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04/17/08: The Knot Unveils Annual Real Weddings Survey Results

Largest-of-Its-Kind Survey of 20,000+ Recently Wed Couples Reveals Unparalleled Insight Into the Bridal Consumer, from Spending Patterns to Style Preferences. Results Generate Best of Weddings Magazine, a by-Brides-for-Brides Guide to The Best Wedding Venues, Vendors, and Businesses in 40 US Cities.

NEW YORK, NY (April 17, 2008) -- The Knot Inc. (NASDAQ: KNOT), the owners of The Knot Wedding Network (which includes the Internet’s most-trafficked wedding websites and communities TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com) conducted a massive survey in 2007 to capture detailed feedback on wedding spending, style preferences, event characteristics, and other key information related to the bridal demographic. 


The survey, administered by Harris Interactive, is the second annual real weddings survey conducted by The Knot Inc. It polled nearly 22,000 individuals -- of mixed ethnicities, incomes, and education levels -- across 50 US states, making it the largest-ever survey of its kind.


WEDDING SPENDING: COUPLES ALLOT BULK OF BUDGET TO THE RECEPTION; COUPLES CONTRIBUTE AS MUCH AS THE BRIDE’S PARENTS; CAKE SPENDING INCREASES SIGNIFICANTLY

  • $27,882 is the average wedding budget in the US, not including the honeymoon. If the honeymoon is factored in, the average wedding budget in the US is $32,660. 
  • The bulk of the average wedding budget is dedicated to the reception venue ($12,722, or 45%); followed by the reception band ($4,105 on average, or 15%) and the photographer ($2,651, or 9.5% of the total average wedding budget). 
  • In 2007 vs. 2006, couples spent 35% more on their wedding cake (average $692 vs. $514), 17% more on their reception venue (average $12,722 vs. $10,857), and 18% more on their reception band ($4,105 vs. $3,465). 
  • The bride’s parents (44%) and the bride and groom (43%) are paying for the majority of weddings. 
  • The average cost of a wedding gown is $1,317. NYC brides spent the most at $2,206.
  • The average cost of a wedding photographer is $2,651. Long Island brides spend the most on photography at $4,550.

WEDDING STYLE & TRENDS: SEMIFORMAL WEDDINGS ARE THE RAGE; BRIDES ARE HEADING TO ALTAR FASTER

  • The average wedding guest list is 153 people, nearly the same as 2006. Wisconsin couples have the largest weddings, averaging 189 invitees.
  • Brides are not prolonging their engagements. The average wedding planning period is 11 months. New York brides are engaged the longest (13.1 months), while Las Vegas brides have the shortest engagements (9.1 months). 
  • Weddings are getting less formal. Weddings are split in terms of formality: 66% were characterized as “semiformal” as compared to 45% in 2006, and 20% are characterized as “formal/black-tie," down from 42% in 2006.
  • The average bridal party in 2007 was comprised of four bridesmaids and four groomsmen. 
  • The groom is significantly involved in planning: 36% of grooms were "very involved" and 57% of grooms were "somewhat involved." 
  • Reception venues of choice in 2007 were reception halls (29%), hotels (19%), clubs (yacht, country, etc.) (16%), restaurants (9%), historic mansions (7%), with the remaining 20% going to parks and gardens, museums and cultural centers, private homes, lofts and raw spaces, and other venues.
  • The most important reception venue features were: a great space for dancing (81%), a picturesque backdrop for photos (65%), an outdoor area for cocktails (52%), a breathtaking view (39%), and a waterside location (25%). 

DESTINATION WEDDINGS: COUPLES ARE TRAVELING TO TIE THE KNOT, BUT NOT NECESSARILY LEAVING THE COUNTRY

  • Destination weddings are more popular: With a destination wedding characterized as “200 or more miles away from where the bride and groom live (including non-US locations)” and “at least 80% of guests requiring overnight accommodations” approximately 1 in 10 couples have a destination wedding (8-10%). 
  • Approximately 25% of destination weddings occur outside the US.
  • 20% of couples are traveling at least 200 miles from where they reside to get married.

P HOTOGRAPHY: PHOTOGRAPHY GOES DIGITAL AND COSTS GO UP 

  • Couples spent 8% more on their photographers in 2007 vs. 2006 ($2,651 vs. $2,466).
  • A mix of traditional and photojournalistic photography is what most (71%) couples desire, while 18% chose to place emphasis on candid photos. 
  • There was a 61% increase in use of digital-only photography at weddings.

MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT        

Top reception band and music style choices in 2007 were rock-n-roll/Motown (37%) and big band/swing/jazz (21%).


In addition to general wedding questions, newlyweds were asked to rate their local wedding vendors on multiple criteria, from creativity to professionalism, and to comment on their experiences. The resulting ratings and detailed feedback were aggregated by the editors of The Knot to create a one-of-a-kind publication, highlighting the best wedding resources in each region according to local brides: The Knot Best of Weddings 2008 magazine, now available on newsstands nationwide.


About The Knot Inc.
The Knot Inc. (NASDAQ: KNOT, www.theknot.com) is a leading lifestage media company. The company's flagship brand, The Knot, is the nation's leading wedding resource, reaching well over one million engaged couples each year through the #1 wedding website TheKnot.com, The Knot wedding magazines, The Knot books (published by Random House and Chronicle), and several television series bearing The Knot name (on Style Network, Oxygen, and Comcast). The Nest focuses on the newlywed-to-pregnancy lifestage with the popular lifestyle website TheNest.com, a home decor book series with Clarkson Potter, The Nest magazine, and baby offshoots TheNestBaby.com and The Bump. Also under The Knot Inc. umbrella are e-commerce and service sites for weddings (WeddingChannel.com, ShopforWeddings.com, WedORama.com, GiftRegistryLocator.com); party planning site PartySpot.com; teen-oriented PromSpot.com; online personals site GreatBoyfriends.com; and local baby services and community site LilaGuide.com. The Knot Inc. is based in New York and has several other offices across the country.


Note to Editors:  The Knot Best of Weddings 2008 magazine is available for $9.99 on newsstands and in major bookstores nationwide, and at TheKnot.com/shop. To speak with an editor or with brides in your area, please contact The Knot Press Office at pr@theknot.com. High-resolution photos and visuals can be provided electronically or through the mail. For more statistics, please contact pr@theknot.com.