WeddingWire 2019 Small Business Study Key Findings
Global wedding marketplace WeddingWire has released the key findings from its 2019 Small Business Study, a survey of thousands of local wedding professionals and small business owners from across the country.
The results reveal the reality of their hard work and impact on both their local communities and the $100-billion wedding industry – and in tandem the impact that the wedding industry has on creating an environment where small business owners can thrive.
Wedding Pros Commitment to Clients
Pros are committed to making each couple’s big day a success and often go above and beyond
to do so. Over half of vendors say they have:
• Calmed a bride/groom dealing with wedding stress (78%)
• Offered a discount to a couple with a tight budget (75%)
• Sacrificed time-off to help a couple in need (56%)
• Additionally, more than four in ten pros (44%) say that have provided services free of
charge in dire circumstances
Notably, 54% have become friends with a couple!
Pros are most likely to draw inspiration from “a couple’s unique love story” (59%), though
nearly half also say that their personal relationships drive inspiration (49%).
The wedding ceremony (28%), the bride/groom walking down the aisle (26%), and the first look
(18%) are the aspects that pros say is their favorite part of the wedding day.
Relying on Their Squad
62% of respondents socialize with fellow wedding professionals outside of work, with some
types of vendors notably more likely to interact with their peers.
• Nearly eight in ten Wedding Planners (78%), Hair and Makeup Artists (78%) and
Photographers (77%) get together with other pros outside of work.
Roughly one in four say they socialize with their peers at least once a week (27%), while 36% do
so every couple of weeks
Pros rely on they social network for a wide range of support – both practical and emotional.
Top ways that pros say they are supported are:
• Informational support – advice, sharing tips, tools of the trade (70%)
• Inspirational support -brainstorming new ideas, sharing creative inspiration (56%)
• Esteem support – confidence and encouragement (50%)
Over half of pros say they took their connections to another level and have fellow wedding
professionals that they now consider a close friend (56%)
Wedding Pros’ Outlook
When it comes to work, pros say the aspects up their job most likely to cause stress are:
• Finding New Business (49%)
• Keeping Marketing Channels Up to Date (48%)
• Achieving Work/Life Balance (47%)
• Photographers were significantly more likely than other categories to agree ‘finding new customers’ is a challenge.
• The second biggest stress-driver for caterers was managing part or full-time staff (43%), ranking far higher than for other categories
• Venue staff were most likely to acknowledge being burnt-out and fatigued (38%), while Officiants and DJs were least likely to say this.
During peak wedding season, 45% of pros say they feel “very” or “moderately” stressed during
this time of year.
While many feel stressed, the majority do feel ‘somewhat or moderately’ well-rested during
wedding season (78%), while 15% are ‘not at all’ rested.
• Caterers are most likely to say they’re not at all rested (27%)
Pros rely on a variety of activities to de-stress. Most popular options are:
• Spend time with friends or family to de-stress (74%)
• Watch TV/movies (57%)
• Enjoy a glass of wine/beer (50%)
• Exercise (46%)
• Listen to music (44%)
Communication with Clients
60% of pros say email is the way they would prefer couples reach out to them initially for more
About half of professionals say they respond to an initial email inquiry within 2 hours (51%)
• Another 10% say they typically respond within 3-5 hours, while 35% take somewhere
between a half day to day
Slightly more than half of respondents include an attachment in their initial email inquiry
response (53%). Venues (76%) and Caterers (72%) are most likely to include attachments.
• Among those using attachments, it’s most common to only include one document
(58%), though 42% include two or more
Pros have adapted to how they communicate with clients, with 77% saying they use text
messaging to interact.
• Pros are most likely to use texts to answer client questions (53%), facilitate meetings
(47%) or share updates on status of work (33%).
As a thank you or sign of appreciation, 56% of pros send their client a gift either ‘always’ or
• Photographers (73%) and Planners (71%) are most likely to send their clients a thank you
Photographers and Videographers: 47% say that the first look is their favorite moment to
capture on film. Other notable moments include getting ready with bridesmaids and/or
groomsmen (29%) and designated photos (28%)
Officiants: On average, officiants report that 64% of couples tear up during their ceremony
*A total of nearly 3,000 wedding professionals participated in the survey and represent more
than 20 different categories of business (n= 2869)
The top categories represented in the survey are:
• Venue: 23%
• Photography: 13%
• Wedding Planning: 9%
• Officiating: 8%
• DJs: 7%
• Catering: %
• Hair and or/Makeup: 5%
• Flowers: 4%
Most businesses offer more than one service or product: 72%
A quarter of respondents have had their wedding business for 20+ years: 25%
Another quarter have relatively new businesses (3 years or less): 23%
Over half of respondents are full-time business owners or co-owners: 59%
On average, pros spend 30 hours a week managing their day to day business (i.e., answering
emails, giving tours) and another 17 hours working an actual wedding