The largest survey of U.S. couples to be married in 2016 finds that couples will spend 20% more on wedding services this year, or $12,189 on average nationwide. Weddings will feature formal and intimate dinners, subtler personalizations, and interactive mementos like social-media friendly cinematic highlight videos.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — February 3, 2016 — Thumbtack, an online service that connects consumers with skilled professionals, today released the results of its first annual Thumbtack 2016 Wedding Trends Report. Each year, Thumbtack receives more than 320,000 wedding requests. For this report, we took a look at wedding requests placed for 2016 weddings, uncovering the upcoming trends and spending habits of real couples in America.
The study includes statistics on upcoming wedding trends and unveils average pricing for wedding services both nationally and regionally.
Full results are available at https://www.thumbtack.com/weddings/#weddingsreport.
“This year we’re seeing couples investing up to 20% more to create a memorable, classic affair,” said Ashley Brasier, Wedding Director for Thumbtack. “The reception is the focus of this extra spending, with couples turning away from themed weddings and instead focusing on finer touches like formal plated dinners, lasercut place settings, and bold floral choices.”
Every year, hundreds of thousands of couples come to Thumbtack looking for wedding professionals across nearly 50 categories of service – from wedding planners and photographers to caterers, live bands, florists, hairstylists, and makeup artists. Couples submit requests sharing details like the size of their guest list, their style preferences, and their geographic location, so Thumbtack can match them with the best service providers for their needs.
As a result, Thumbtack’s study reveals a unique look ahead on what will trend at weddings to come this year – not just what happened at weddings last year.
2016’s Top Wedding Trends
The new theme is no theme: Couples are increasingly focusing on small details — not big themes — to set their weddings apart.
- Highlight videos are hot — Videographers are seeing an 8% uptick in requests for highlight videos, which incorporate personalized messages from guests and are created for social sharing.
- Laser-cut details are everywhere — Featured on invitations, place-cards, and even place mats, laser-cutting will be especially popular.
- Cupcakes aren’t going anywhere — 10% more couples will feature cupcakes for dessert in 2016, compared to 2015, showing that this personalization touch has staying power.
2016 couples are upping the ante: This year’s couples are spending noticeably more on wedding essentials compared to 2015.
- 20% increase in spending — The average couple will spend about $2,000 more on average, with much of that going to a more upscale dinner experience.
- Formal receptions on the rise — For 2016 weddings, there’s been a 26% increase in couples requesting servers for formal dinner receptions, and a 32% increase in couples requesting plated meals.
- Traditional tiers — Cakes are also getting taller than ever, with a 55% increase in couples requesting a 3-layer cake this year compared to last year.
Big, bold visuals have arrived: From wedding theme colors to bridal beauty looks, expect 2016 weddings to feature big visuals.
- Glam beauty — More and more brides are eschewing the “safe” natural and romantic beauty look: there’s been a 75% increase in brides requesting glam hair and makeup, with touches like highlights and contouring and bold lip colors.
- Beyond natural — Brides plan to go beyond “born with it” in 2016. The data shows a 70% increase in requests for false eyelashes and airbrushing. There’s been a 15% increase in brides planning to wear a classic veil.
- Bright palettes — Popular colors this year include bursts of reds and bright blues, along with pops of yellow as an accent, and gray neutrals to hold it all together. Metallic accents stay popular this year, emphasizing the glam factor.
The Real Cost of Getting Married
Based on average price quoted for wedding essentials for Thumbtack weddings in 2016
National Averages – Costs and Customer Profile
- $12,189: The amount the average American couple will spend on essential wedding services in 2016, excluding the venue, dress, and rings, for a wedding with 98 guests on average.
- 33: Average marrying age of Thumbtack couples
- 75%: Thumbtack couples who are employed full-time
- 5%: Thumbtack couples who are students
- 45%: Thumbtack couples who are homeowners
Top 5 Most and Least Expensive States to Get Married
Top 5 Most Expensive States to Get Married
- Connecticut – $17,211
- New York – $16,305
- District of Columbia – $15,835
- Rhode Island – $15,233
- Pennsylvania – $14,722
Top 5 Least Expensive States to Get Married
- Missouri – $9,031
- Nevada – $9,095
- Arizona – $9,593
- Kentucky – $9,712
- Utah – $9,804
Top 25 Most Expensive Metro Areas to Get Married (Wedding Essentials)
- New York, NY — $16,077
- Philadelphia, PA — $15,434
- Pittsburgh, PA — $14,287
- Baltimore, MD — $14,261
- Providence, RI — $13,990
- San Francisco, CA — $13,734
- San Jose, CA — $13,418
- Cleveland, OH — $13,416
- Washington, D.C.-Northern VA — $13,303
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN — $13,173
- New Orleans, LA — $13,089
- Boston, MA — $13,028
- Miami, FL — $12,923
- Los Angeles, CA — $12,709
- Chicago, IL — $12,449
- Milwaukee, WI — $12,197
- Seattle, WA — $12,149
- Detroit, MI — $11,819
- Memphis, TN — $11,805
- Portland, OR — $11,714
- Columbus, OH — $11,692
- Austin, TX — $11,519
- Rochester, NY — $11,472
- Charleston, SC — $11,448
- Sacramento, CA — $11,349
- Northeast and Mid-Atlantic affairs tend to be more expensive: This higher cost is most often driven by formal dinners and a large number of guests. In New York, 33% of couples request plated dinners. In Washington, D.C., 48% of couples request hors d’oeuvres.
- Midwestern states throw the biggest weddings: Weddings are the biggest in Midwestern states like Minnesota and Wisconsin, where over 60% of couples welcome 100+ guests. The smallest weddings are in destination wedding locations like Hawaii, where 43% of couples welcome fewer than 20 guests.
- BBQ and Mexican catering vs. Italian and American cuisine: Italian and American food are crowd pleasers at weddings across the country. In fact, there are only two states that would prefer another type of cuisine at weddings – both Kentucky and South Carolina prefer BBQ. Unsurprisingly, Mexican is popular throughout the Southwest, with 43% of couples in New Mexico requesting Mexican food.
- Pop music reigns at the reception, but country’s close behind: Wedding guests across the majority of the United States (46 states) prefer pop music, but country is a close second choice in several states, including Texas.
- Vermont braids and Southern locks: Brides across the country love a timeless romantic look. Brides in Vermont prefer to accent their look with braids, while brides in most other locales prefer a half-up / half-down look. Long curly hair is especially popular in Southern states like Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Each year, Thumbtack receives more than 320,000 requests for wedding services. The Thumbtack 2016 Wedding Trends report captures data gathered from requests placed on Thumbtack by couples to be married in 2016. Qualitative trends were gathered from customer and vendor interviews. Pricing data is based on thousands of price quotes provided by vendors to our customers.
Thumbtack is the destination for getting things done — from house remodeling to event planning and more. Each year, more than 200,000 skilled professionals across the country service a growing 5 million Thumbtack projects in almost 1,100 unique categories. Thumbtack wedding professionals offer services in 47 categories. Visit Thumbtack to find wedding photographers, wedding planners, wedding officiants, wedding DJs and more.
Wedding Director, Thumbtack
Rachel de Jong
Communications Specialist, Thumbtack