Paper Source 

May 01, 2019, 17:07 ET

CHICAGOMay 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — At Paper Source, we help thousands of brides plan their big day. We recently conducted our first-ever Paper Source Wedding Study to identify trends across the wedding industry to better understand what our brides need and where the industry is headed.

Despite America’s apparent obsession with weddings, marriage rates are actually forecasted to decline by 2021. This decline is influenced by younger generations feeling less pressure to tie the knot — partly because increased societal acceptance of cohabitation has given couples more freedom to postpone their nuptials.

Still, over 2 million weddings take place in America each year, with $72 billion spent annually on the occasion, and $19 billion worth of gifts purchased each year through wedding registries.

After analyzing data from our stores across the country, we uncovered some surprising insights.

We found that these are the top 12 locations people are choosing to get married:

  1. New YorkNY
  2. Chicago, IL
  3. Philadelphia, PA
  4. Atlanta, GA
  5. Boston, MA
  6. Washington, DC
  7. Dallas, TX
  8. Denver, CO
  9. Houston, TX
  10.  Princeton, NJ
  11.  Palo Alto, CA
  12.  Beverly Hills, CA

With the rise of e-commerce, consumer behavior around wedding spend has shifted. Because businesses can reach potential customers at a lower cost, it’s easier for them to offer discounts and for brides to price shop. It’s also become easier for brides to discover the exact product she needs online to achieve her unique wedding vision. This evolving retail landscape has changed brides’ preferences for where to shop: for custom wedding items, less than 1% of brides prefer a solely in-store shopping experience, 84% prefer strictly online, and 16% prefer an omni-channel mix. Additionally, social networking has shifted vendor marketing strategies.

While this increased access to data and price comparison might suggest a decline in average wedding spend, economic recovery and rising disposable income levels have actually boosted wedding budgets overall and facilitated industry growth despite declining marriage rates. In fact, the amount that brides spend on weddings has grown at about 5% annually over the past few years.

As one might expect, overall wedding budgets vary significantly by geography. The highest expenditure markets include Manhattan, whose average wedding expenditure is 252% higher than the national average; Chicago, whose is 188% higher than the national average, and Los Angeles, whose is 121% higher than the national average. In Manhattan, the average wedding spend is $82,299; in Chicago, it’s $61,265. The lowest expenditure markets are Alaska (53% spend vs. national average), South Dakota (58% vs. national average) and West Texas (59% vs. national average).

Where brides spend the most:

  1. New York
  2. Illinois
  3. California

Where brides spend the least:

  1. Alaska
  2. South Dakota
  3. West Texas

While a bride’s budget has dozens of items on it, a growing portion of their spend is on the printed materials brides purchase for their big day. The overall custom print product industry is declining (think Christmas cards, birth announcements) due to changing social habits and the rise of digital-only options, but total market sales for wedding related printed materials have increased over the past three years — with the average cost of 100 wedding invitations now coming in between $5,000 and $8,000. The categories of ceremony programs and guest books are also growing, now industries of $120 million and $52 million respectively. When you add the cost of thank you cards, place cards, and envelopes, brides spent $1.7 billion on printed materials last year.

For more Paper Source wedding resources, visit

Founded in 1983, Paper Source is a premier paper and gift store offering a curated selection of fine and artisanal papers, invitations, gifts, gift wrap, greeting cards and an exclusive collection of envelopes and cards. Paper Source is committed to cultivating a community for their customers as they celebrate all of life’s moments, both big and small. With the company’s goal of “Do Something Creative Every Day”, Paper Source offers a creative aesthetic with a unique color palette and proprietary designs that are hand-illustrated by an in-house Art and Design team. As of August 2018, Paper Source operates stores in 29 states, the District of Columbia, plus an ecommerce store and wholesale division. For more information, please visit