If you want to attract a higher-end clientele you have to be able to speak their language and use the tools they use. We took a look at the top 7% of wedding budgets from our Real Wedding Study 2017 and found that the average couple in that segment spends about $90K on their weddings. Below are five new insights on the big spenders -- plus what to do about it!
1. They're More Likely to Have a Destination Wedding
Yep, it's true. The higher-end couples are more likely to plan a wedding away from home than the average wedding spenders. In fact, 27% of high-end couples had a destination wedding in 2017. Of that group, 79% were in the US and 21% required a passport.
Popular US Destinations: California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Rhode Island, New Jersey, North and South Carolina.
Popular International Destinations: Europe (specifically Italy), Mexico and the Caribbean.
Want to do about it? Diversify your portfolio online. If you want more weddings in far-flung destinations, you have to show that you can do it. Don't have the content? Consider getting together with your favorite wedding pros and planning a destination shoot together. You'll all get to use the content on your websites, storefronts, and social channels and cross-promote one another -- win-win!
2. They're All About Social Sharing
Get this: 83% of high-end couples have a wedding hashtag and 96% of them share it with their guests. Translation, they want their wedding to be seen and shared on social media.
What to do about it? Find ways to get in on the social conversation, specifically around each of your weddings. Show your couples (and future couples) that you understand the importance of having their weddings celebrated online and on social media. For starters, capture your couples' handles and wedding hashtags when you sign on with them so that you can start using and mentioning them on social media. Don't wait until after the wedding to post photos about your couples. Use Instagram stories to show behind-the-scenes venue tours, cake tastings, and any other experience you offer to share out what it looks like to do business with you. Over the wedding weekend, know that the couples' friends and family are watching their hashtag feed, so take it upon yourself to post throughout the weekend. Doing that puts you in the position of publisher and that's powerful stuff. And get your other wedding pro friends working on the wedding in on it. Make a plan to post about the wedding across all of your channels to help amplify the wedding and end up in more of the right networks.
3. They're Spending Less Time Planning Overall
This is true for all couples and certainly for the high-end segment. On average, high-end couples are spending more than 1 hour less per week planning their weddings. Why? Their phones. Couples are planning their weddings on their phones (85% of them access The Knot on their phones). They're also using wedding planning apps, especially The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner. In fact, 94% of high-end couples reported having used a wedding planning app while planning their weddings. All of this phone usage has re-trained couples to expect more in less time and that is affecting the overall planning process.
What to do about it? You need to make sure you're 100% mobile-first as a business online. That starts by showing up in places like TheKnot.com and The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner app (yes, shameless plug because it's important!). You also need to look at your website, your blog, your social channels and anywhere else you show up online to ensure that you're saying the same thing and you look the same across the board. Simply put, you need to do an online audit of your brand and make sure that if a client lands on any of those spots, they understand who you are and what you're all about in 3 seconds or less!
4. They're All About Breaking Traditions
Another fun insight that also is true for the average spenders, high-end couples are increasingly turned off by outdated, traditional wedding norms and terminology. About 27% of high-end couples had a mixed gender wedding party and 84% of them live together before marriage. Add to that, they're less likely to get married in a religious institution (28% down from 36% in 2013). There are also more same-sex couples in the high-end segment as well.
What to do about it? Ban the words normal and traditionally and look for ways to reinvent tradition for your couples. So it's "wedding suite" (not bridal suite") and it's "you two" or "couple" (not "bride" and "groom").
5. It Has to Be Fun!
When we look at the words our high-end couples use to describe their weddings from our study, we found that the word "fun" is on the rise. The words that have stayed flat or even slumped include "classic" and "elegant."
What to do about it? Think of this insight as more of a way of doing business rather than a keyword exercise for your storefront, website or social channels. Infuse fun into everything that you do and your future clients are more likely to be attracted to you. So take a look at your auto-responses. Are they formal in tone and do you sign off with your first and last name or with the company name? Consider changing the script and re-writing them so that they sound more like a message you would send to a friend. Look over your storefront on The Knot. Are all of your photos buttoned-up and perfect? Consider swapping in a few that show your guests and couples having a good time. Striking a nice balance between your best work and your couples is a great way to show the experience is fun without having to say it.
Want more? Yeah you do!