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Study by ESADE and "The wedding industry has been digitised: 91% of couples use the Internet to plan their wedding"

Carles Torrecilla, Associate Professor at ESADE and author of the study: "There is a shift in the profile of couples that get married: they are better informed and more likely to compare prices and pay on time" Nina Pérez, General Manager of "This book sheds light on the current situation of the wedding industry by analysing the perspectives of the couples and the companies"

Link: White Paper on the Wedding Industry: Clichés, Challenges, Reality and Fiction

The process of gathering information and obtaining advice about wedding organisation is now digitised. Fully 91% of couples get ideas for their wedding online and seven out of ten couples surf the Internet to find and contact suppliers of wedding-related products and services. This is one of the main conclusions of White Paper on the Wedding Industry: Clichés, Challenges, Reality and Fiction. A 360º Study, written for by Carles Torrecilla, Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing at ESADE. "Since June 2015, the volume of searches done on mobile devices has exceeded the volume of searches done on desktop computers," explained Prof. Torrecilla. "Users now prefer to perform their searches using mobile devices."

The study, conducted jointly by ESADE and in collaboration with Google, was presented today at ESADE’s Madrid campus. The six-chapter report presents a snapshot of the preparation, organisation and planning of today’s weddings. The report presents a detailed analysis of all the elements that make up a wedding, market trends, and the general profile of the couples who plan weddings and the companies that make up the wedding industry.

Sustained growth despite seasonality

On the topic of Google searches, José Pulpón, Director of Google Marketing Solutions for Spain and Portugal, observed: "Year-on-year growth is clearly higher than 20%. Specifically, between 2014 and 2015, searches grew at an average rate of 27.75%, a trend that has remained steady over the past year." Despite this increase, Mr. Pulpón noted that "there are now seasonal differences in terms of the times of the year when the most searches are performed. January is the month with the fewest wedding-related searches". He added: "This sustained, stable growth shows that there is great potential for further work in this sector and, therefore, an opportunity to be present when our potential clients are performing these searches and making decisions."

The presentation of the study also featured the participation of Nina Pérez, General Manager of, who commented: "The report goes far beyond the sort of descriptive, economic and socio-demographic information that is typical of studies of this type. It is meant to address the doubts and concerns that the professionals in this industry could have. In addition, we had a very high rate of participation in this study – 3,509 companies from Spain’s wedding industry – which illustrates the sector’s degree of digitisation and desire to improve."

Low incidence of unforeseen expenses

The study by ESADE and indicates that the average cost of a wedding in Spain is €20,000 and that unforeseen expenses do not exceed 10% of the estimate, on average. The study also found that 81% of couples have clear knowledge of the economic aspect of the event and the difference in income between spouses tends to be minor. As a result, couples prefer not to go into debt: weddings are paid for with savings, gift money and some assistance from the parents, in that order. As for unforeseen expenses, almost half of those surveyed said they had none at all; extra decorations were the most common reason for going over-budget. To a certain extent, the lack of unforeseen expenses can be explained by the changing profile of the couples who plan weddings. Today’s couples are better informed, have more specific ideas and are willing to shop around to compare prices. In addition, despite the clichés, weddings in Spain are not a wild emotional expenditure that entails "going all out", not least because the role of the parents has gradually moved into the background. "A wedding is no longer the parents’ business; it’s the couple’s business," commented Prof. Torrecilla.

The view from wedding-industry companies

One in three of the companies surveyed agreed that their turnover has increased by 10% over the previous year; more than half said that their income has grown to some extent. Only 7% of companies said that their income was lower than the previous year. Another key element highlighted by the companies is the changing profile of their customers: the average age of the couples has increased (to around age 30) and they have become more demanding, more willing shop around for a better deal, and more likely to pay on time. Indeed, 77.4% of companies surveyed said they were aware of this shift in the customer profile. This figure supports the notion that engaged couples are well informed and therefore more demanding with regard to wedding-related services.

"The wedding industry has experienced a high growth over the past few years," concluded Prof. Torrecilla. "We can’t say that there is a typical type of wedding in Spain, nor can we say that the market is heterogeneous and disparate."

Ms. Pérez wrapped up the presentation by thanking ESADE and Google for their collaboration in "shedding light on today’s wedding industry and analysing the perspective of couples and companies, so that we can help wedding-industry companies to keep improving and growing".