News Column

Social Media, Budgets Matter to Brides

May 31, 2013
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June being prime wedding season, a recent national survey shows that today's brides and grooms are budget conscious and social media savvy when planning their wedding.

The seventh annual "What's On Brides' Minds" 2013 survey, conducted for David's Bridal, found that couples are seeking the most bang for their buck on their big day.

The study found that brides are increasingly budget-savvy, finding new ways to organize their wedding finances and prioritize where their dollars flow.

"With the uncertainty about the economy, couples planning their wedding are definitely prudent about their expenses, and are taking steps to rank what is most important to them in order to save in some areas and splurge in others," said David's Bridal chief marketing officer, Brian Beitler.

Couples can be smarter about their spending simply by "making and sticking to a budget -- whatever it might be -- that prioritizes what is most important to them, and by learning the dollar-saving value of DIY," said Catey Hill, David's Bridal Style Council financial expert.

The survey also found that 89 percent of brides said they had a budget before they began planning their weddings. Regarding their budget totals, 44 percent of brides surveyed decreased their budget due to economic concerns, and only 7 percent reported increasing the amount they were willing to pay for their big day.

Among brides intending to prioritize their spending, the majority are concerned primarily with the enjoyment of their guests.

Good food and drink are non-negotiable, according to the David's Bridal survey. Sixty-three percent of brides who decreased their wedding budget said they wouldn't scrimp on a meal for their guests, and 60 percent wouldn't cut back on libations. Modern couples are quicker to pare down other big-ticket wedding expenses, such as a wedding consultant, extravagant venue, flowers and decadent decor.

In another twist, David's Bridal found that the 2013 bride will plan, chronicle and culminate all of her wedding details with the help of social media, such as Pinterest, Facebook and Skype, the survey found.

These platforms not only streamline the wedding planning process but also serve various functions for the modern bride. Pinterest allows her to assemble an inspiration board fit for a fashion showroom. Skype makes it possible for family and friends who can't attend the wedding to be part of the festivities. And Instagram and Twitter enable the creation of special hashtags for guests to share photos during the big day, the survey said.

"Through our more than 300 stores nationwide, it's becoming evident that brides are using social media through every step of their wedding process," Beitler said. "Our bridal consultants have reported women 'Skype-ing' their relatives in-store as they try on their wedding gowns and hearing brides' stories of how they plan to stream their nuptials live so guests that can't attend will still be present. Going digital is the new norm for brides, and we're seeing it firsthand."

David's Bridal 2013 Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research between Nov. 16 and Nov. 27. For this research, 500 interviews were completed among women ages 18 and older, who are engaged to be married or were married within the past two months.

Source: (c)2013 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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