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10 Reasons Wedding Inquiries Are Down in 2024

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Business Tips, Marketing


June 23, 2024

Have you noticed fewer inquiries lately? If you’re feeling like inquiries are down, you’re not alone. Just take a look at r/weddingphotographer, and you will see posts every single week about low inquiries and low bookings. It’s been a weird 2024, with lower inquiries, ghosting, and last-minute wedding planning. While I don’t have a crystal ball, I do have some educated guesses about what might be causing this shift.

1. We’re Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels (And Even Lower)

If you started in the wedding industry in 2020 or later, you haven’t experienced a typical wedding year. The years 2021 and 2022 were anything but average. The pandemic caused a backlog of weddings, leading to an explosion in bookings once restrictions were lifted. No weddings for a year = a surplus of weddings.

“The number of US weddings soared to a 25-year high in 2022. Now, just two years after those highs, nearly 17% fewer weddings are expected, said Shane McMurray, CEO and founder of The Wedding Report.” [Source]

Now, we’re back to normal, with weddings ebbing and flowing as they did before. Remember, 2021 and 2022 were extraordinary years, with 3-4 times the normal bookings. Using those years as your benchmark will set you up for disappointment. Instead, look at your metrics from 2018 & 2019.

2. It’s an Election Year

Politics aside, people tend to be cautious with their spending during election years. This means you might see more last-minute couples booking weddings within six months instead of 16 months out and more inquiries for 2025 weddings.

3. The Economy is A Hot Topic

Again, leaving politics aside, we all know costs have gone up. My grocery bill is 20% higher than last year, and many vendors raised their prices in 2022 and 2023. Couples might be finding it harder to justify spending $100K on a wedding this year. This is the time to evaluate your pricing. Lower demand means you might need to adjust your pricing.

4. A Different Generation is Getting Married

Soon, Millennials won’t be the majority of your clients. Gen Z shops differently. They often need 10+ touchpoints before reaching out and will contact more vendors than Millennials did. They also tend to ghost more frequently. And really, it’s not ghosting until you’ve gotten on a call with them, made a custom proposal, and then disappeared. An inquiry that reaches out once and you never hear from again isn’t a ghost – it’s a cold lead.

My personal prediction: the days of “engagement season” of December – February is going to be a thing of the past by 2030. Gen Z has shifted the marketing funnel quite a bit, and I can see them not proposing through the Holiday season, but throughout the year.

Are you curious to learn more about Gen Z? Check out this Podcast episode I did on Elevate To Impact Podcast!

5. The Age of Social Proof

Couples today want validation before making big purchases. They’ll look for reviews, a professional website, and social media presence before deciding to trust you. Just like you check reviews before finding a new hair or nail salon, couples do their research before booking wedding vendors. Couples want to see a professional website. They want to see positive reviews. And they want to trust you.


Blogging course for wedding vendors, professionals, planners and photographers

6. Trust in the Industry is Low

Speaking of trust… it’s at an all-time low. Most couples know someone who had a bad experience with a vendor in recent years. (Look at a wedding Facebook Group or Subreddit and you will see 10+ posts a month about a photographer who is 3+ months behind their delivery date). As an industry, we need to earn back their trust. Ask yourself, what are you doing to build trust with your clients? Pretty pictures and badges from Style Me Pretty aren’t enough.

7. Less Blind Booking from Referrals

In 2022 and 2023, high demand meant couples often booked vendors blindly from referrals. Now, with more time and less pressure, couples are taking their time. They want to make informed decisions, which means you need to stand out in their research process.

You have open books- which means your competitors have open books. Less demand = plenty of time for your couples to think. Couples are in the driver’s seat this year.

Secondly, couples want to do their own research (look back to point #5 we are in the age of social proof). Not to sound like a broken record, but weddings are expensive. You wouldn’t buy a Mercedes without test-driving it, looking at reviews, and obsessing over the details, would you?

8. Social Media Engagement is Down

Algorithms now prioritize paid content, video, and shareable tips. Just posting a pretty picture won’t cut it anymore. Lower engagement leads to lower reach. We also have TikTok to compete with. Pinterest used to be the go-to for ideas. Then Instagram came along, and we had both. Now? TikTok is becoming a large market share in the wedding space for inspiration, education, and vendor search.

9. Increased Competition Among Certain Vendors

I’m going to start this point with a statement: I’m going to start this point with a statement: I’ve been in this industry for a decade, and every single year, people have said, “There are more vendors than ever before!”. Are there actually more vendors? No. They are just easier to find. In 2014, you relied on in-person shows, magazines and Ads. Now, anyone can get an Instagram, grab a camera, and call themselves a photographer.

It’s cheaper to start a planning or photography business than a venue. This means more competition among planners, DJs, photographers, and florists. (Yes, I know your cameras are $50K+ in gear. But a venue is $1 Million minimum to start). Technically, you can start a planning business with $0. While venues may still be booked, other vendors might find it harder to fill their calendars.

10. The Engagement Gap Was Real

The engagement gap is still a thing. Coaches can tell you what they want- but the facts are simply this: “The category will need to grow approximately 25% by the calendar year 2026 just to return to prior engagement levels.” In fact, “all product categories showed declines. Rings had the most significant decline, down 9.8% in unit sales and 8.0% in retail sales value. Within rings, bridal was down 9.4% by units sold, outperforming fashion rings which were down 13.8%.” [Source]

“Signet Jewelers Limited reported that total sales for its fiscal Q4 were $2.5 billion. That’s down $168.6 million year over year, or 6.3%. Same-store sales — which include those from physical stores and ecommerce — decreased 9.6% in the period. Signet began including Blue Nile in same-store sales in Q3 of its fiscal 2024.” [Source]

Will Gen Z eventually destroy the diamond market? Yep. But we’re not quite there yet, folks.

Stop Comparing Your Books to Others

Remember, “fully booked” means different things for different vendors. For one, it might mean 5 weddings a year; for another, it might mean 50. Focus on your own goals and benchmarks.

If a new vendor is taking your jobs, it might be time to reflect on your work and make improvements. The wedding industry, like any other, requires constant adaptation to stay relevant.

Get Your Wedding Business Booking In 2024

Success in marketing your wedding business in 2024 requires a complete understanding of industry trends and couple shopping habits. It’s no longer just posting occasionally on Instagram – you need a complete strategy.

By optimizing your online presence, embracing transparency, and prioritizing technology, you can position your business for sustained growth and success!

If you are ready to take your wedding business to the next level, you need our Beespoke Blueprint. We work with wedding vendors who are ready to stand out, so there is no competition. The Beespoke Blueprint isn’t just about upgrading your website; it’s about ushering in a complete transformation. We understand that your ideal client and business goals have evolved, and so should your marketing.

Backed with our 20+ years of industry experience and six-figure client results, we know that strategy paired with gorgeous design and captivating copy is the backbone for success. And we don’t just mean booking out your calendar.

Inside this package, we start with strategy, move into your copy and messaging, create a custom brand design, and finish with a custom website that isn’t just gorgeous but backed with SEO strategies. We work with limited clients each quarter, so reach out today!

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