Wedding Industry Enjoys Boom

February 8, 2000

Wedding Industry Enjoys Boom

More U.S. couples are planning weddings this year, driving unprecedented demand for everything from jewelry to caterers. The trend maybe motivated by fascination with – or superstition about – the new millennium, says Reuters.

Across the country, dressmakers and caterers have hired extra staff, major hotels across the country are running out of available weekends and wedding consultants are booked solid. At 4.8 pounds and 1,270 pages, the February/March issue of Conde Nast's Bride's Magazine claims to have broken its own record in the Guinness book for the third consecutive year as the largest consumer magazine published.

"We saw a very significant increase in engagement ring business in the last three days of December," says Beryl Raff, president and CEO of Dallas-based Zale Corp. "There were many women getting engaged on New Year's Eve."

The U.S. wedding industry, valued at $30 billion to $50 billion annually, suffered a mild recession in 1999 as couples put off weddings in order to get married in 2000, says Carley Roney, cofounder and editor in chief of The Knot.com (www.theknot.com), an online wedding planning and gift registry site. Big-ticket items such as appliances and even cars are becoming increasingly popular wedding gifts – couples can choose Sub Zero refrigerators or even a $31,000 BMW in The Knot's gift registry.

- by Mark E. Dixon