LGBTQ Couple’s Wedding Spends Soar, As Does Family Acceptance, According to The Knot LGBTQ Weddings Study 2016
Study of US married and soon-to-be married LGBTQ couples by The Knot and Logo finds couples feel more pressure to marry, are spending more on their weddings plus participating in more wedding-related events
NEW YORK, NY (June 23, 2016) – The Knot, the #1 wedding brand and marketplace, and Logo, a leading entertainment brand inspired by the LGBT community, today released the results from the fourth annual The Knot LGBTQ Weddings Study. The study surveyed 979 LGBTQ respondents in the US who were married or are engaged to be married to reveal the average cost of a wedding for LGBTQ couples, how couples are proposing, wedding spends, family acceptance and support, traditions, and other key statistics related to LGBTQ weddings in America.
One year after the Supreme Court ruling to recognize marriage equality in the US, The Knot LGBTQ Weddings Study 2016 found that wedding spend has increased 85% among LGBTQ men and 56% among LGBTQ women. The average cost of a wedding for male couples is $33,822, and $25,334 for female couples. In contrast, wedding spend increased by a mere 1% for men and 15% for women from 2014 to 2015, and the average cost of a wedding prior to legalization was $18,242 for male couples and $16,218 for females. Couples are now inviting more guests to their wedding, and participating in more wedding-related events than ever before, from engagement parties to showers and more. For the first time, LGBTQ elopements are down.
There is a 53% increase in family acceptance, and more couples are seeking permission from their significant other’s family before proposing. Now that same-sex marriage is legal across the US, 15% of men and 10% of women reported feeling more pressure to get married. Spending on engagement rings nearly doubled, and 87% of men and 90% of women report having a formal engagement proposal; of the transgender community, 94% of respondents reported having a formal proposal.
“It’s fascinating to see how wedding traditions, trends and spending continue to evolve. Our team at The Knot is dedicated to providing tools for every couple in America to use during their wedding planning process, from ‘I will’ all the way until ‘I do,’” said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, Executive Editor at The Knot. “The Knot is all about inspiring, planning and booking every wedding in America, and we mean every wedding.”
Top Statistics from The Knot LGBTQ Wedding Study 2016
- Average Wedding Cost (excludes honeymoon): Men, $33,822 (up from $18,242 in 2015); Women, $25,334 (up from $16,218 in 2015)
- Average Engagement Ring Spend: Men, $5,719 (up from $2,250 in 2015); Women, $5,349 (up from $3,163 in 2015); Transgender, $11,145 (new in 2016)
- Average Marrying Ages: Men, 37; Women, 33
- Average Number of Guests: Men, 121 (up from 77 in 2015); Women, 117 (up from 71 in 2015); Transgender, 116 (new in 2016)
- Average Length of Engagement: Men, 9 months (down from 11 months in 2015); Women, 11 months (down from 13 months in 2015)
- Most Popular Months to Get Married: Men, September (14%) and October (13%); Women, August (16%) and October (16%)
- Percentage of Destination Weddings: Men, 53%; Women, 49%
WEDDING COSTS ARE UP: Couples pay for the majority of their wedding ceremony and reception, with increased contributions from family. The average cost of wedding for men is $33,822 (up from $18,242 in 2015), and for women the average wedding spend is $25,334 (up from $16,218 in 2015). Seven in 10 couples report paying for the majority of their wedding ceremony (men, 72%; women, 70%). When it comes to the wedding reception, 68% of men and 64% of women reported paying for the majority of the event. Families contributing to the wedding ceremony increased 11% for men (up from 6% in 2015 to 17% in 2016) and 8% for women (up from 11% in 2015 to 19% in 2016). Twenty-three percent of LGBTQ couples reported the majority of their wedding receptions are paid for by their families.
WILL YOU MARRY ME? More couples seek permission from their significant other’s family before popping the question and they’re investing more in their wedding jewelry. When proposing, 42% of men and 46% of women reported asking permission from their partner’s family, up from 24% of women and 21% of men in 2015. Engagement ring spend among LGBTQ couples has increased since 2015, with men spending an average of $5,719 ($2,250 in 2015) on engagement rings and women spending $5,349 ($3,163 in 2015). Transgender couples reported spending $11,145 on engagement rings and another $12,639 on wedding bands in 2016. The number of men insuring their engagement rings more than doubled, from 26% in 2015 to 60% in 2016. The most popular engagement ring styles for women include a diamond center stone with side stones and/or accents (39%) and a diamond solitaire ring (30%).
FAMILY ACCEPTANCE: There is a 53% increase in LGBTQ couples gaining family acceptance, but more than half of couples still reported that family was not accepting of their marriage. Up from 28% for both men and women in 2015, family approval and willingness to help with their wedding increased to 43% for men and 44% for women in 2016.
ON TREND WITH TRADITION: From a rise in the number of traditional wedding-related events leading up to the day, to how couples are choosing to walk down the aisle and perform their first dances, couples keep with long-standing wedding traditions. One-third of LGBTQ couples reported deciding which wedding traditions to uphold was “challenging.” Seventy percent of women and 65% of men reported their wedding was or will be “traditional.” The study reported couples are having more wedding-related events than in years past, from engagement parties (24% of men and 31% of women up from 17% and 10% in 2015, respectively) to wedding showers (25% of men and 45% of women having a wedding shower up from 13% and 32% in 2015, respectively). Seventy-four percent of men and 81% of women have a wedding ceremony, up from 67% of men and 70% of women in 2015. For the first time, LGBTQ elopements are down 4% among men and 8% among women in 2016.
The majority of couples reported reciting vows at their wedding ceremony (men, 97%; women, 98%) and having at least one partner walk down the aisle (men, 85%; women, 94%). As for the “first look,” more than half of all women reported not seeing each other until the wedding ceremony (51%). When it comes to the “first dance,” 74% of men and 85% of women and take part in this tradition.
TOTAL PERSONALIZATION: About 7 in 10 couples reported personalizing their reception by adding additional elements. The most popular personalization element for men is a wedding logo or monogram (28%), while women reported having a signature cocktail at the reception (27%) as their most popular element for personalization. Other personalized elements include having family members participate in the ceremony, honoring deceased relatives, playing or singing original music, using symbolic colors, and incorporating religion and other traditions.
DESTINATION WEDDINGS: Nearly half of LGBTQ couples consider their wedding a destination. Half of couples are choosing to host a destination wedding (men, 53%; women, 49%). Within the LGBTQ community, transgender couples are even more likely to host a destination wedding (78%). Among those choosing to have a destination wedding, 74% of men and 73% of women are having a destination in the domestic US (not including HI and AK).
About The Knot
The Knot is the nation’s leading wedding resource with a marketplace that seamlessly engages, matches and connects couples with the right products, services and local wedding professionals they need to plan and pull off their wedding. The trusted brand reaches a majority of engaged couples in the US through the #1 wedding website TheKnot.com, its mobile apps, The Knot national and local wedding magazines and The Knot book series. The Knot has inspired approximately 25 million couples to plan a wedding that is uniquely them. The Knot is the flagship brand of XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO), the premier consumer Internet and Media Company dedicated to helping people navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments, from getting married to moving in together and having a baby. Please visit The Knot online at TheKnot.com and follow on social media: Facebook.com/TheKnot and @TheKnot on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Logo is a leading entertainment brand inspired by the LGBT community and reflects the creative class across television, digital and social platforms. Logo features one-of-a-kind personalities, shows, specials, and unique stories. Logo is part of Viacom’s Music & Entertainment Group including VH1, MTV, MTV2, Comedy Central and Spike.
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