retail

Wedding Crashers: Brides-To-Be Still Cutting Their Budgets

David's Bridal

Hold the Jordan Almond favors, the sweetheart roses, and the extra tulle: A new poll from David's Bridal says that while the newly engaged aren't quite as cost-conscious as they were a year ago, they're still keeping a close eye on the matrimonial bottom line.

The Conshohocken, Penn.-based retailer reports that 68% of brides say they plan to spend less on their wedding in light of the economy, compared to 75% last year. And 54% plan to keep the big event on the smaller side, with a total budget of $25,000 or less, while 30% plan to spend less than $10,000. Only 22% are going whole hog, and plan on a total wedding budget of more than $50,000. Overall, nearly half say they are looking for DIY tips.

"Our fourth annual 'What's On Brides' Mind' survey showed that while today's brides are starting to see some financial improvements, true love doesn't have to be put on hold because of the economy," Jayme Maxwell, David's VP/marketing, tells Marketing Daily.

Those who did trim costs cut deep into their budgets, with 55% saying they trimmed up to one quarter of their initial spending plan, while 14% say they intend to halve their budget. Among their favorite ways to lower costs, 46% have trimmed the guest list, 39% plan to trade down on venue, and 39% are giving wedding planners the heave-ho. And while brides-to-be say they won't compromise on their dream dress, they are watching prices -- with 50% determined not to pay more than $800 on their own dress, or ask their bridesmaids to pay more than $150.

One marked change from last year's survey is that getting out of debt is no longer as high on the priority list. While last year, 77% of those in the survey declared paying off plastic their No. 1 goal, this year only 19% say it is their main concern. This year, brides are instead more focused on saving for a home (24%) and for a family (21%).

Nearly half (48%) are committed to keeping their shindig eco-conscious, with 26% planning to use locally sourced products, and 25% looking for recycled materials. About 16% plan to donate their dress to a charitable organization.

The survey included 500 engaged women around the U.S., ages 18 to 35.

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