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  • Welcome to Devoted to You Inc. Toronto Wedding Planners & Coordinators. We are an award-winning luxury wedding planning services company. While we primarily serve enamored couples in Toronto, GTA, Muskoka, and Niagara regions, we have also planned destination weddings all the way from the United States to Europe to Asia. And our clients love us; just take a look at our reviews!


    Drop us a message and a planner will be happy to provide a consultation to best help you get going. For more information, please use the handy menu at the top of the site or scroll down to read the blog. Please also find a list below of some of the accolades and memberships we have garnered over the years. Now, Let's Get You Married!™

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Everyone!

It’s been busy for us this year at Devoted to You. We have tons of content to post, but almost no time to post them at all, so we apologize for not putting anything on our blog since July (my how time flies!). If you’ve been following us, you may notice that we are now an official WedLuxe Glitterati member (we snuck in the badge on our main page a few weeks ago). It always gives us pleasure to know we’re recognized as being one of the best in our industry!

Without further ado, here’s the main topic of this post: a warm congratulations and happy first anniversary to two of my most favorite people in the world, Jasmine & Sunny! (pictures below courtesy of Nindka Photography)

2014-12-25_0002A year ago, I planned this stunning wedding Phuket for Jasmine & Sunny.  It took almost 15 months of planning and over three different time zones of Hong Kong, Toronto and Phuket. After looking at many different resorts in Phuket, they settled on this beautiful private villa with a gorgeous view facing the ocean.  A platform was built over the swimming pool to serve as the altar for the ceremony and stage for the evening performances. Chandeliers were  hung over the head table with twinkle lights draped over the guests’ tables. We also arranged a surprise fire dancing performance and fireworks during the their first dance.

2014-12-25_0003The most fun part of the party was the pool party at the end of the dinner reception and everyone partied till the morning, including me!

It’s not all fun and games though. In my experience, planning a destination wedding can take triple the amount of work compared to planning a local one. First you have to handle vendors in different time zones on the other side of the world (which could mean discussing details into the wee hours of the night). We also have to deal with different work style & ethic, culture, and standard, which makes expectations very difficult to manage. Consider the example of how local make-up artists consider beauty based on beauty in their country, which may be different than how you would perceive beauty. Also, many towns and cities could be very laid back, which mean their vendors can take days before responding basic things such as a simple email (or not at all!).

Costs of flowers can also be expensive depending on the location of the destination wedding, where local flowers are not typical wedding flowers which would then require the need to import. Examples such as garden roses/peonies are not locally available in tropical locations. For this wedding most of the wedding decor were sourced from Hong Kong and Toronto and we had to hand carry the sugar flowers from Toronto to Phuket.

It is totally worth the work though if the wedding becomes something that’s talked about long after it is over. That is why we strongly advise you use an experienced wedding planner to plan your ultimate dream destination wedding!

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In this article, we take a look at the various cost trends associated with weddings, both from the couples’ side and from the guests side. These statistics primarily reflect amounts spent in the United States.

Unfortunately, we do not have similar surveys in Canada, but hopefully you can extrapolate some of this information to make a more informed decision on how much you are willing to spend. We expect the numbers to be quite close given our proximity to the US and the similarities in our spending styles and wedding customs. As with all statistics, we should take this with a grain of salt as these are average numbers for the average bride, and the numbers skew immensely depending on the geographical region and the methodology in which these numbers are tallied.Given that these statistics are sampled from different sources, some of the numbers can be a little different, so please take them with a grain of salt.

The statistics mentioned here come from The Wedding Report, TheKnot.com, and Ebiequity.

The Wedding Report:

The Wedding Report 2013 Wedding Statistics

 

According to The Wedding Report Inc., which was produced in January 2014, the average budget in the US shrunk by 1.8% to $25,200. It believes this is related to guest counts slipping from 138 in 2012 to 131 in 2013 and couples spending less on services. The Wedding Report conducts annual surveys as well as aggregates data from various sources, including the CDC, Census Bureau, Department of Labor, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), COLI, GeoLytics, Inc. and Easy Analytic Software, Inc., as part of the estimating and forecasting process. The sample number of people independently surveyed for the 2013 numbers is 3,700 and includes pre-wedding couples, post-wedding couples, and wedding businesses.

TheKnot.com:

In contrast, TheKnot.com, which published its findings in March 2014, shows quite different numbers for the average wedding budget – $29,858 and is actually up from 2012:

TheKnot 2013 Wedding Statistics

TheKnot.com surveyed 13,000 brides and grooms who got married between January 1 and December 31, 2013 who had a TheKnot.com or WeddingChannel.com membership.

So which one is more accurate? It’s actually quite hard to say. We took the most representative costs and pitted them side-by-side for comparison.

TheKnot vs The Wedding Report 2013 Statistics

There are a few items which show similar results, such as Wedding Dress, Tuxedo, and Musicians. However, the bulk of the other costs are quite different. We believe this is likely due to the differences in the definition of the vendor cost. For example, for the Wedding Planner category TheKnot.com shows $1,874 for 2013 whereas The Wedding Report shows $3,277 for full planning. It seems as though TheKnot.com shows its wedding planner numbers based on a combination of full wedding, a la carte services, day of coordinator, for getting started, or month of direction, whereas The Wedding Report shows these numbers in separate categories. Similarly, photographers show $2,440 vs. $1,661. TheKnot.com does not segregate digital/photo cd/dvd, engagement session, prints and/or enlargements, or traditional leather bound albums whereas The Wedding Report does. Again, we urge you take these numbers with a grain of salt.

In addition to cost numbers, TheKnot.com also published some interesting wedding statistics over the past year:

  • Most Expensive Place to Get Married: Manhattan, $86,916 average spend
  • Least Expensive Place to Get Married: Idaho, $16,159 average spend
  • Average Spent on a Wedding Dress: $1,281
  • Average Marrying Age: Bride, 29; Groom, 31
  • Average Number of Bridesmaids: 4 to 5
  • Average Number of Groomsmen: 4 to 5
  • Most Popular Month to Get Engaged: December (16%)
  • Average Length of Engagement: 14 months
  • Most Popular Month to Get Married: June and September (15% each)
  • Popular Wedding Colors: Blue (35%), Purple (26%), Pink (25%), Metallics (25%)
  • Percentage of Destination Weddings: 24%

So what did TheKnot.com see as wedding trends for 2013-2014 (excerpt from http://www.xogroupinc.com)?

GROWING BUDGETS. Couples are spending more on their weddings than ever. Following the trend of growing budgets for the past two years, wedding budgets are at an all-time high with the average wedding cost hitting $29,858, the highest level ever. Less couples (20%) say the economy affected their wedding budget – a statistic that has continually decreased year over year, since reaching an all-time high of 34% in 2009. Wedding standards also continue to rise, in fact, about 1 in 8 couples (14%) spent more than $40,000 on their nuptials, and nearly 1 in 4 (24%) didn’t even have a budget.

GUESTS CONQUER ALL. Couples are concentrating on creating an experience for guests. Not only did spend per guest increase to $220, up nearly $26 per guest from 2009 when couples spent $194 per guest, but guest entertainment continues to gain popularity. This rapidly rising category only continues to grow – in 2013, nearly 1 in 3 couples (30%) provided additional guest entertainment, compared with just 11% in 2009. Additionally, while the number of brides who throw a rehearsal dinner, after-party or morning-after brunch has remained steady, brides are spending more money on these events. In 2013, brides spent an average of $1,184 on their rehearsal dinners (up from $1,135 in 2012) and $457 on their morning-after brunch (up from $429 in 2012).
TRADITIONS CONTINUE TO EVOLVE. Couples are foregoing some traditions to modernize their nuptials. Couples are becoming more liberal in their prewedding lifestyles; nearly 3 in 4 couples (74%) now opt to live together prior to getting married. Casual weddings are also on the rise, with 17% of brides classifying their weddings as casual in 2013, up from 12% in 2008. Along the same lines, couples aren’t marrying in religious institutions as much as they used to; just 33% chose to do so in 2013, down from 41% in 2009. While the majority of brides still opt to take their spouse’s last name (80%), this tradition is becoming less popular, down from 2009 when a whopping 86% changed their last names. Similarly, 1 in 10 (10%) brides kept their names in 2013, up from just 7% of brides who chose to do so in 2009.
SEASONAL SHIFTS. Summer is slowly making its way out of style as the wedding season. Summer is generally defined as wedding season, however, the trend toward beautiful summer weddings is shifting. In 2013, 35% of couples opted for sunshine-filled nuptials, down from 2009 when 41% of couples opted for the season. In recent years, fall has been making headway as the “new” wedding season, but the rise of fall weddings is pausing. In 2013, 32% of couples chose the season, down from its high of 36% in 2011. Spring is gaining traction with couples who aren’t afraid of April showers; 26% of brides chose pretty spring weddings, up from 22% in 2011. Winter is also coming from behind to give couples gorgeous snow-filled portraits; though still the minority, 7% of couples chose a winter wedding in 2013, up from 5% in 2012.
PERSONALIZATION AT A PEAK. Weddings are the ultimate form of self-expression. The trend in weddings for many years has been to create a personalized experience, where the couples’ personalities are evident in many areas of the wedding. This trend is on the rise, with couples opting for unique details like signature wedding cocktails, which 20% of couples had, up from just 12% in 2008, and hosting interactive food stations (15% of weddings in 2013, up from 13% in 2010). Couples are also personalizing their ceremonies into unique, touching experiences with a family member or friend officiating – just 57% of couples hired a professional ceremony officiant, down from 63% of couples who did so in 2009.

 
Now that we’ve looked at spending by couples for their wedding, what about what guests spend? In April 2014, American Express published a commissioned wedding survey report conducted by Ebiquity to determine guest spending trends at weddings. This was conducted online using a random sample of 1,503 adults from the general US population as well as an Affluent demographic (charts below courtesy of American Express).

According to the study, on average consumers will spend $109 (up from $94 in 2012) on a wedding gift. The average price of the gift is higher when the recipient is a close family member ($200 – up from $166 in 2012).
Average Wedding Gift SpendWhen giving a wedding gift, apparently consumers equally prefer to give from the couple’s registry as they do cash. But, most couples continue to prefer to receive cash:
Preference to give and receive wedding giftFinally, the Ebiquity survey tallied the top five wedding investments for couples planning their wedding:
top 5 wedding investmentsLooks like food is still the most important thing folks. But don’t forget the wedding planner! A good wedding planner can really help push those other costs down!
Cheers!
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