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Analysis of Hawaii destination positioning
                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Hawaii Tourism Authority Facebook profile photo, 2010
                                                                                                                • Couples can celebrate their “one love” in Jamaica
                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Analysis of Jamaica destination positioning
                                                                                                                • Italy is a place like no other
                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Analysis of Italy destination positioning
                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Italy ad, 2010
                                                                                                                • Weddings are “Better in the Bahamas”
                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Analysis of the Bahamas destination positioning
                                                                                                                • Mexico offers convenience and familiarity
                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Analysis of Mexico destination positioning
                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Mexico visitmexico.com wedding homepage, 2011
                                                                                                              • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                • Advertising outlets: Bridal magazines hold their own
                                                                                                                  • Approaches: Your lucky day
                                                                                                                    • Other advertising: Weight loss industry looks to gain a few
                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: SlimFast ad, 2010
                                                                                                                  • Destination Wedding Incidence

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Destination weddings on the rise
                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Incidence of destination weddings, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Incidence of destination weddings, by household income, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Incidence of destination weddings, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                      • Reasons for Choosing a Destination Wedding

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Destination is everything
                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Reasons for choosing a destination wedding, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                          • Men value the convenience of a destination wedding more than women
                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Reasons for choosing a destination wedding, by gender, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                          • Focus on loved ones
                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Royal Caribbean International ad, 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Reasons for choosing a destination wedding, by presence of children in household, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                        • Destination Wedding Costs

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Destination wedding costs remaining consistent
                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Destination wedding and airfare costs, by presence of children in household, household income, and age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                            • Destination weddings offer substantial savings on standard wedding elements
                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Average spend on select wedding elements, destination weddings compared to general wedding market (all types), 2009
                                                                                                                              • Smaller guest list allows for lower costs
                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Destination wedding cost (without airfare), by presence of children in household, household income, and age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                              • Younger respondents invite more people and spend more money
                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Guests invited and expected to attend, by presence of children in household, household income, and age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                              • Travel to destination wedding adds additional cost
                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Destination wedding airfare cost, by presence of children in household, household income, and age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                            • Destination Wedding Locations

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Domestic destinations account for seven in 10 destination weddings
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Destination wedding locations, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Destination wedding locations, by household income, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Destination wedding locations, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                • Las Vegas becomes top spot for weddings
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Top domestic destination wedding locations, by presence of children in household, household income, and age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                • No clear international leader means room for growth all around
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Top Caribbean and international destination wedding locations, by presence of children in household, household income, and age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                              • Destination Wedding Research and Planning Sources

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Many resources utilized for destination wedding planning
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Sources used/most helpful source used for research and planning, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Women value the advice of friends
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Sources used for research and planning, by gender, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Most helpful source used for research and planning, by gender, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Younger respondents use more tools than respondents 35+
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Sources used for research and planning, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Most helpful source used for research and planning, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Destination Wedding Most/Least Important Elements

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Let’s eat! (good food)
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Most important aspects for a destination wedding, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Wedding add-ons and guest excursions are least important
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Least important aspects for a destination wedding, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Women focus on themselves, men more likely to look out for their guests
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Most important aspects for a destination wedding, by gender, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Least important aspects for a destination wedding, by gender, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Destination Wedding Planning Difficulties

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Awareness of the difficulties might help to surmount them
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Difficulties encountered while planning, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Men more focused on budget and logistics, women concerned with safety
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Difficulties encountered while planning, by gender, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Other Useful Tables

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Domestic travel, by purpose of visit, 2000-12
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Median household income in inflation-adjusted dollars, 1999-2009
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                          • American Society of Travel Agents
                                                                                                                                          • Association of Bridal Consultants
                                                                                                                                          • Bureau of Economic Analysis
                                                                                                                                          • Continental Airlines Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Crate & Barrel
                                                                                                                                          • Cruise Lines International Association
                                                                                                                                          • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • J C Penney Company, Inc
                                                                                                                                          • Macy's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • National Tour Association
                                                                                                                                          • Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
                                                                                                                                          • Southwest Airlines Co.
                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                          • Urban Outfitters
                                                                                                                                          • US Department of Commerce

                                                                                                                                          Destination Weddings - US - March 2011

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