Love is always in the air at WeddingDates HQ, but never more so than when they release their annual Ultimate Irish Wedding Survey results. For the third year, they surveyed 1,000 engaged people all over Ireland about their upcoming nuptials. While the vast majority of respondents fell into the beautiful bride category (87%), 1 in 10 were grooms, showing male involvement is on the up! Typically aged 25-34, the vast majority of these millennial brides were in the middle of planning a 2020/2021 wedding with 14% still undecided.  


Summer weddings are still a favourite with Irish couples with July overtaking June this year along with August as the most popular months to wed. This year it’s neck and neck as to whether couples will opt for a Friday or Saturday at 42% each. Most people will still marry here at home but those opting to marry abroad or elope has risen slightly to 10%. Church weddings saw a small increase to 56% this year with 27% opting for a Civil Ceremony in their Venue. Humanist and Outdoor Weddings account for 6% each. Hotels are still the most popular venue among 6 in 10 couples, however, 22% of couples now opt for Country Houses/Exclusive Use Venues.

Some traditions still ring true with 48% saying that their partner picked the ring and 4 in 10 couples will spend over €2,500 on the bling! With almost half of all couples spending more than €20,000 on their wedding, most couples rely on their savings to pay for their big day with around 10% taking out a loan. In fact, over 50% will spend >€65 per head on their guests’ meal. When it comes to splashing the cash, the Venue is in the no.1 spot for budget allocation, followed by Food & Drink, Entertainment and Dress & Suits. Irish Weddings are getting bigger too with a whopping 40% inviting over 180 people and 30% of brides will have 4+ Bridesmaids!


New to the survey this year, WeddingDates asked about the whole enquiry process to venues and how it made the couples feel. 17% said they found the whole process to be very generic and felt like just another number. In fact, when they asked them if a personalised note was sent to them during the enquiry process, how would that make them feel? Over 50% said they’d feel  ‘Blown away, love the personal touch! I would definitely put them to the top of my shortlist’. They also have very high standards in terms of response times with 60% expecting a turnaround to their enquiry within 24 hours! With almost one quarter of couples visiting just one Venue before making a decision, having done a lot of research online already, Venues really need to up their game at this critical point in the enquiry process.


According to WeddingDates Founder & CEO Ciara Crossan, ‘The findings really reflect the changing trends we are seeing in the industry and that is a move to a more personalised approach. In this highly digital age, couples really want the overall experience to be a very positive one and for them to be made feel special. Venues and wedding suppliers who are focusing on this are really seeing the benefits in enquiries and bookings.’


Inspiration comes mostly online with Pinterest and Instagram the favourites but Wedding Fairs remain popular. Along with the usual extras such as wedding favours and giant letters, some new trends emerging including grazing tables, flower walls, balloons and food trucks. 1 in 10 couples will have an absolute ban on social media so guests beware of pulling out those phones!


Check out WeddingDates Infographic for some top facts.