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Hotel Weddings - Ireland - March 2009

The wedding industry has expanded rapidly in Ireland in recent years. Many hotels count on weddings to boost business, in some cases accounting for approximately a third of the hotel’s revenue. Even though marriage appears to be going out of fashion in England, Scotland and Wales, the trend of tying the knot looks set to continue in Ireland, with the number of weddings rising by 10% since 2003 according to government statistics. Furthermore, increased demand for well-organised, imaginative and personalised receptions is driving innovation within this very traditional market.

Many hotels report that they are beginning to feel economic pressures, as bridal couples are beginning to seek more ‘bang for their buck’. In addition to this, couples are turning away from the idea of a ‘huge get together in a fancy hotel’ and are increasingly cutting back on guests. However, as weddings tend to be planned around a year in advance, the industry is expected to suffer to a greater degree over the next few turbulent years.

Key themes in the report

  • What are the key Irish marriage trends and what are their implications for hotel weddings?

  • What evidence of cutbacks is there in the Irish wedding industry?

  • Is there much hope for innovation in this competitive, yet traditional market?

  • Are wedding receptions a profitable sideline, or the lifeblood of modern hotels?

  • Are there gaps in the wedding market that have yet to be filled, such as multicultural, customised and eco-friendly green weddings?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes in the report
        • Definitions
          • Abbreviations
              • Figure 1: Exchange rate used, March 2009
          • Insights and Opportunities

            • 5 Star fitness
              • A cocktail of their own
                • Entertainment is key
                  • Pushing the realms of social norm
                  • Market in Brief

                    • Increase in Irish marriages compared to decline in other parts of the UK
                      • Ireland attracting more visitors each year
                        • Recessionary storms ahead
                          • In a tough economy, ‘destination’ weddings become increasingly popular
                          • Fast Forward Trends

                              • Trend 1: Life – An Informal Affair
                                • What's it about?
                                  • What we've seen
                                    • What next?
                                      • Trend 2: Staying Connected
                                        • What's it about?
                                          • What we've seen
                                            • What next?
                                            • Internal Market Environment

                                              • Key points
                                                • Changing social times
                                                  • Marriages continue to grow in NI and RoI
                                                    • Figure 2: Number of marriages, NI and RoI, 2003-07
                                                  • …but so do divorces
                                                    • Figure 3: Number of divorces, men and women, NI and RoI, 2003-07
                                                  • Increase in the number of second marriages
                                                    • Figure 4: Percentage of couples marrying with one partner previously married, 2003-07, NI
                                                  • People are getting married later
                                                    • Figure 5: Average age at marriage, men and women, NI, 2003-07
                                                  • Legislative changes
                                                    • Slight decrease in the number of Civil Partnerships in NI
                                                      • Figure 6: Civil partnerships, numbers, mean age and percentage, by age at civil partnership, NI, 2005-07
                                                    • ...however, Pink weddings a valuable revenue channel
                                                      • Increase in civil ceremonies in NI
                                                          • Figure 7: Civil marriages by top ten locations, 2007, NI
                                                        • Civil ceremony law in RoI gives couples new options for wedding venues
                                                          • Hotels reap big dividends from hosting total package
                                                            • Marriage day and seasonality
                                                              • Winter weddings gaining in popularity
                                                                  • Figure 8: Number of marriages during October-December, NI, 2003-07
                                                                • Saturday most common day to get married
                                                                  • Eco-friendly nuptials
                                                                    • Holiday travel trends and destination weddings
                                                                      • Irish weddings abroad to double in effort to avoid rip-off at home
                                                                      • Broader Market Environment

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Financial considerations
                                                                            • Impact of credit crunch
                                                                              • Figure 9: Economic outlook for NI and RoI, 2008-10
                                                                            • Taking out a loan
                                                                              • Euro brides break for the border
                                                                                • Recently married/getting married
                                                                                  • Figure 10: Percentage of adults recently married/getting married, NI, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                  • Figure 11: Percentage of adults recently married/getting married, RoI, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                • Multi-cultural Ireland
                                                                                  • Multi-cultural weddings are more popular than ever
                                                                                  • Competitive Context

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Less money in the pot – internal competition
                                                                                        • Love on the rugby pitch?
                                                                                          • Bigger slice of the cake – destination weddings
                                                                                            • Figure 12: Number of weddings in the UK and abroad, 2003-08
                                                                                          • Top luxury honeymoon destinations for 2008
                                                                                            • Figure 13: Top luxury honeymoon destinations, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                          • Online booking, real-time Web technology on the rise
                                                                                          • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                                            • Strengths
                                                                                              • Weaknesses
                                                                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Hillgrove Hotel beats the blues
                                                                                                    • Eco wedding
                                                                                                      • Themed weddings
                                                                                                        • From theme parks...
                                                                                                          • theme malls
                                                                                                            • A marriage made in heaven…
                                                                                                              • A wedding blast off
                                                                                                                • Wedding trends
                                                                                                                  • Share the love
                                                                                                                    • The folks back home
                                                                                                                      • More intimate experiences with close friends and family…
                                                                                                                        • Gay weddings and commitment ceremonies
                                                                                                                          • A future for eBay weddings
                                                                                                                          • Market Value and Forecast

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • The wedding market
                                                                                                                                • Figure 14: Overall number of weddings per year, estimated cost per wedding and wedding market value, IoI, RoI and NI, 2003-14
                                                                                                                              • Keeping up with the O’Reillys?
                                                                                                                                • Approximately 40% of a wedding budget is spent on the reception
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 15: Overall wedding reception market value and forecast, IoI, RoI and NI, 2003-13
                                                                                                                                • How are couples funding their wedding?
                                                                                                                                  • Hotel offering rescue package
                                                                                                                                    • Guests under pressure
                                                                                                                                    • Segment Performance

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Bar and beverage sector to take the biggest hit
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Breakdown of wedding costs
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Breakdown and market value and forecast of the wedding reception market, all Ireland, 2003-14
                                                                                                                                        • Smaller, but more boutique wedding receptions
                                                                                                                                          • Wedding reception is the last item to fall victim to budget cuts
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: Responses to the question “If you have reduced your wedding budget, in what way are you making savings?” November 2008
                                                                                                                                        • Hotel Wedding Providers

                                                                                                                                            • Very little innovation
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 19: Profiled hotels offering civil ceremonies and wedding receptions, RoI & NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                            • NI
                                                                                                                                              • Ballygally Castle Hotel – Ballygally, NI
                                                                                                                                                • Clarion Hotel – Carrickfergus, NI
                                                                                                                                                  • Comfort Hotel – Antrim, NI
                                                                                                                                                    • La Mon House Hotel – Castlereagh, NI
                                                                                                                                                      • Ramada Hotel – Belfast, NI
                                                                                                                                                        • Slieve Donard Hotel – Newcastle, NI
                                                                                                                                                          • The Dunadry Hotel & Country Club – Dunadry, NI
                                                                                                                                                            • The Templeton Hotel – Templepatrick, NI
                                                                                                                                                              • The Tullylagan Country House Hotel – Cookstown, NI
                                                                                                                                                                • Tullyglass House Hotel – Ballymena, NI
                                                                                                                                                                  • RoI
                                                                                                                                                                    • Maryborough Hotel and Spa – Cork City, RoI
                                                                                                                                                                      • Menlo Park Hotel and Conference Centre – Galway, RoI
                                                                                                                                                                        • Mill Park Hotel – Donegal, RoI
                                                                                                                                                                          • Mount Falcon – Ballina, RoI
                                                                                                                                                                            • The Clarence – Dublin, RoI
                                                                                                                                                                              • The Hamlet Court Hotel – Enfield, RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                • The Muckross Park Hotel and Cloisters Spa – Killarney, RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                  • The Royal Marine Hotel – Dun Laoghaire, RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                    • How to reach new customers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer - Modern Attitudes to Marriage

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Relationships are more popular than ever
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Agreement with various statements by region, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                          • NI less traditional than RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Agreement with various statements by age, NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 22: Agreement with various statements by age, RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Agreement with the statement ‘It's important to respect traditional customs and beliefs’, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Internet usage, NI and RoI, 2002-07
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Marriage statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Marriages, numbers and rates, mean age at marriage and percentages, by age at marriage for males, NI, 1990-2007
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Marriages, numbers and rates, mean age at marriage and percentages, by age at marriage for females, NI, 1990-2007
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Marriages, RoI, 1990-2006*
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Age specific marriage rates in 1996, 2002 and 2005, per 1,000 people at specific ages, RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Marriages registered, by previous marital status of groom and bride, 2005, RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Marriages (numbers) by method of celebration, NI, 1990-2007
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Marriages, by form of ceremoney, 1991-96 and 2002 & 2005, RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Civil and religious marriages by location, NI, 2007
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Marriages by age of husband and wife at marriage, NI, 2007
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Divorces, numbers and rates, mean duration of marriage, percentages, by marital status and percentage filed by wife, NI, 1990-2007
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Divorces granted by the courts, 1997-98 and 2005-07, RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Agreement with ‘I would be prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly products’, by demographic breakdown, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Agreement with various statements RoI, 2003 and 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Agreement with various statements NI, 2003 and 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Hotel Weddings - Ireland - March 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                          £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)