- easier to find out information
- Second, many of the smaller
components like caterers, DJs, and photographers, wedding
favors, invitations, etc. also do other events without
necessarily breaking their business down into wedding
- Third, because some of the
individuals and businesses that provide services and
products may only work part-time on wedding-related
services to supplement their income or out of friendship,
there will either be a minimal charge or no charge at
all. Figures if there are any, will likely not be in
any "industry" tally.
Since overall industry
numbers are going to be hard to come by, other ways of finding
the information will be necessary. One way is by searching
local (and community) newspapers,which may provide information
on a local market. Also, there may be individual accounts
of weddings that would be relevant. Contacting local companies/people
will provide someone with experience and knowledge on the
local scene. Try the local phone books under weddings, party
planning, catering, event planning, etc. to find the local
companies/professionals. Also, ReferenceUSA
(often available in local public libraries) is an electronic
directory with SIC/nAICS codes search limitable by various
geographic search functions.
Many times keywords,
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), or North American
Industrial Classification Codes (NAICS) will be helpful
in finding information. For example, the following codes
can be used to search for companies in databases like
ReferenceUSA or D&B. They
can also be used to locate information in the
Economic Census. This Census comes out every 5 years
and has information on sales and numbers of establishments
(national and by state).
- 5812 Eating Establishments
- 2335 Women's, Misses',
and Juniors' Dresses (includes Wedding Dresses,
- 5621 Women's Clothing Stores
(includes Bridal shops, except custom-retail)
- 5699 Miscellaneous Apparel
and Accessory Stores includes Custom Dress Making
- 7299 Miscellaneous Personal
Services, Not Elsewhere Classified (includes Wedding
Gown Rental and Wedding Planning)
- 5943 Stationery Stores
- 722320 Caterers
- 315233 Women's and Girls'
Cut and Sew Dress Manufacturing (includes Wedding
Gowns, Bridal Dresses, Wedding Gowns)
- 315212 Wedding dresses,
women's, cut and sew apparel contractors
- 448190 Other Clothing Stores
(includes Bridal gown shops -except custom)
- 532220 Formal Wear and
Costume Rental (includes Bridal Wear Rental)
- 812990 All Other Personal
Services (includes Wedding Planning)
- 45321 Office Supplies and
Stationery Stores (pt)
When looking for
data on the size of this industry, the first thing to note
is that, while there is a lot of money in the wedding industry,
gowns represent only one segment of the industry.
gowns are part of a larger women's clothing industry --
depending on how the business reports itself and how deep
the search functionality is of the database, separating
wedding dresses from the larger industry may be difficult.
It might help to use the two NAICS codes that are applicable
to help you find companies and numbers (that is, sales figures).
Databases like Duns Million Dollar Directory
and ReferenceUSA allow searches by the NAICS
codes given above, while other databases still use SIC codes.
To have a complete picture, however, it is necessary to
also consider those establishments that sell used gowns
and those offering rental gowns. Lastly, neither of those
take into account those women who have someone make their
dress. There are SIC codes for all of these others but not
for the instance where a friend or family member makes the
Lastly, there are
many definitions of wedding dress. When most people in the
U.S. think of wedding dresses, they think in terms of the
traditional long, white dress. However, there are brides
who only buy a nice outfit and go to the judge's chambers
and others who plan "ethnic" weddings where the
bride wears a traditional costume from her country.
You may have more
luck with industry information by searching through articles
and gathering snippets. I would suggest searching in wedding/bridal
magazines such as -Bride's, Modern Bride,
as well as clothing trade magazines such as Women's
Wear Daily, all of which cover this area. In addition,
there are full-text databases that local public and university
libraries subscribe to such as Infotrac, (which
has all three of the above titles) and ABI-Inform,
among others. Also, both databases index articles. For example,
Infotrac uses the index terms Wedding, Costume
and Wedding Supplies, and Services Industry). One caveat,
many of the articles will be more fashion-oriented and less
If you want to
find information on this industry, try one of the
associations listed below or
contact a local consultant through your phone directory
or web sites such as http://respondweddings.com/ or http://www.afwpi.com/consultants/
and see what they may offer.
For those who want
to get into the wedding planning/consulting business,
the Bride offers tips as well as some
These three industries
are ones where some of their business is not wedding related.
There may not necessarily be caterers whose only business
it to cater only to weddings. The same could be said about
Disc Jockeys and videographers.
However, the two
associations for videographers and disc jockeys have interesting
data about their particular industry and their industry
in regards to weddings.
information for favors also presents difficulties: the biggest
of which is that the choice of favor is individual -- it
could be anything the bride/groom chooses. There may be
things that are more likely to be chosen (picture frames,
jewelry, etc.) but these items are not solely for the wedding
industry. There is no way to distinguish between those that
are bought for weddings and those that are not. Also, the
places where favors or gifts can be bought is not limited
to the "wedding favor store." Most stores sell
a variety of products and will not mark items specifically
as "wedding favors." There may be estimates of
the average amount that a bride spends per party favor/gift,
but such "averages" fail to take into account
the number of people to whom she is giving a gift - which
can vary from one to five to eight, and on up. Searching
through publications geared to gift markets
may be one way to find information on such gifts.
There has been
an increase in what is known as destination weddings - those
weddings held where neither the bride or the groom lives
or necessarily has family. It has been estimated the one
in ten weddings are destination weddings - a massive increase
over the last decade.
are often older then they were 15 or 20 years ago, they
are often more well traveled, and/or they may want something
more exotic. Top destinations for U.S. couples include Hawaii,
the Caribbean, Mexico, and in Europe, southern France and
Italy. Resorts and hotels in hot areas are becoming increasingly
proactive in their wedding business by putting together
packages and offering more services for those seeking wedding
There is no single
statistical source for data on this segment of the wedding
industry; rather much of the information is anecdotal and
derived from surveys/questions to hotels/resorts, couples,
wedding planners, and others. Thus, article searches may
yield the best information on this topic.
related to the wedding industry can be found in the Statistical
Abstract of the United States, where you will find information,
not on weddings per se, but on marriages and marital status.
According to introductory information in the Vital Statistics
section of the Statistical Abstract for 2006, data
on marriages and divorces have been collected at the national
level since 1887-88. Periodic updates took place after 1888,
with annual updates beginning in 1944.The Statistical
Abstract of the United States for
2006 shows figures for 1990, 2000, and 2004. [PDF: 1.9
MB / 34 p.] Data for other years can be found in
earlier editions of the Statistical Abstract.
Statistics on the
total number and rates of marriages in the United States
at the national and state levels is compiled by the U.S.
Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in the National
Vital Statistics Reports, formerly the Monthly
Vital Statistics Report (MVSR). The most recent comprehensive
analysis issued by NCHS appeared in the Advance Report of
Final Marriage Statistics, 1989-90 [PDF: 201 KB/ 24 p]
on marriage in the United States can be found in The
National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). Conducted
by NCHS, the data was published in Series 23, Number 22, "Cohabitation,
Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the United States"
[PDF: 5.5 MB/ 103 p.]
Other sources of
Statistics for the Wedding Industry
Association of Wedding Professionals
Wedding and Honeymoon Statistics
Wedding and Honeymoon Statistics
Wedding Industry Statistics
The Wedding Report
The above site
includes wedding industry trends, news, statistics,
and market research aimed primarily at the wedding professional,
although consumers may also find helpful information.
Products available from this source for a fee include
the U.S. Wedding Market Overview and wedding
statistics and market details by state.
There are several
large national/international associations, as well as small
state/regional ones; a selection of such associations are
Bridal Consultants (ABC)
of Wedding Gown Specialists
Association for Wedding Professionals International
Association of Wedding Planners
Bridal Association of America
Valley Bridal Association
Association of Bridal Retailers
Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants
Wedding and Event Videography Association
American Disc Jockey Association
International Bridal Manufacturer Association
Bridal Marketing Association
International Special Events Society
International Caterers Association
"A Big Wedding with a Smaller
Bill," by Francine Parnes. May 25, 2002, New
"The Bridal Business Branches
Out," by Rosemary Feitelberg. WWD, December
20, 2005, p. 8.
"By the Numbers: Divvying Up the
Wedding Cake," March 10, 2003, HFN The Weekly
Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
"Can't Buy Me Love? Maybe Just
a Wedding?" by Julie Dunn. Feb. 11, 2001, New
"The Copycat Wedding," by
Lauren Lipton. May 21, 2004, Wall Street Journal
"Destination Weddings: Exotic
Locales and Stress-free Nuptials Could Mean the End of Bridezillas,"
by Janeen Christoff, Marty Wentzel, and Jamie Wetherbe.
TravelAge West, October 31, 2005, p. 20.
"Destined to be Different: In
Their Search for Paradise, More and More Contemporary Couples
Are Choosing Destination Weddings," by Beth Bernstein.
Lustre, March-April 2005, p. 60.
"For Love and Money Amid Economic
Sickness, Bridal Industry Radiates Health," by Dina
El Boghdady. May 25, 2003, Washington Post
"Hotels Say 'I do' to Destination
Weddings, Ring in Profits," by Shannon McMullen-Coyne.
Hotel & Motel Management, February 21, 2005,
"Internet Sales Threaten Bridal
Salons. - Focus on the Bridal Industry," by Dominic
Mariani. Nov 5, 2001 v40 i45 p17(1), Fairfield County
"Murphy's Law: The Wedding Version,"
by Christine DiGrazia. June 16, 2002, New York Times
"You're Getting Married,"
by Rebecca Mead. April 21, 2003 - March 10, 2003, p38,
"Wedding industry costs soar even
as growth slows," by Kirby Lee Davis. Journal Record,
November 21, 2005.
"Love is Priceless; Weddings Cost,"
by Leslie Haggin Geary. June 2, 2003 CNNMoney
The Trouble with Weddings Touchstone
It's How It Ends That Matters
Focus on the Family Magazine
Bridal Market Advertising Guide
National Mail Order Association
A wedding market advertising directory to help small business
entrepreneurs, merchants, and service providers find print
and online sources for advertising.
More business journals
Magazine. New York, N.Y. : Cond
LC Call Number: BJ2051.A1 B7
LC Catalog Record: 42024730
Bride. [New York, etc., CBS Magazines,
LC Call Number: HQ1 .M63
LC Catalog Record: 53036160
romance, and the wedding experience
by Sharon Boden.
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
LC Call Number: HQ745 .B67 2003
LC Catalog Record: 2003042912
Table of Contents
Bridal Fashion Links:
Stores Pg. 2
Bridal Garter Shops
Bridal Glove Shops
Bridal Shoe Stores
Bridal Veil Shops
Sell The Bride
National Bridal Service