Weddings, honeymoons, and romantic tourism are big business—and the statistics prove it. How big? Consider the following research statistics, facts and figures gathered from a variety of industry sources:
- 99 percent of grooms do the proposing.
- 16 percent of proposals occur in December.
- The average American engagement lasts 15 months.
- The average diamond engagement ring is $6,163.
- 3 out of 4 couples live together before getting married.
- 13% of engagements do not end in a wedding.
During the engagement period, couples buy:
- $4 billion in furniture
- $3 billion in housewares
- $400 million in tableware
- Every year an average of 2.4 million weddings are performed in the U.S.
- Today's median age for brides is 29 years. For grooms, it's 31 years.
- The median age for remarriage is 34 for brides and 37 for grooms.
- $35,329 is the average amount spent on a traditional American wedding.
- Each weekend an average of 44,230 weddings takes place.
- The most popular months for weddings are September and October.
- Only 33% of weddings take place in a religious institution, and that number continues to decline.
- 43% of weddings are officiated by a friend or family member rather than a professional.
- 23 million bridesmaids and groomsmen attend brides and grooms each year.
- The average number of wedding guests is 136.
- Per-guest cost is $268.
- The average amount each guest spends to attend a wedding is $703.
- The average amount spent on a wedding gift is in the $70-$100 range.
- 88 percent of Americans marry at least once in their lifetime.
- One-third of those getting married have been married previously.
- A total of $72 billion is spent on weddings annually in the U.S.
- Weddings represent a $50 billion annual industry.
- Who pays for the wedding? In 19% of cases, it's the brides' parents. Nearly one-third—32% of brides and grooms—pay for it themselves. And 15% of couples share the cost with both sets of parents contributing.
- 48% of couples launch a wedding website.
- More than 91 percent of couples register for wedding gifts.
- $19 billion is spent buying presents at wedding gift registries.
- The average amount spent on wedding bands for the couple is $1,575.
- The average amount spent on a bridal gown is $1,564.
- David's Bridal accounts for 20% of all bridal-gown sales.
- Queen Victoria, who married Prince Albert in 1840, popularized the white wedding gown. She wore a white silk and lace gown with an 18-foot train at their wedding.
- Tuxedoes are typically purchased 5-6 months after the wedding gown.
- Bridesmaids' gowns are generally purchased 3-4 months in advance of the event.
Destination Wedding Statistics
- 25 percent of marriages are destination weddings.
- 340,000 destination weddings take place each year.
- 80% of couples who have a destination wedding have been married before.
- The destination wedding market accounts for $16 billion in annual spending.
- The average budget for a destination wedding is $28,000.
- 60% of destination couples pay for the wedding themselves.
- The average age of a destination bride today is 33, compared to the U.S. average of 28.
- 70% of couples have been graduated from college and the average household income is $110,000.
- The average number of guests at a destination wedding: 48.
- Guests at a destination wedding spend an average of $673 to attend.
- 9 out of 10 couples say the weather is a key factor in selecting a destination.
- 60% of destination weddings take place in a domestic location and 40% international.
- The leading destinations for out-of-town weddings are: (Figures in parentheses indicate number of weddings performed annually.)
- Destination couples spend $8,200 on average on their honeymoon. That's more than one-third more than traditional wedding couples.
Statistics on When Weddings Take Place
The most popular months for weddings to take place are, in this order:
- November/April (tie)
Average Honeymoon Length and Other Statistics
- Estimated number of honeymooners: 1.4 million U.S. couples per year.
- Among couples who choose a traditional wedding, 99 percent will take a honeymoon.
- On average, the honeymoon is booked 4 months prior to the wedding.
- The length of an average honeymoon is eight days.
- Honeymoons comprise a $12 billion-dollar-a-year industry.
- Couples spend an average of $4,466 on their honeymoon. That's three times as much as the average U.S. adult spends on a vacation. Luxury honeymooners, which account for 15% of the market, spend an average of $9,954 and vacation for 11 days.
- The average honeymoon will cost 14 percent of the wedding budget.
- 62% of couples pay for most of their honeymoon on their own. Also see: "Who Pays for the Honeymoon?"
- 10 percent of newlyweds go on a cruise to celebrate their honeymoon.
- 75% of couples honeymooned in the USA and Canada in the last 5 years.*
- Most popular US honeymoon destinations: Hawaii, Florida, California, Nevada.
- Most popular overseas destinations: Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Italy, St. Lucia, France, USVI.
- Most popular luxury honeymoon destinations: Europe, Caribbean, Hawaii, South Pacific.
- Only 1 in 4 couples go on their dream honeymoon.
- 80% of honeymooners in the last 5 years used social media to research their destinations.*
- 48% of honeymooners visit Facebook while away.
- 57 percent of same-sex couples take a honeymoon after their ceremony (the majority who do—65 percent—are lesbians)
- Hawaii is the favored destination for both gay and straight honeymoon couples.
Statistics on Honeymoon Consumer Purchases
In a Bridal Guide survey, wedding couples indicated the items they were most likely to acquire for honeymoon travel:
- Wardrobe = 70.1%
- Swimsuit = 69.9%
- Sunglasses = 69.9%
- Sunscreen = 57.8%
- Luggage = 49.7%
- Video Camera = 36.6%
- Camera = 31.0%
- Sports Equipment = 7.3%
Related Wedding Statistics
- 3% of brides intend to sign a prenuptial agreement.
- 80% of brides plan to change their name after marriage.
American Express Spending & Saving Tracker
Association of Bridal Consultants
Condé Nast Bridal Group "2009 American Wedding Study"
Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine
Destinations Wedding Report from the Wedding Report 2013
Fairchild Bridal Infobank
The Knot's Honeymoon Survey
The Knot’s Real Weddings Survey
National Bridal Service
National Center for Health Statistics
"You're Getting Married," The New Yorker, 4/21/03
The Wedding Report
Travel Industry Association of America
U.S. Census Bureau
Westin's Study of Honeymoon Trends, 2016
This information on wedding and honeymoon statistics was last updated on 4/18.
Romantic Getaways Stats
- The Travel Industry of America defines a romantic getaway as "a trip with a spouse or other love interest without children to rekindle the romantic feelings in the relationship."
- Married couples are travelers: Married households represent the largest group of travelers, with 61 percent of all trips being taken by married households. Single households took 21 percent of the trips.
- Romantic vacations are popular with all Americans, especially married couples. Thirty-one percent of U.S. adults (61.8 million Americans) said they took a romantic getaway in the past 12 months.
- The average traveler took 2.5 romantic trips in the past year.
- Romantic travelers have an average annual household income of $67,000, as compared to all other U.S. adults, with an average income of $45,000.
- Romantic travelers without children in their households took more getaways in the past 12 months than romantic travelers with children (3.1 vs. 1.9 trips, respectively).
- Among those surveyed, these were the most popular types of romantic getaways taken by Americans:
- Visiting a city for dining & entertainment - 74%
- Getaways to beaches and/or lakes - 44%
- Gambling vacations - 21%
- Golf/tennis vacations - 12%
- Cruises - 12%
- Skiing trips - 7%
- Of couples surveyed who took a romantic getaway in the last 12 months, one-half took one such trip (51%), one-fourth took two romantic trips in the past year (26%), and one in ten (10%) enjoyed 5 or more vacations a deux a year.
Travel Industry Association of America