We hear this at least once a week, from decorators, planners and catering managers: weddings are getting smaller and smaller! Are they?
We like data. The measurable kind. So what we did is compile the above chart from the information provided by Canadian brides registering for service quotes on WeddingRequest.com and the BRIDE.Canada website. The sample size is quite large, over 10,000 couples, so the results are definitely accurate.
At First Glance : “How Big is the Average Wedding?”
This was the first thing we looked at. Because it is easy. Just get the computer to find the median, every year. (the median is slightly more accurate than the average for this type of data sets). We needn’t have bothered. The “typical” wedding, on every single year, except 2011, was 120 guests. Hmm….
Of course, this is a very coarse calculation, so we wanted to get some more definition out of our data. Best idea: let’s chart them out: For each year, let’s find what percentage of weddings was under 50 guests, versus 100 guests, 150 guests and so forth..
The Bell Curve : Is there a Shift in the Market?
Well, you tell me! If there is a shift, I can’t see it. To make it easy, we animated the six seasons, on top of each other, in the infographic above. We hoped that if there was a trend we would see it take it shape. You know, see the weight of the bell curve shift right or left.
But no.. how very disappointing! Look at it for a few rotations. Other than some perfectly reasonable fluctuations, there is no obvious pattern.
You Have your Answer (“No, they are Not getting smaller!”)
I think what’s happening is that the brides are spending less (for sure) and that there are slightly less weddings (demographics+economy+cultural). Both of which are topics for a future blog! But the size f the “Average” wedding is still the same; just around 120 guests. Everyone’s closest family and friends.
Having Said This..
- This chart represents internet brides – not every single bride in Canada, only the ones planning their wedding on the web.
I am not saying that this should make a difference, but the distinction is potentially”statistically significant”.
- The numbers represent brides looking for vendors to help them with their wedding plans.
This second distinction is definitely significant. It is entirely possible that weddings may be indeed getting smaller, but below a certain size the bride really does not need help planning – the event is too small to require professional help. So those brides are falling off the radar so-to-speak. They are not even included in the chart above. (which brings us back to the “less weddings” senario)..
Don’t you just love numbers?