Market Research

Three Ways Ultra Luxury Wedding Clients (budgets of $500k+) Use Social Media

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At Splendid Insights, our wedding market research firm, we present wedding budgets in six categories in order to get a better look at how brides and grooms from around the world plan their big day at the differing spending levels. The budget segments are Intimate: $1,000 or less (think elopements, city hall weddings, etc); Economical: $1,100 - 10,000Standard: $11,000 - $30,000; Premium: $31,000 - $95,000; Luxury: $96,000 - $500,000; and Ultra Luxury: $500,000 or higher

As noted above, brides and grooms in the Ultra Luxury Wedding segment spend more than $500,000 on their wedding and almost half (47%) pay for part or all of their wedding themselves. Nearly 1 in 4 Ultra Luxe couples spend more than $1 million on their wedding, not including the honeymoon, and 1 in 10 spend more than $3 million. 

Since the ultra luxe royal wedding has people setting goals of working with high-end couples, today I want to highlight a few ways that brides and grooms in this budget segment use online media in their wedding planning:

  1. More than a third of couples in this budget range (35%) find at least one of the wedding pros they hire via social media. 

    It's important to note that these aren't ads they're finding them through, but organic social media posts. Whether you advertise or not, make sure that you're using social media in a way that shows off not only the type of work you do, but your personality as well, as that is another factor they consider important when hiring (no one wants to spend their wedding day around someone they don't click with).

  2. 3 in 4 of ultra luxe engaged couples (77%) read wedding blogs at least once a week, and about a quarter of them (27%) hire wedding pros after seeing them featured on the blog. Over a third of this group (40%) started reading wedding blogs before they were even engaged.

    These refer to professional wedding blogs (such as RuffledColher de Chá Noivas, Love My Dress, Style Me Pretty, etc), not your own blog as a wedding pro (though they look at these too, again to get an idea of both your work style and personality).  

    While ultra luxe couples do use print magazines in planning their wedding, they use them less so than the other budget groups.

  3. While Pinterest generally comes in first place as the most used social media platform in most of the wedding budget categories, for the ultra luxe clients, Instagram takes the spot of the most used social app for wedding planning.

    Even Meghan Markle used Pinterest and Instagram in her wedding planning, saving photos from the apps to show the wedding professionals she worked with.

    I often hear wedding pros say that they want to move up to a higher budget level so that they can finally work with clients who will stop using social media. It's a common myth that clients who spend more on their wedding will delegate all creative control to the people they hire and won’t look at social media for inspiration, but it is just that – a myth. 

Online marketing, beyond just advertising, will always be a necessity for wedding pros who want to stay relevant, no matter how much their clients spend. While it can feel tedious, boring, and sometimes instill bouts of FOMO, make sure that you continue to make it a priority. Your dream clients are paying attention, even if they don't show up in your follow list or tap the "like" button as they scroll past.

Photo by Nancy Ray, the official photography partner of Splendid Insights.


2018 Wedding Statistics From Splendid Insights

The 2018 Wedding Market Reports from Splendid Insights are now available!

There are 17 reports to choose from, including wedding research by country, U.S. state region, wedding budget range, the Indie wedding market, and the same-sex wedding market.

Here are some things to know about this year's wedding market reports:

  • We've changed how we define wedding budgets and have added two new segments: Intimate Weddings with budgets of $1,000 or less (think courthouse weddings or intimate elopements) as well as Ultra Luxury Weddings with budgets of $500,000 or higher. This allows us to take a deeper dive into how people at both ends of the budget spectrum plan for their day.

    Some related good news: luxury wedding spending is climbing back up after having dropped in 2016.

  • One business-related New Year's Resolution that should be on everyone's list is a commitment to stepping up their game in relation to client experience and communication. 91% of couples say that getting an email response within 24 hours or less matters when deciding who to hire, and over half (52%) rank it as "very important."

    Yes, Amazon Prime has raised the bar for every business – big or small – by changing consumer expectations on service with their super fast two-day shipping . . . and that genie is not going back in the bottle.

    Clients may be okay with you taking a little longer with your artistic process, but they are not okay with a slower admin process. Before you blame losing potential clients on price or an uncertain political climate, check your workflow and systems for areas you can improve in.

  • This is the first year we've had Generation Z-ers (born 2001 or later) who are legally married participate in our survey. Yep, just when you began to wrap your head around how millennials plan their weddings, a new group is entering adulthood and starting to get married – and they are very different.

  • While Pinterest and forum boards are still the most popular social media platforms for wedding planning (67% and 59%, respectively), Instagram jumped from fifth to third place, with 58% of brides or grooms (up from 24%) using it to plan their day.

You can download the 2018 Wedding Market Reports by visiting, or clicking the button below.

Image by Nancy Ray Photography, the official photography partner of Splendid Insights.

5 Facts About Luxury Weddings

It's no secret that the luxury wedding market (defined as wedding budgets of $96,000 or more, not including the honeymoon) is a sought after segment of the bridal industry. Working with couples who have higher budgets not only allows wedding professionals more money to work with creatively, but helps many in the industry build sustainable businesses. When there are only 52 weekends in a year to hold the majority of weddings, being able to charge more for services is a strategic option that many pros try to make a reality. If you're one of the wedding professionals working in or wanting to move into the high-end wedding market, here are five facts about luxury weddings that may be useful as you develop and improve on your business and marketing plans:

1. It's not just the parents who are wealthy. 

1 in 5 (22%) of couples who had a luxury wedding last year have an annual household income of over $500,000. 

2. It's not just mom or dad footing the bill. 

More than a third (38%) of couples having a luxury wedding pay for part or all of the wedding themselves. This means that potential wedding budget money is likely competing with other financial priorities: investments, retirement, a new home purchase, and even taking care of other people (1 in 5 millennials are financially responsible for family members outside of their household).

3. Million dollar weddings are a real thing. 

10% of couples having luxury weddings spent a million dollars or more last year, a percentage that actually increased from 2015, believe it or not. While 10% may seem like a small percentage, it's still a significant number of weddings. The competition may be fierce, but there is plenty of work in this ultra-luxe segment to go after. 

4. Pinterest is (still) the most used social media platform among wealthy brides and grooms. (Instagram is number five. Yes, really.)

This is one of those facts that creatives don't like to hear, but just because Pinterest may not be your social platform of choice doesn't make it any less valuable to engaged couples in research mode. Remember, people use social differently when wedding planning than they do in their daily life. These couples may not be DIYing everything, but they are highly educated and do their homework. They will expect you to know everything about every idea they bring to the table, and they will come armed with research. This isn't a knock against you as an expert, it's them trusting that you know even more than they can possibly find online.

5. High-end brides and grooms read both print magazines and wedding blogs. 

1 in 5 (20%) of brides or grooms started reading wedding magazines before they were even engaged, and nearly half (42%) read wedding blogs before getting engaged. It's a lot easier to read blogs on the down low before a ring is on your finger than it is a magazine, but this group does read both print and digital. With this highly educated group, it's important to make sure that your marketing and publicity efforts aren't narrowly focused to just one platform or media outlet. 

You can learn more about the luxury wedding market and how real couples are making their bridal purchase and hiring decisions by downloading the 2017 Luxury Wedding Market Report from Splendid Insights. You can also download the Ultra Luxury Wedding Market Report (budgets of $500,000+) or choose from over a dozen other wedding market reports

Photo by Nancy Ray