This is a re-post of the survey results, pulled from Reuters.com
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thumb_the_knot_logo1-- Survey Finds That Wedding Budgets Continue to Rise, Brides Are Focusing on Guests; Plus First-Ever Same-Sex Wedding Statistics --
NEW YORK,  March 7, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO;  www.xogroupinc.com), a global media and technology leader and creator of the top
two wedding websites,  TheKnot.com  and  WeddingChannel.com, today released the results of its annual Real Weddings Study. This comprehensive report surveyed more than 17,500 US brides married in 2012. TheKnot.com & WeddingChannel.com 2012 Real Weddings Survey captures detailed information on  wedding budget, style  preferences, event characteristics and other key statistics related to the bridal demographic.

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"In 2011, budgets increased for the first time since the economic downturn, and this past year, in 2012, we saw that wedding budgets are continuing to rise even more and to an all-time high since 2008," said  Carley Roney, cofounder of The Knot. "Couples are increasingly less concerned with the economy and are comfortable investing more than ever in the once-in-a-lifetime experience of planning their wedding and making it a fabulous experience for their guests."

2012 Wedding Statistics

* Average Wedding Budget:  $28,427  (excludes honeymoon)  
* Most Expensive Place to Get Married:  Manhattan,  $76,678  average spend  
* Least Expensive Place to Get Married:  Alaska,  $15,504  average spend  
* Average Spent on a Wedding Dress:  $1,211
* Average Marrying Age: Bride, 29; Groom, 31  
* Average Number of Guests: 139  
* Average Number of Bridesmaids: 4 to 5  
* Average Number of Groomsmen: 4 to 5  
* Most Popular Month to Get Engaged: December (16%)  
* Average Length of Engagement: 14 months  
* Most Popular Month to Get Married: June (17%)  
* Popular Wedding Colors: Blue (33%), Purple (26%), Green (23%), Metallics (23%)

* Percentage of Destination Weddings: 24%

2012 Average Wedding Budget Breakdown

 Category                               2012 National Average Spend  2011 National Average Spend  
 Overall Wedding (excluding honeymoon)  $28,427                      $27,021                      
 Venue (reception hall)                 $12,905                      $12,116                      
 Photographer                           $2,379                       $2,299                       
 Wedding/Event Planner                  $1,847                       $1,753                       
 Reception Band                         $3,084                       $3,122                       
 Reception DJ                           $988                         $929                         
 Florist/Decor                          $1,997                       $1,894                       
 Videographer                           $1,619                       $1,486                       
 Wedding Dress                          $1,211                       $1,121                       
 Groom's Tuxedo                         $230                         $215                         
 Wedding Cake                           $560                         $535                         
 Ceremony Site                          $1,711                       $1,599                       
 Ceremony Musicians                     $554                         $536                         
 Invitations                            $453                         $440                         
 Limousine                              $708                         $669                         
 Favors                                 $289                         $285                         
 Rehearsal Dinner                       $1,135                       $1,078                       
 Engagement Ring                        $5,431                       $5,130                       
 Catering (price per person)            $63                          $61                          

 Figures based on respondents who hired a professional vendor for the service.  

Top 20 Most Expensive Places to Get Married

Based on average wedding spend in 2012, these are the areas around the US where couples spend the most on their weddings.

1New York City (Manhattan): $76,687 2Chicago, IL: $49,810 3New York Metro (Long Island, Hudson Valley and NYC Outer Boroughs): $49,002, $46,300, $39,602
4Northern/Central New Jersey and Southern New Jersey: $48,496, $35,375 5Rhode Island: $47,399 6Santa Barbara/Ventura, CA: $42,319 7Boston, MA: $39,239
8Philadelphia, PA: $38,369 9Connecticut: $38,009 10San Francisco, CA: $35,344 11Los Angeles, CA: $35,308 12San Diego and Orange County/Inland Empire, CA: $34,136, $33,848 13Baltimore, MD: $33,366 14Washington, DC/Northern Virginia/suburban Maryland: $33,118 15Houston, TX: $31,978 16Southern Florida
(Miami, Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas): $31,288 17Savannah, GA: $30,618* 18Sacramento/Reno/Tahoe: $30,458* 19Hawaii: $29,636 20Illinois: $29,489*

*New to Top 20 List in 2012

Notable Regional Differences

TheKnot.com & WeddingChannel.com 2012 Real Weddings Survey can be broken down on a region-by-region basis across more than 80 markets. Regional highlights include:

* Budget:New York City  (Manhattan) has the highest average wedding budget ($76,687), and  Alaska  brides has the lowest average wedding budget  ($15,504), excluding honeymoon.  
* Age:Hawaii  has the oldest brides (33 years), whereas  Utah  has the youngest brides (25 years), on average.  
* Engagements:  Middle Atlantic brides have the longest engagements (15.8 months), while brides in East South Central have the shortest (11.9 months), on average.*  
* Wedding Size:  On average,  Utah  brides still have the largest number of wedding guests (209), and  Nevada  brides still have the smallest number of
wedding guests (64).  
* Wedding Style:Wyoming  has the most casual weddings (39%), while  Chicago, IL, has the most formal (black-tie) weddings (44%).  
* Wedding Dress Spend:  Brides in  Manhattan  spend the most on their dresses ($2,877  on average), while  Idaho  brides spend the least  ($878).  
* Honeymoon:  Savannah, GA, Couples are most likely to book a honeymoon (90%), while Alaskan couples are least likely to honeymoon (44%).  
* Registry:  Brides in West North Central are the most likely to register for wedding gifts  (94%), while Mountain brides are least likely to register
(84%).*

*Middle Atlantic is comprised of NY, NJ, PA
*East South Central is comprised of AL, TN, KY, MS
*West North Central is comprised of MO, KS, IA, ND, NE, SD, MN
*Mountain is comprised of CO, AZ, NV, UT, ID, MT, NM, WY

Top 8 2012 Wedding Trends

BOOMING BUDGETS. Brides are spending even more on their weddings.  Following 2011's trend of growing budgets, for the second year in a row since the economic downturn, the average wedding spend has grown year over year, hitting  $28,427, the highest level since 2008. In this vein, fewer brides (26%) say the economy affected their wedding spend - a statistic that has continually decreased year over year, from 29% in 2011, 31% in 2010 and 34% in 2009. Wedding standards also continue to rise, as the average wedding spend per guest increased to  $204, as compared to  $196  in 2011 and even  $194  in 2009. In fact, about 1 in 8 brides (13%) are spending more than  $40,000  on their nuptials, and nearly 1 in 4 (23%) didn't even have a budget.

YEAR OF THE GUEST.Brides are concentrating on creating an experience for guests.  Not only did spend per guest increase to  $204, up almost  $10  per guest from 2011, when brides spent  $196  per guest, but also  guest entertainment continues to gain popularity. This rapidly rising category only continues to grow - in 2012, more than 1 in 4 brides (27%) provided additional guest entertainment, compared to just 22% in 2011, 15% in 2010 and 11% in 2009.
Additionally, while the number of brides who throw a  rehearsal dinner, after-party or morning-after brunch has remained steady, brides are spending
more money on these events. In 2012, brides spent an average of  $1,135  on their rehearsal dinners (up from  $1,078  in 2011) and  $429  on their
morning-after brunch (up from  $416  in 2011). More than 1 in 4 (27%) are even providing shuttles and buses for guests to attend their weddings.

SAME-SEX WEDDINGS. First-ever same-sex wedding statistics released.  Same-sex couples have longer engagements and are older at the time of their weddings, compared to traditional couples. They're more likely to have a casual wedding and report having fewer wedding guests.  Same-sex  couples spent slightly more on their overall wedding costs and more per guest. They're also less likely to host a bridal shower, bachelorette or bachelor party, but more likely to have an after-party, engagement party and couples party.

LESS-FORMAL STYLE. Casual and fun weddings grow.  Wedding style  continues to move toward the more casual end of the spectrum. In 2012, approximately 1 in 6 (17%) of brides said their wedding style was "casual," compared with 16% in 2011, 14% in 2010 and 12% in 2009. Throughout the past several years, brides have increasingly described themselves in less formal ways, as well. "Fun" was the number one descriptor chosen, with more than 1 in 4 (27%) brides describing themselves this way. Additionally, 1 in 4 described themselves as  DIYers, compared with just 17% in 2008. "Elegant," which was the number one descriptor in 2008, when 31% of brides chose it, continues to decline, falling to just 22% in 2012.

WEDDINGS LESS RELIGIOUS. Number of weddings taking place in religious institutions declining.  In hand with the move toward more-casual weddings,
religious institutions are chosen less frequently for the wedding ceremony. Only 35% of brides opted to hold their wedding in a house of worship in 2012, down from 2 in 5 (41%) in 2009. Additionally, more couples are opting to have a friend or family member officiate the ceremony. In 2012, 1 in 3 (33%) couples chose a friend or family member to officiate, up from 31% in 2011 and 2010, and 29% in 2009.

HONEYMOONS ARE HAPPENING. Honeymoon planning is less affected by economy.  For the past several years, brides reported that due to the economy, they were opting to postpone their  honeymoons  to keep wedding budgets in check. In 2009, 82% of couples took a honeymoon, compared to 77% in 2011. For the first time since 2009, this number remains steady and is no longer declining; in 2012 more than 3 in 4 couples (77%) took a honeymoon. As we see the economy's effect on wedding planning continue to lessen, the impact on honeymoons continues to lessen too.

BRIDES HAVE THE BLUES. Blue is the most popular wedding color.  Blue  has gained popularity in recent years, with 1 in 3 (33%) brides opting for the hue. Dark blue has actually doubled in popularity since 2008, when only 10% chose the color, compared to 20% selecting it in 2012.  Purple  continues to be popular, with 22% picking purple in 2012.  Gray  is also gaining steam, with 11% choosing the color in 2012, up from only 7% in 2011.

SAVING THE DATE. More couples opting for Save-the-Dates.  In 2012, couples were more conscious of their guests and chose to send  save-the-dates  more than in past years - nearly 7 in 10 (68%) sent save-the-dates compared to 57% in 2009. Brides are also opting more for professionally made save the dates, as well. Two in five couples (40%) sent them, compared to just 29% in 2009. Electronic save-the-dates are also popular: 28% created and/or sent save-the-dates online, compared to just 19% in 2009.

About TheKnot.com & WeddingChannel.com 2012 Real Weddings Survey The 2012 Real Weddings Survey captured responses from nearly 17,500 US brides
married  between January 1 and December 31, 2012; respondents were recruited throughout the year from  TheKnot.com  and  WeddingChannel.com  membership,
which represents nearly 80% of brides nationwide. Brides received survey invitations shortly after their wedding date and were asked a comprehensive
series of questions about the event and their planning process. All qualified respondents attested that they:

* Were 18 or older  
* Had a wedding in 2012

Survey respondents represent a variety of ethnicities and educational and income levels, and are geographically dispersed across the country. The survey and data management partner for the study was Decipher Inc.

About XO Group Inc.  
XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO;  http://www.xogroupinc.com), is a global media and
technology leader devoted to weddings, pregnancy and everything in between,
providing young women with the trusted information, products and advice they
need to guide them through the most transformative events of their lives. Our
family of premium brands began with the #1 wedding brand, The Knot, and has
grown to include WeddingChannel.com, The Nest, The Bump, The Blush and Ijie.com.
XO Group is recognized by the industry for being innovative in all media - from
the web to social media and mobile, magazines and books, and video - and our
groundbreaking social platforms have ignited passionate communities across the
world. XO Group has leveraged its customer loyalty into successful businesses in
online sponsorship and advertising, registry services, ecommerce and publishing.
The company is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange (XOXO) and is
headquartered in  New York City. Follow XO Group on Twitter @xogroupinc.

CONTACT:  Stephanie Fraiman
Public Relations Manager
XO Group Inc.
(212) 515-3595
sfraiman@xogrp.com

SOURCE  TheKnot.com

 

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