THE AMERICAN WEDDING
FAIRCHILD BRIDAL INFOBANK
• Marriages in the United States have remained at approximately 2.2 million since 1980, and it is
estimated that 75% of marriages are first-time marriages for either the bride or the groom.
• Today's brides and grooms are more sophisticated than ever before, have a higher education
and more career opportunities. Because of these factors, women are marrying later and the average
age of a bride is now 27 (groom is 29).
• The Echo Boom (children of the Baby Boomers) is the next big generation to move into
“engagement zone”. 71 million men and women, born between 1979 and 2002,
make up this generation.
• In the next 15 years, the number of Echo Boomers turning 27 will grow 22%. Assuming
that the average age of a bride and other factors* (i.e. divorce and remarriage rates)
remain constant, an increase in marriages seems likely due to the sheer size of the group.
• Their generational characteristics include being highly tech-savvy, well-educated and
accustomed to being bombarded by media messages. They've grown up in an affluent
society and have big spending power.
• This group offers bridal marketers an opportunity to reach a larger audience than in the past
and also an increase in market share.
*There were approximately 920,060 divorces in 2003. The National Center for Health Statistics recently
Released a report that 43% of first marriages end in separation or divorce within fifteen years.
THE NUMBER OF MARRIAGES HAS REMAINED
RELATIVELY CONSTANT OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS
Source: National Center for Health Statistics
NUMBER OF MARRIAGES PER YEAR (in millions)
BABY BOOM HITS
GEN X HITS MARRIAGE YEARS
2000 2001 2002 2003
MARRIAGES BY REGION
(DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, NC, SC, GA, FL)
East North Central