Winter nuptials are on the up as couples look to make big savings on their big day, according to a survey by wedding list provider Debenhams.
A Debenhams survey* into wedding costs found that a typical wedding is 20% cheaper when booked for the winter months.
Gift list bookings have seen a steady increase for weddings taking place from October to March, with these bookings hitting a peak in the 2011/12 winter season.
Debenhams wedding gift list saw the number of brides registered for weddings in January 2012 up +89% versus the same time in 2011.
Said Debenhams’ spokesperson Michelle Dowdall: “We are seeing more and more couples tie the knot in the winter months, with a particular focus on December and January.
“Notable festive holiday dates such as Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are becoming as sought-after for weddings as any Saturday in June for brides looking to save money, as many venues charge discounted rates in a season they consider to be off-peak.
“For the two week period over Christmas and New Year we have over 1,100 registered brides – this is the equivalent to a week in July!”
Many family members in the wedding party are now coming into stores and asking personal shoppers for advice on what to wear to a winter wedding. A dedicated personal shopping appointment is no longer just the proviso of the bride and bridesmaids.
According to Debenhams, wedding-related personal shopper appointments overall increased 93% in November to December 2011, versus the same period in 2010.
This is based on customers requesting appointments for:
• Mother of Bride/Groom
• Daytime guest
• Grandmother of the Bride/Groom
• Evening guest
Debenhams spokesperson Michelle Dowdall continues: ““The growing trend of winter weddings is also reflected in the items featuring on wedding lists. Couples are asking guests for blankets, throws, heavy tog duvets and his and hers dressing gowns.
“In addition to the clothing for the bridal party and wedding list, we are also seeing customers who are tying the knot in December buy Christmas trees and decorations to dress their venues.”
Table: Average cost breakdown of winter wedding vs. summer wedding
Summer wedding cost (Apr-Sept)
Winter wedding cost (Oct – March)
Catering – day
Catering – night
*Debenhams survey of 1500 customers, who were interviewed online November 2011.