It’s been 3 years since I last attended the WMBA conference in Las Vegas (WMBA stands for “Wedding Merchants Business Association”) and my 4th time overall. This is the top wedding professionals conference in the US, attended by well over 1,000 photographers, planners, caterers, venue owners, DJs, and others that service the wedding industry to learn the latest and greatest in all things wedding. This year had the largest turnout in the event’s decade-plus history (over 1,600), and the best of the four that I’ve attended. The three-day conference is held at the massive Las Vegas Convention Center. There was certainly no need for me to do my regular daily workout or run as I probably logged 3 or 4 miles just walking around the cavernous confines each day.
Dozens of wedding experts covered every topic from legalities to social media to customer service to what’s hot / what’s not. The topics were great and it was great to connect with wedding industry friends from around the country that I haven’t seen in an awhile. As an added bonus, Wedding Wire and The Knot hosted some great evening parties at two of the hottest clubs in town – one in the Bellagio with an incredible view of the world-famous water show. So here’s some information that both brides and grooms who are reading this as well as wedding pros may find interesting. My Top 15:
- Average wedding guest count is 136 (down 10% in 3 years).
- Average engagement: 16 months
- June is still the #1 wedding month.
- December is still the #1 engagement month.
- 91% of wedding pros serve LGBT couples.
- 62% of couples want their wedding published in a major wedding magazine.
- 96% of couples use mobile devices for online wedding searches.
- Cake is still tops, cupcakes are peaking, designer upscale donuts may be the next “big thing”.
- Wine and beer blendings are becoming a popular alternative to the sand blending at ceremonies.
- The Knot & Wedding Wire are still the top 2 wedding search engines.
- Periscope (a live video streaming app) could be the next big social media craze.
- Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook are still the top 3 social media sites used by couples.
- 50% of all couples are using an Instagram hashtag for guests to post their wedding photos from their mobile device (#weddingname).
- Signature cocktails still very popular…now at up to 30% of weddings.
- Gender-blended wedding parties are the rage (Best Woman, Man Of Honor, Bridesman, Groomswoman).