Bridal Retailers Struggle As Millennial Demand Changes Wedding Market

wedding bouquet in bride's hands, david austin

Millennials are giving the bridal market a run for its money. According to the Observer, what brides want from their weddings has changed in recent years. And the Internet has made it easier for them to find what they want.

This shift in variety in the bridal market has caused previously famous bridal retailers like David’s Bridal, Alfred Angelo, and Signet Jewelers Ltd. to fall behind in popularity. This is because modern brides are now able to search online to find the gowns, venues, and decor they want without having to rely on the stores available in their towns.

“The consumer has more choices,” said Raya Sokolyanska, an analyst of Moody’s, to Bloomberg.

Additionally, newer wedding trends like DIY projects and casual weddings have brides turning away from more expensive and branded options. Many mainstream retailers have attempted to cater to these trends. For instance, Target established a Tevolio bridal line in 2013 that’s more palatable to the modern bride’s budget.

However, the wedding industry is still booming as much as before despite the fact that one in five Americans is unmarried. In fact, according to The Knot’s annual survey, the average wedding dress was priced at $1,500 and the average cost of the wedding itself was just over $35,000. On the outside, it doesn’t appear as if the wedding market is changing much at all.

But if the wedding industry is still as popular as ever, what’s causing retailers to plummet? According to the Observer, it’s because the average age for a bride is 27 and 29 for a groom. With student loans costing millennials up to $4,000 annually, wedding couples are far more budget-conscious.

This budget consciousness has couples turning to the Internet to locate less expensive dresses, venues, food, and decor. In fact, up to 49% of event planners primarily use the Internet to find their venues.

What’s more is that many modern brides like to focus on the experience of getting married itself. Therefore, they’re less likely to spend money on a wedding dress from a specific company and more on the ceremony and reception. For the average millennial, experience is considered a luxury good.

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