St. Joseph Media

St. Joseph Media

June 01, 2009 07:00 ET

New Data: Brides Spending More, Travel Up

Annual survey reveals couples taking registry dollars down south

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 1, 2009) - The results are in and the brides have spoken. According to Weddingbells' Annual Reader Survey(i), released today, the current economic situation hasn't put a damper on the wedding industry, with the average expected cost of the big day increasing in 2009. New trends are also emerging with a 29 per cent increase in the number of brides including travel on their wedding gift registries. Honeymoons have never been hotter (literally, as all-inclusive resorts increase their lead with a 12% jump) and February has never been colder. Traditionally a popular month for popping the question, February once ranked second, but now sits in the eighth spot for month of engagements.

Data shows that brides are willing to spend close to $20,000 to make their dream day come true, plus the additional cost of the honeymoon which many are now adding to their registry. "With so much planning involved in a wedding, many couples are willing to splurge, particularly on a fabulous honeymoon" says Alison McGill, Editor-in-Chief, Weddingbells. "We're seeing more couples including their honeymoon on their registry so that they can really kick back and relax without the stress of picking up the tab themselves."

Additional highlights from Weddingbells' Annual Reader Survey:

Popping the question

  • Nearly half (48%) of grooms asked permission from the father of the bride
  • 59 per cent of grooms got down on one knee
  • 89 per cent of brides received a ring; 28% of couples picked it out together
  • 21 per cent of engagements took place in December (top month)

Here comes the bride

  • Average age of engaged woman is 29.5
  • 75 per cent of couples already live together before getting married
  • Expected cost of a wedding is $19,274 (up from $17,300 in 2007 and $19,038 in 2008)
  • 89 per cent of grooms won't see the wedding dress until the big day
  • 9 out of 10 brides (91%) have no qualms about sex before marriage

Something old, something new, something….

  • Nearly half of couples (46%) foot the bill with their savings, 16 per cent take out loans, 32 per cent rely on family contributions
  • 69 per cent of brides plan to take their fiance's last name
  • 41 per cent think there is nothing wrong with returning a wedding gift for cash
  • 22 per cent say a prenup is the way to go
  • 19 per cent have more disagreements with their fiance since becoming engaged; yet 55 per cent say passion is up
  • Nearly one quarter (22%) admit they are not completely over their ex

(i) The Weddingbells' Reader Survey was conducted online from January 24 to February 16, 2009 by Nooro Online Inc. A national sample of 1,344 engaged readers participated in the survey. Confidence interval: +/-2.7%, 19 times out of 20. A complete summary of results is featured on

About Weddingbells

Weddingbells is the modern, savvy, style-conscious Canadian bride-to-be's authority on all aspects of wedding planning including: fashion, beauty, reception details, registry and honeymoon travel. Weddingbells publishes five different editions twice annually, targeting 11 different regional areas across the country.

About St. Joseph Media

St. Joseph Media publishes Weddingbells, Mariage Quebec, FASHION Magazine, Toronto Life, WHERE Canada magazines, Canadian Family, Quill & Quire and Ottawa Magazine. St. Joseph Media is a division of St. Joseph Communications, Canada's largest privately owned communications company, with four distinct business platforms: content, print, documents and media.

Contact Information

  • For more information, or to arrange an interview with
    Alison McGill, please contact: St. Joseph Media
    Karen Cleveland
    Marketing and Communications Manager
    416.364.3333 x 3046


    St. Joseph Media
    Veronica O'Brien
    Marketing and Promotions Associate
    416.364.3333 x 3143