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Today's brides are cost-conscious, media-savvy

Survey shows that brides-to-be are willing to ditch size and tradition in favor of saving money, and know how to work social media.

By Stacy Johnson Jan 19, 2011 3:10PM

This post comes from Michael Koretzky at partner site Money Talks News.

 

Forget something borrowed and something blue. More brides today are going brand-new and Bluetooth.

The David's Bridal chain has released its fifth annual What's on Brides' Minds survey and, wow, how the times have changed in half a decade. As late as 2008, the survey of engaged women showed the Internet was simply "a wonderful planning tool and a great time-saver" for everything from comparison shopping for invitations to making honeymoon reservations.

Now, some brides have no reservations about "a paperless wedding invitation." And after the wedding, they're using social media to spread the word. Nearly half -- 48% -- update Facebook with their new relationship status or new married name within a day of saying "I do." And 44% are posting snippets of their ceremony on YouTube, "like a choreographed dance down the aisle or first dance."

 

So much for expensive wedding photo albums.

 

"Today's bride may still be budget-conscious, but that's not stopping her from revamping past traditions to create the one-of-a-kind wedding she's always dreamed about," says Brian Beitler, chief marketing officer for David's Bridal.

 

How are they doing that? Beitler counts the ways:

  • Less is more. "Nearly nine in 10 brides (89%) have considered having a small wedding, with 80% saying their reason for considering the smaller ceremony is to save money." How small is small? "Eighty percent of brides-to-be believe a small wedding is 50 guests or less and almost half (44%) define it as a wedding with 30 or fewer guests."
  • Nontraditional is much cheaper. "Forty percent would marry outside a church or synagogue in a nonreligious setting, and two-thirds have considered having a family member or friend deliver their vows." Other traditions they' love to leave at the altar: wedding speeches (37% don't like them), wearing white (25%), and choosing something old, new, borrowed, and blue (22%).
  • Do it yourself. "Of those who had to reduce their budgets, 61% said the wedding planner was the first to go, followed by decor (59%) and venue (57%)." But one item not on the chopping block? "Brides identified alcohol as the least likely to be affected by budget cuts."

Almost half of those surveyed -- 45% -- said their wedding budget is under $10,000. And in a bit of good news for economic sanity, 24% said their goal was "saving money to go toward a down payment on a house" instead of blowing it on an over-the-top wedding.

And if you still don't think new brides have their priorities straight, here's a final shocking nugget of news from the survey: "While watching wedding reality shows may be a guilty pleasure of brides, 69% said they'd never let their wedding be featured on a controversial reality show in order to save money."

 

Now, that's something to say "I do" to. How about you? If there are wedding bells in your future, what will your budget be?

 

More from Money Talks News and MSN Money:

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