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2017 Wedding Trends Survey

Couples in 2017 are making different decisions, reveals a survey of 1,500 Brides in the Wedding Favors Unlimited 2017 Wedding Trends Survey

In its 5th year, the survey reveals Grooms are making more wedding decisions, Brides choosing more personalized décor options and a stronger reliance on Wedding Planners.

BOCA RATON, FL —(MARCH 27, 2017) – Today, David Annie, Senior Vice President of Wedding Insights at Wedding Favors Unlimited – the leading Wedding Favors Company in the World – announced results from its 2017 Wedding Trends Survey, the definitive analysis of wedding traditions and attitudes.  Since 2012, Wedding Favors Unlimited has conducted this comprehensive survey which provides trends and key insights in shifts in established and emerging trends of weddings in America. This study includes national and local statistics including how brides spend to decorate their wedding, how couples plan their weddings and the traditions they choose for their big day.

“Wedding Favors Unlimited is proud to present the 2017 Wedding Planning Survey. Our survey this year showed significant changes in what decisions couples make and how they plan.  Brides are reporting that Men play a much larger role in wedding décor decisions, with 47% participating in key design decisions, up from 29% the year before. Technology is a critical part of managing guests, with over 25% forgoing traditional paper invitations. Wedding Planners are increasingly helping Brides execute their plan, reaching a new high.” David said.  “Bridal décor has never been more relevant in personalizing a wedding day and WeddingFavorsUnlimited continues to be a significant source for Wedding Favors and Décor.”

Key Findings

Grooms Playing a Bigger Role - Results of the 2017 WeddingFavorsUnlimited Wedding Survey show a significant increase in male involvement across all aspects of wedding planning.  Males are no longer relegated to just planning the honeymoon.  Brides said 47% of men played a strong, or very strong role in wedding décor decisions, nearly doubling from the year prior, the highest rate ever surveyed.  Men especially are playing increasing roles in selecting cakes or desserts (55%) and picking colors (45%).  Men continue to dominate traditional roles such as managing technology (89%), the music (75%) and logistics (72%)

Technology is a key part of most weddings - 89% of weddings had some form of online presence for their weekend. During the wedding, 77% of Brides reporting using either Facebook or Instagram as a means for guests to sharing pictures.  Technology has also started to play a key role in planning with 89% of guests using an online service or tool to plan their wedding for seating layouts, guest list management décor and budgeting.

Brides are more practical with wedding décor - The average couple spent $5,578 on non-food décor.  The average budget for flowers has decreased 9% from 2016 to $2,541.  Women are doing away with extravagant details in favor of more personal symbols such as practical wedding favors (68%), non-traditional desserts besides cakes (48%) and signature cocktails (34%).  Certain items have trended lowers for six years in a row, including bouquet/garter tosses (15% of brides), handwritten place cards (15%) or guest books (38%).

Deeper Findings

Men Playing a Role in Weddings

  • 91% of Brides said the Groom played a significant role in planning a wedding. This has remained steady for the past three years
  • Men are most involved in food decisions, music and technology, with over 75% involved in those categories. Fewer than 20% of men are involved in flower selection or invitations
  • 90% of women said men take the lead or sole role in technology, alcohol, transportation planning.
  • The percent of men involved in food decisions has skyrocketed in the past four years, increasing from 51% in 2013 to 89%.

Weddings & Technology

  • The top three ways couples used technology were a website (82%), an electronic invitation (26%) and a Facebook event page (18%)
  • 11% of brides sent no paper invitations, nearly doubling from the prior year as brides take to the internet to more quickly to easily disseminate information
  • Couple are engaging with their guests more often, over 72% of Brides said they mass-emailed their guests at least once before the wedding to prepare their guests. 58% emailed their guests more than once
  • 68% of Brides use Facebook to share pictures either privately or publicly with friends and family
  • The Internet has become a critical way for evaluating vendors. 85% of Brides used Yelp or Google to evaluate vendors and read reviews.
  • Hashtags have increased in use, but only 48% of Brides said they planned on using a hashtag for their wedding in the new year.

Wedding Decor

  • Wedding details are a critical component of wedding planning, but have shifted into new areas. Fewer women are focused on wedding reception flowers (78% down from 85%), flower centerpieces (65% down from 83%) and table linens/place settings (35% down from 50% the year before).
  • Brides have instead shifted their interest to other areas. 35% of Brides plan on buying their bridal party a small gift, up from 19% the year prior.
  • Women are also strongly considering wedding cake alternatives. In 2012, only 10% of women chose something other than a cake for dessert.  In 2017, 31% of brides are planning an alternative for of cake, whether it be cupcakes (12%), pies (5%) or a unique signature dessert (15%). Cakes tended to be regionally focused, with large cities preferring alternatives to cakes (38%) vs suburban areas (15%).
  • Wedding Favors continue to evolve as well. While over half of women are considering Wedding Favors in 2017, they have evolved from traditional candies and candles to more practical gifts such as bottle openers/kitchenware (35%), edible favors (32%) and personalized glassware (22%)
  • Other details remain popular for wedding decor, with 68% considering unique cake wedding toppers, 31% using customized or unique table signs/numbers, 30% using unity candles, 29% buying unique candles for tables

Wedding Planners

  • Planning for a wedding is full of tough decisions and over the years, Brides have relied on their mothers and girlfriends for the bulk of planning. Over 68% of Brides say their mothers are heavily involved and 54% say their girlfriends play a significant role in planning for the details of the wedding.
  • But Wedding Planners are on the rise. Over 54% of women considered using a wedding planner of some sort, and 34% ended up hiring a wedding planner.
  • When Brides used a Wedding Planner, they considered a Wedding Planner one of the best values for their wedding weekend, ranking third after music and their wedding dress.
  • Of Brides that did not use a wedding planner, it was the number one decision Brides regretted: 67% wished in retrospect that they had a wedding planner to make their day easier.
  • Wedding Planners were most important for bigger weddings. For weddings under 50 people, only 9% of Brides used a wedding planner. For weddings larger than 150, 58% used a Wedding Planner.
  • Wedding Planners play all sorts of roles. When Brides used Wedding Planners, they hired them as full-service planning agencies 28% of the time. (Full-service meant: vendor selection, décor selection and day-of services) Brides used Wedding planners for ‘day-of’ services 62% of the time.
  • 89% of Brides gave their Wedding Planners a gift or a tip.

Other Findings

  • Brides shared with us their issues with wedding planning. Their top three pain points during wedding planning were: Parental Interference (83%), Vendor Negotiations (68%) and Food Selection (66%)
  • The average Bride visited 8.3 venues during the venue selection process.
  • Some traditions appear to be out for good, for the fourth year in a row, the majority of Brides planning to marry in 2017 were not having their ceremony in a religious setting (only 35%), doing a garter toss (22%) or having a wedding car (19%)

Additional Data and Insights available upon request.  Permission granted to use data, if cited with URL link.  Please include link to this page as a reference or to


2017 Wedding Trends

Methodology - 2017 Wedding Trends Survey

For the 2017 Wedding Trends Survey, respondents were women ages 18+, either married in 2016 or to be married in 2017. Brides were asked a subset of 128 questions about the event and their planning process. The sample included women who have visited or the WeddingFavorsUnlimited Facebook page, representing more engaged and married women than any other wedding favors site in the world. Respondents were surveyed between December 1, and February 15, 2016. All qualified respondents attested that they were 18 or older. Survey respondents represent a variety of ethnicities and educational and income levels, and are geographically dispersed across the country.

About Wedding Favors Unlimited

Wedding Favors Unlimited is the nation’s leading wedding favor and wedding supply store for couples, wedding decorators and wedding planners searching for affordable wedding supplies online. The Florida based team searches worldwide for high-quality favors at low prices and pairs it with award-winning customer service to help tens of thousands of Brides decorate their wedding. The trusted brand reaches over 1 million couples a year through its wedding website:


David Annie
SVP Global Insights, Third Rock Commerce

49 Bridal Shower Favor Ideas

You're gathering some of the Bride's closest family and friends to celebrate the wedding, so many Bridal Shower Favor ideas to choose from.  There already will be yummy treats and a few drinks.  And every bridal party has a game or two.  (We have 8 free games, if you're looking!)  Wouldn't it be great to leave them with a small gift remember this special afternoon with a small token.  So we decided to assemble 49 of our favorite little ways for everyone to remember coming together. Some are DIY, almost all are under $3 a person. Enjoy!

Stemless Champagne Glasses

Anniversary Glassware

As low as $1.51 each, these are a wonderful way to toast each other all weekend (over and over)

Personalized Foil Mints


Buy a whole bunch of these, and give the remainder to the Bride as a gift for her to give away at her wedding (she'll probably stuff them in her hotel welcome bags. As low as $1.20 each

Monogrammed Tote

Can you believe this tote is only $5.27?  For an extra $13, they'll monogram it for the Bride and Bridesmaids.  A beautiful gift for everyone joining the Bridal Shower.

Heart Compact Mirrors


A lovely keepsake, fun, fashionable and functional, each heart-shaped favor compact is crafted from non-tarnishing silver metal inlaid with textured silver glitter on the top and a hinge that opens to reveal two glass mirrors inside. A buck each!

Olive Oil Bottles


For $0.75 you can get a cute bottle that you can fill yourself with olive oil that'll have the girls remember your weekend.

Credit Card Bottle Openers (personalized)


If this is a girl's weekend, and there are more than a few Mike's Hard Lemonade's, what a great way for you to remember your special time together. Easily personalized.

Special Frames


Frame a series of pictures from the weekend that you can take away

Measuring Spoons


For $1.37, these practical measuring spoons are a great gift to take home.  Because everyone can use an extra set. We like the fact that there are multiple designs to choose from

Bicycle Bottle Openers


For the sporty girls who like a drink, these cute bicycle bottle openers do the trick.

Mini-Wine with customized tags

This is one of our favorites. It's easy and some folks can take home more than one! Photo Credit: Etsy

Personalized Stemless Wine Glasses

Bridal Party Gift stemless wine glass

Beautiful and modern.  Cheap enough for folks to take home two if you'd like.  Priced at about a $1 each See All Designs

DIY Mint to Be Sugar Scrub

Buy some small jars and assemble this your self!  Lots of Bridal Party Gifts nowadays are simply DIYed


If you're really cheap, but want to make everyone laugh:

Photo Credit:


DIY Potted Succulent Favors

Photo Credit:

Nail Polish Favor Thank You Tags for a Bridal Party Gifts

Photo Credit:

DIY Bath Salt Favors

Bath Salts

Buy the salts here

And assembly here:

Personalized Wine Charms

Photo Credit: Etsy


Chocolate Graham Crackers with Seashells

Photo Credit: Etsy

Personalized Tea Bag Favors

Cheap Bridal Shower Tea Bag Gifts

See More: Many Tea Bag Designs

Unique Sugar Scrub Favors

Photo Credit:




Bridal Shower Candles

Photo Credit: Wedding Favors Unlimited


Homemade Smore packages

Photo Credit:


Our last bridal party gift: Purse Mirror Compacts

Bridal Party Gifts Compact Mirrors Cheap

See More at: WeddingFavorsUnlimited



Wedding Expenses Checklist


That is the average cost of a wedding, according to a survey conducted by bridal resource, The Knot.  If that figure leaves you speechless – and more than a little scared – you’re not alone!  But remember, this figure is driven up by lavish nuptials costing $50,000 and more.  People can, and do, have lovely, unforgettable weddings for less.  Regardless of your specific budget, however, it is important to create a wedding essentials checklist to keep costs from spiraling out of control.  It can also help keep your emotions from spiraling out of control by giving you increased peace of mind.  So, how do you start?

At the beginning, of course.  Take a look at your budget and how much you have saved for your wedding.  Traditionally, certain parts of the wedding and ceremony have been paid for by the bride’s family, while the groom’s family assumes other financial responsibilities.

If you have family that is willing and able to help, this is what is traditionally paid for by each side:


  • Groom’s engagement ring
  • Gifts for groom and brides’ attendants
  • Groom’s tuxedos and accessories


  • Bride’s engagement ring
  • Gifts for bride and groomsmen
  • Boutonnieres for groom, fathers, grandfathers, and groomsmen
  • Corsages for mothers and grandmothers
  • Bouquets for bride

Bride’s Family

  • Invitations
  • Announcements
  • Postage
  • Wedding stationery
  • Bride’s gown and accessories
  • Flowers and décor for ceremony and reception
  • Flowers for bridesmaids
  • Ceremony location fee
  • Wedding reception location fee
  • Food and beverages
  • Photographer/videographer
  • Transportation rentals
  • Entertainment for reception
  • Wedding cake
  • Engagement party

Groom’s Family:

  • Officiant’s fee
  • Marriage license fee
  • Rehearsal dinner

If you notice, the bride’s family has a long list!  This is a “traditional” list that may be too outdated for modern couples.  But if you do have family who are eager to help, this can give you direction. The bride’s family does not have to pay for all of the items on the list, but if they could take care of, for instance, the flowers or the wedding cake, that is an expense you can check off your list.

Next, when you have an idea of what resources you have, and what others are going to contribute, you can start nailing down specifics.  Find a wedding budget checklist format online that you can print out.  They are widely available, but here is a good one.

Take a look at each expense and cross off those that do not apply to your wedding.  For instance, if you are having your best friend do the photography, you do not have to worry about that fee (though a nice gift would be a thoughtful gesture).  Likewise, if you plan on doing your own hair, makeup, and nails, you can cut those off the checklist immediately.

Next, it is important to do some preliminary research, and this is why people start planning their weddings a year in advance!  How much are typical reception venues in your area?  How much are typical dresses, cakes, flowers, and professional services (photographers, DJs, etc.)?  How much will your officiant charge?  Call around, look at your local wedding supplements, or go to area bridal shows to get a sense of how much things cost.

ProjectWedding has a great expense checklist on which you can enter in your zip code.  It displays the average overall budget for your area, as well as a breakdown of expenses.  You can delete subcategories that do not apply to you, add those that do, and record what you have spent thus far. The breakdown by category and subcategory can help you keep spending in check and even cut down on extraneous costs (Can you eliminate a full bar?  Can you have a backyard BBQ in lieu of a formal rehearsal dinner?).

Having a wedding that fits your preference and your budget is possible.  You just have to plan, prepare, and keep your expense checklist updated!

Related Articles:

27 Facts to know about your Engagement in 2017

Congrats! You or a close friend or family member got engaged.  Now you're curious what was the engagement like for everyone else? Was yours normal?  Here's our roundup of everything (lots of fun and important facts) you need to know about your engagement.

Wedding Engagement Facts


  • Most Brides spend 7-12 months planning their wedding
  • 75% of Brides will get an engagement diamond (25% won't!)
  • 61% of guys consult with their girlfriend before buying their ring
  • 27% of Brides call their best friend immediately after they get engaged
  • The cost of an average engagement ring: $5,229
  • 69% of Couples take engagement photos
  • 37% of Brides were completely surprised
  • 46% announce their engagement via Facebook
  • The average diamond ring is 1.4 carats in total
  • This year, 2.5 million weddings will happen
  • The Average Engagement is 18 months
  • For First Time Brides, the Average Bride is 25, the Average Groom is 27.5
  • The Average age for remarried brides is 34 and 37 for remarried grooms
  • 33% of Wives will get a Wedding Planner or Conusltant
  • 20% of Brides reserved their new married name online before they got engaged
  • The most popular month for weddings is June
  • Spending between $2,000 and $4,000 on the engagement ring makes a bride 2-3 times more stressed than spending between $500 and $2,000
  • Spending more than $20,000 on the wedding makes you 3.5 times more likely to get a divorce than spending between $5,000 and $10,000.
  • Spending $1,000 or less on the wedding is significantly associated with a decrease in the likelihood of getting a divorce. In particular, as compared with spending between $5,000 and $10,000 on the wedding, spending less than $1,000 is associated with half  the likelihood of divorce.
  • A study from Emory University shows that the pricier the ring, the more short-lived the relationship is likely to be


Emory University
Brides Magazine


Three Ways You Will Break Your Wedding Vows

Insights from Wedding Favors Unlimited's Wedding and Marriage Advisor - Dr. Peter Pearson of The Couple's Institute.  Having counseled more than 10,000 couples over 30 years, Dr. Pearson is a world-renown expert in helping couples resolve issues and create strong, loving relationships.  

You spent hours…maybe even a lifetime thinking about what your wedding vows may be.  Have you thought about how you will break them?

I love wedding vows because they reach for our highest self.  And the irony is that if couples could keep even 90% of their vows, divorce lawyers would be out of business and the self-help industry would grind to a halt.

However, to live your vows means you have to be running at your best everyday. Which is impossible. You have a better chance at finding Pokemon or spotting a unicorn.

So I wanted to share three ways you will break our wedding vows with heavy influence from the lizard brain.  If you didn’t catch our last article on what the lizard brain is, check it out here<link>.   Otherwise, the easy way to describe the lizard brain is the 5yr old version of yourself that acts on feelings and instincts, completely unregulated by personal and social norms. (very good description)

Reason #1Your Wedding Vows are Impossible to keep.

No matter how well intentioned you are, some of your vows are written for today…and impossible to keep tomorrow.

Here’s an example of a common vow: “I will never try to hurt you just because I am angry.”  Here’s the problem:  Even the Dalai Lama, with his enlightenment still says he has a problem with anger.   We all have this problem and to try to say we’ll ‘never’ hurt someone else is impossible to keep.  Our instincts are to react to threats and often times our instincts get ahead of our rational brain…and we get angry and strike out in ways that hurt our partner.

Another example: “I will always communicate openly and honestly

Here’s the problem: Inherently, honest communication requires some risk of being vulnerable.  If you say the truth to your partner, do you honestly know how he will react?  What if you tell him you really don’t care for football anymore…and that was one of the reasons he married you?   Or that his mother has some habits that really annoy you. The lizard brain deplores vulnerability

Another example: “I promise to give you understanding and comfort in whatever the future may bring.”

After counseling over 10,000 couples, I’ve learned that many couples, deep down inside, keep score.  The lizard brain within you keeps score on what is given and what’s received.  And if that equation is unbalanced, the more distressed your relationship becomes.   When your relationship is under a lot of stress, it’s tough to give comfort and escape the undertow of the emotionally painful past

Reason #2: When you believe your marriage is permanent,  you’ll get lazy.

The lizard brain within you spends most of its life wanting (and sometimes getting) maximum rewards for minimum efforts. We take our partner for granted, stop expressing appreciation, stop taking initiative to keep the relationship vibrant and stop taking emotional risks to grow the relationship. And then complain we are in a lifeless marriage. This especially happens with conflict avoidant partners who approach disagreements like Superman to kryptonite.

Because you entered into a permanent arrangement, your lizard brain is going to take advantage of the situation, and simply let you dismantle your vows because...your partner isn’t going anywhere.  We ALL get lazy.  The question is, will you consciously fight laziness?

Reason #3You cannot predict the future.

The problem: Reality is subject to change without notice. Change is inevitable.  But you didn’t write in your vows: “These vows may change”.  So at some point your reality will be in conflict with your vows.

The only thing predictable about life is that circumstances change, we change, our partner changes – for better and worse. I heard a comedian say, “After we got married I said I would apply the philosophy of not going to bed mad. But after 8 months of no sleep I changed my mind.”

Nobody goes through life avoiding being mugged by failure or rejection – it is only a matter of how often and how severe. How we respond to the lizard reflex reactions of self-protection, withdrawal, and blame will determine the quality of your individual and marital life.

Drama triumph and darkness are baked into every marriage –because we are human with the two different brains the lizard brain and the visionary brain that really strives to make things better.

Interested in chatting with Dr. Pearson? Feeling antsy about your upcoming event?  You can reach him at The Couple's Institute