Destination Weddings Travel Group, the leader in the destination wedding industry, has released its annual report with the latest statistics and trend forecast for 2016.
“The wedding and travel industries continue to grow and progress, and it’s our priority to stay ahead of these developments in this evolving market,” shares Richard Calvert, President and CEO of Destination Weddings Travel Group, which is experiencing its biggest year in company history.
Personalization was a prevalent theme in 2015, as couples sought ways to customize their destination wedding experience. In 2016, brides and grooms alike are focusing on incorporating distinct elements and seeking new-to-them locales that they can share with loved ones.
The report touched upon the latest breakdown of the consumer base including:
- Intimate celebrations still reign supreme with weddings averaging 28 attendees. Even if smaller in size, the party continues on for multiple days, with guests staying an average of four days, and the couple for seven.
- Planning timelines continue to fall in line with more traditional, at-home weddings, with couples spending an average of 11.6 month preparing for the Big Day.
- Destination celebrations persist as a family-friendly option, with 88% of weddings including children in the guest count
While the price of at-home weddings has increased rapidly over the years, the average cost of destination weddings for Destination Weddings Travel Group’s customer has remained under $10,000 for over a decade. “When couples take their wedding on the road, they can uncover savings throughout many points in the planning process,” explains Calvert. “Even those who aren’t necessarily seeking to trim expenses will find that they have extra room in their budget for upgrades and add-ons to enhance their experience.”
In addition to industry statistics, the report cites top destination wedding trends, including:
- Rustic glam is the new shabby chic – couples are embracing this blend as a way to incorporate luxury accents while still maintaining a down-to-earth vibe.
- Locally sourced foods and florals are on the rise as a cost-effective strategy showcasing the culture of the chosen destination
- Couples are finding new ways to integrate technology in their destination wedding as they take advantage of things like custom Snapchat geofilters and 3D printing.
Tropical paradises Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Costa Rica still top the list of hot spots to tie the knot, with Iceland, Canada and Italy emerging as popular locales for couples looking to go off the beaten path.
The Destination Weddings Trend Report 2016 also takes a look at the continued rise of LGBT destination weddings as the one-year anniversary of marriage equality comes to pass. “Today, same-sex couples find that they are much less limited when it comes to where they tie the knot,” explains Calvert, attributing this in part to the record growth. “Whether they want to celebrate their nuptials in Ireland, Spain or Cape Town, South Africa, they are able to customize their destination wedding to fit their preferences – be it an adventure-packed vacation or a tranquil, relaxing getaway.”
The report also highlights the rapid development of the industry by looking back at some of the top celebrity destination weddings that took place this past year.