Direct Marketing, Mail Order, and E-commerce News from the National Mail Order Association


Bridal Market Overview


The wedding industry - considered a true “recession-proof” industry - generates in the United States over 60 billion dollars a year in wedding and ceremony related expenses (this figure does not include the honeymoon, which is estimated to be between 4 and 8 billion dollars a year.)

In the past, the typical engaged woman was 21, lived at home and had her wedding mostly planned by her mother. But now, the bride-to-be is mostly older and has more money to spend, making this an attractive demographic for advertisers. Bridal magazines are responding to these changes by expanding beyond the typical ad markets and promotions.

A major focus of the industry has been to grow the wedding market beyond its traditional categories of linens, small appliances, and cookware, embracing all home products, such as major appliances, furniture, and consumer electronics. 

A 1999 Millennium Report conducted by Brides Magazine’s found that while brides and grooms represent only 2.6% of all households in the United States, they account for up to 70% of major household items purchased.  

However, we need to keep in mind that though the wedding industry is huge in terms of dollars, it is often difficult to track exactly where that money is being spent. This is because the industry is made up of multiple smaller enterprises like caterers, wedding consultants, dresses, jewelry, various beauty suppliers (hair, makeup), photographers, favors/bridesmaids gifts, music, honeymoon related, etc. In addition, many of these smaller enterprises also do other events and don’t necessarily break their business down into wedding versus non-wedding. 




Marriages by the month:

June is the most popular month for weddings, followed by August, May, September, and October.

January 4.7%
February 7.0%
March 6.1%
April 7.4%
May 9.8%
June 10.8%

July 9.7%
August 10.2%
September 9.6%
October 9.4%

November 7.4%
December 7.8%

In areas where there are harsher winters, the percentage of weddings November through March substantially decreases.

Source: Greeting Card Association

Wedding Costs by Category:

·         Reception 28.3%

·         Consultant 15.0% (if hired)

·         Wedding Rings 11.5%

·         Photography/Video 6.6%

·         Bridal Gown 6.1%

·         Music 5.2%

·         Flowers 4.6%

·         Bridal attendants' apparel 4.5%

·         Rehearsal dinner 4.2%

·         Men's formal wear 3.2%

·         Invitations 2.8%

·         Attendants' gifts 2.1%

·         Mother of the bride apparel 1.7%

·         Bride's veil 1.6%

·         Clergy and ceremony fees 1.2%

·         Limousine 0.9%

·         Groom's attire 0.8%            

Source: Association of Bridal Consultants


 Transportation Used for Honeymoon:

Most Popular Honeymoon Activities:



Association of Bridal Consultants
Association for Wedding Professionals Int'l
Bridal Guide
Condé Nast Bridal Group
National Bridal Service

National Vital Statistics Report, 1998
National Center for Health Statistics

Survey of Newsstand Reports, 1997

Travel Industry Association of America



The wedding industry is estimated to generate $35 billion in sales from wedding rings, wedding apparel, flowers, receptions, honeymoons, gifts and other related expenses. It also generates $70 billion a year in purchases related to new life together, such as insurance, financial services, automobiles, etc.

There’s also a 43% chance of a marriage ending in divorce*.

More than ever before, today's bride begins planning her wedding online. A user data study conducted by reported the following consumer decision/time to wedding date planning timeframe:**


 Source:  *Direct, October 15, 1998   ** user data as of 03/01/00

Wedding Products 

The following list depicts the range of common wedding products any business can sell the bride-to-be:

·                     Invitations and Announcements

·                     Marriage Certificates

·                     Bridal Memory Books

·                     Guest Books and Pens

·                     Photo Albums

·                     Ring bearer Pillows

·                     Flower girl Baskets

·                     Cake Tops

·                     Toasting Glasses

·                     Unity Candles

·                     Gloves

·                     Garters

·                     Wedding CDs and Tapes

·                     Dyeable shoes and purses

·                     Bridesmaids and Ushers Gifts

·                     Reference Books and Planners

·                     Wedding Bubbles and Bells

·                     Single Use Cameras

·                     Favors

·                     Jewelry for bride and attendants

Other Wedding Product Information and Important Marketing Trends

Source:  The Simmons Survey System and

If you want to reach this high spending market, you need to have the NMOA Bridal Market Advertising Guide.

It's an absolute must for anyone selling Bridal and Wedding related products or services, or items that newlyweds will be looking for.

Learn more about the Bridal Market Advertising Guide here.


Useful Direct Marketing and Mail Order Links.

Advertising- Bridal Market Advertising Guide

Advertising- Christian Market Advertising Guide

Advertising- Hispanic/Latino Market Advertising Guide

Advertising- Home Furnishing and Decor Market Guide

Advertising- Parenting Market Advertising Guide

Advertising- Woman's Market Advertising Guide

Advertising- How to Create Great Small Business Advertising


Call Centers- Telephone Order Taking Services


Catalogs- Catalog and E-commerce Benchmarks

Catalogs- Directory of Mail Order Catalogs

Catalogs- Directory of Business to Business Catalogs


Classified Advertising- How to Market using Classified Ads


Direct Mail- Copywriters and Creative Services Guide

Direct Mail- Directory of Major Direct Mailers

Direct Mail- Inside Direct Mail Newsletter


Direct Marketing- Direct Marketing Seminars and Events

Direct Marketing- Direct Marketing Statistics

Direct Marketing- Direct Marketing Response Rates


Fulfillment- Warehouse and Order Fulfillment Centers


Mailing Lists- Direct Mail and E-mail Lists


Product Marketing- Promote your Product to Catalog and Direct Marketing Companies.

Product Marketing- Joe Cossman's Course for Marketing a Product

Product Marketing- How to Market a Product for Under $500


Wholesale and Drop Shipping- Professional Wholesale Resource Guide


Direct Marketing Bookstore

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