By: Jennifer Magdalene
African American Wedding Industry Statistics and Trends
It’s a great year for wedding providers, reports Tara Melvin, the founder of Perfect Planning Events in Washington, D.C. Melvin, who is the founder of the National Society of Black Wedding and Event Professionals (NSBWEP), recently told The New York Times that the reason that so many providers are fully booked is the big uptick in weddings. The year 2022 will see around 2.5 million weddings (the most since the year 1984) taking place in the US. These figures are a direct result of the postponement of approximately 70% of weddings in 2020 owing to the pandemic. Melvin and colleagues told the press that increased demand has led to a rise in costs. It makes sense considering the fact that couples have had more time to save and materials are now scarcer. Vendor partners, especially floral designers, are having difficulties accessing materials. The NSBWEP has additionally published top wedding statistics, trends, and traditions that are shaping the industry for African-American consumers and suppliers.
Micro Weddings Prevail
Zola and Melvin have stated that despite the bigger expense involved, weddings will actually be smaller. This is because the micro wedding trend, which values intimacy and meaning-making, will continue to hold sway. In essence, couples are refraining from inviting guests out of a sense of obligation (or to please other family members) and focusing more on those they have authentic relationships with. Even average-sized weddings have diminished in terms of guest numbers. Currently, typical ceremonies have a 75-to-100-person guest list.
Battling High Costs
Couples wishing to make savings on their celebrations are more likely to give expensive venues a miss, as garden wedding ceremonies and receptions are becoming increasingly popular. Recent events have led many couples to hold a greater appreciation for the flexibility that home celebrations can afford. While home garden weddings with panache still involve some expense (including furniture rental, decor and lighting services, entertainment and similar), they enable couples to avoid venue costs, adapt their guest lists, and dedicate more of their budget to their honeymoon.
Shunning Tradition in Favor of Meaning
The NSBWEP has reported that couples will be turning away from traditions that mean little to them. As stated by Zola, around 56% of couples are indifferent to some traditions, seeing them as outdated. African-American vendors will therefore be required to display flexibility and creativity, as they help couples create their own meaningful traditions.
More Vendors in Operation
Melvin reports that many new vendors have burst onto the scene as a result of the wedding boom. She warns couples to check references and reviews carefully, so they know that they are dealing with seasoned professionals. Weddings are complicated, stressful affairs to organize and in order for them to go without a glitch, training and experience are necessary. All vendors should also be licensed and covered by insurance.
African American Couples Seek Vendors that Show Diversity and Transparency
The NSBWEP and Zola have found that couples are keen on seeing themselves in the vendors they work with. Savvy companies are therefore ensuring that their teams are diverse and representative of the clients they are serving. Transparency is also key. Couples want to have access to pricing and other information before they spend time listening to what vendors can offer them. They also expect vendors to present them a wide array of packages and offerings, and to offer a wide array of wedding-related services.