Recent trends in the wedding industry show businesses trying to keep up with brides cutting back on expenses with the cost of getting married at an all-time high.

Bride-to-be Jenae Mattson was looking for something borrowed and something blue at the Impressions Bridal Fair in Eau Claire Sunday. With her date set on July 7, 2017 and venue booked in a barn, she saw all of the pieces of her wedding puzzle coming together.

With the average price of a wedding totaling over $31K in 2014, Mattson was trying to stay with the most recent trend of keeping some green while wearing white.

“I’m all about doing the handmade decorations,” Mattson said. “I love doing crafts and things like that, so of course I already have projects in mind.”

Matthew Woestman of the Eau Claire Golf and Country Club helps many brides plan their reception, and said he’s seen the many different ways they try to cut costs.

“They are doing a lot more of the centerpieces themselves,” Woestman said. “They are not going with florists as traditional.”

Woestman said most brides are either using fake flowers, or buying them from local farmers markets.

“We actually have some ideas for our flowers already, and a vendor from the farmers market down at Phoenix Park,” Mattson said.

Individuals in the wedding industry said they see big businesses falling behind specialty stores. Experts said the only way to survive is to keep up with the times, selling items for brides to create their crafts and pinning down customers online.

“We do carry a lot of the do-it-yourself kits,” Alice Moua with 50-50 Factory Outlet said. “They’ll go online, come in and say ‘Hey, I saw this on your website,’ or ‘We saw this on Pinterest. Do you carry it?'”

Waves of wedding trends even put new phases in photography.

“The trend of photography has lent to more of a fine art style,” Danielle Smiley of Smiley Productions said. “A lot of the traditional poses are phasing out, and Pinterest has a lot of great ideas.”

Smiley said many brides are saving selfies for after the ceremonies, banning cell phones at weddings, and leaving the photos to the professionals.

“Sometimes when we’ve been doing pictures, somebody will have an iPad or iPhone and will stand in the middle of the aisle when we’re in the middle of the aisle trying to get a great shot,” Smiley said. “We appreciate it when we can do our best work.”

Costs haven’t only increased for those having weddings. An American Express spending survey said the cost of attending a wedding went up 14 percent from 2013 to 2014, with guests spending almost $700 on airfare, outfits, gifts and food.


By Kaitlyn Riley