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Here's How Engaged Couples Are Shopping for Their Wedding Dresses

Get this: 97% of women (read, basically all of them) buy a wedding gown. That's why, when we put together our Real Wedding Study every year, we especially like to make it our business to gain insights into the wedding dress shopping experience. Here, 3 very important findings about the search for the gown.

1. They spend about one month shopping for the wedding dress.

According to our most recent study, brides start looking for their dress 9.5 months before their wedding, and make their final decision 8.5 months before.

Also good to know? Engagement season is almost here, so get ready for a big influx of interest to your salon. Be sure to time your consultations right with new clients and understand your sales window for each bride. Focus on where each client is at in her search by asking her how long she's been looking.


Photo by Elisa Bricker

2. They're looking for dresses on their phones.

About 81% of couples use their phones to plan their weddings (as in research honeymoon locations, manage their registry, and so on). But the number one activity they do on their phone when it comes to wedding planning is gown related. Yep, you read that right. About 62% of couples report using their phones to browse and look at wedding dresses.

Also good to know? Social media is a really big part of phone-related wedding planning.  And when it comes to dresses, it's is especially helpful. A few must-dos: Pin every dress from your website to Pinterest and keep your Instagram up-to-date. Make sure you're optimizing those images on Instagram with hashtags that make your content easy to find for brides hunting with hashtags. Think: [adjective] + [noun].


Photo by Jen Lynne Photography

3. They're willing to pay more than ever before.

The average cost of a wedding across the US is up this year. That means that spend is up across quite a few categories -- including the wedding dress! The average spent on a dress in 2016 was $1,564. That's an increase of a whopping thirty percent from just 7 years ago.

Also good to know? The average cost of a wedding dress ($1,564) doesn't represent every market across the US and every store type. Of course in the bigger cities, gowns cost more. And, when you're looking at the average spent on a gown at a boutique bridal salon, the average is well over $2K. Add to that, the number of couples spending more than $1000 has gone way up (65% of brides spend more than $1,000 -- up from 36% in 2009). In other words, spend is up pretty much any way you measure it.


Photo by Valorie Darling Photography 

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