These Stats About Wedding Pros' Jobs by the Numbers Are Fascinating

Our new study reveals some staggering statistics about different wedding pros—from videographers to venues—and you won’t believe how many hours they spend making each day perfect for their clients.
by Sophie Ross

The truth is, the vendors you hire will make all the difference on your wedding day. Whether it’s your photographer, your florist or the venue that sets the stage (literally) for everything else, it’s important to understand the processes behind them and do the research so you can make the best decision for you. That—and the fact that it’s almost Small Business Saturday—is why we’ve surveyed thousands of local wedding professionals and small business owners to reveal the ins and outs of how they make each and every couple feel special. And the reality is, the amount of hard work they put in is staggering.

To be exact, local wedding pros work 49 hours a week (16 of which are spent at actual weddings), with an average of four events per week, according to our Small Business Study. Another fun fact: The majority of wedding pros are married themselves (63 percent) with kids (55 percent). So they definitely have their hands full.

They’re also diversified: 70 percent of wedding businesses offer more than one product or service, with 89 percent serving other events in addition to weddings. And perhaps most importantly, they’re trusted, seasoned professionals, having operated in their community for an average of 19 years (yes, you read that correctly). Local bridal salons have the longest average industry tenure (39 years), followed by bands (38.7 years), venues (30.4 years) and caterers (28.3 years), with most (79 percent) beginning their careers in a field outside the wedding industry. Basically, when business has been booming for decades, you know you’re in good hands.

Below, we break down some vendor categories by the numbers, and you won’t believe some of the statistics here (did you know the average wedding requires 632 individual flowers?) on everything from cake bakers to calligraphers. And if this doesn’t make you want to leave an appreciative review for your pros, we don’t know what will.

Venues

  • Venues are a one-stop shop for couples, with 81 percent offering more than one product or service—the three most popular are:

    • Bar service (18 percent)

    • Planning/coordination (18 percent)

    • Catering (18 percent)

  • They have a large team of 60 full-time and 55 part-time employees

  • They’re busy, working an average of 217 events each year, almost a quarter of which are weddings (50). They average four events per week.

  • Weddings don’t come together in a day—in fact, venues say they spend an average of 22 hours with each couple.

  • The wedding doesn’t start at the “I do” and end at the last dance. On average, venues spend eight hours on setup and breakdown.

  • Fun fact: Venues burn an average of 1,000 candles at weddings per year.

Caterers

  • Caterers know how to hustle, working an average of 6 events per week (306 events a year)—almost a quarter of which (71) are weddings.

  • Food prep takes almost a full day (22 hours to be exact).

  • They own almost 930 glasses on average—10 percent of which break at weddings each year.

DJs and Bands

  • DJs work an average of two events per week (190 events each year), 43 percent of which are weddings.

  • It takes five hours to compile a playlist (four hours for bands) and three hours for equipment setup for an average wedding (two hours for bands).

  • They’re flexible—20 percent of clients spontaneously extend their wedding because they’re having so much fun.

  • And they’re patient—at an average wedding, they get 14 song requests from guests.

  • They own an average of 31.5 million songs in their music library.

  • They invest a lot in their business—DJ equipment is worth $50,000 on average.

Photographers

  • They spend an average of nine hours on their feet at a typical wedding, and take 2,100 photos.

  • They have a lean team, employing one full-time and one part-time employee, on average.

  • They deliver an average of 738 photos to couples and spend almost an entire day (23 hours) editing them.

  • Not to mention, it takes six hours to assemble non-digital photo albums.

Videographers

  • On average, they spend nine hours on their feet at weddings, shooting an average of seven hours of footage.

  • It takes an average of 36 hours to edit footage from a wedding—resulting in wedding videos that average 67 minutes in length, with a highlight reel of 19 minutes.

  • They’re in on the hottest trends—almost two-thirds are currently offering aerial drones.

Florists

  • From centerpieces and bouquets to flower crowns and hanging displays, an average wedding uses 632 flowers.

  • On average, florists create 25 arrangements per wedding.

  • It takes florists a full day (24 hours) to arrange, prep and set up all the flowers at a typical wedding.

  • Florists know flowers, and here are some of the ones they love working with the most:

    • Peonies (32 percent)

    • Roses (21 percent)

    • Hydrangeas (13 percent)

Planners

  • From the moment they walk in the door, to the moment they jet off to their honeymoon, couples spend an average of 66 hours with their wedding planners.

  • It doesn’t stop there: They put in an average of 64 hours into planning and designing each wedding.

  • They collaborate with their couples: 67 percent say their couples stay very involved in the planning process.

Cakes

  • Cake bakers know how to hustle—working 388 events per year (which includes both weddings and non-weddings).

  • Making a wedding cake is no small feat—14 cups of sugar and 14 cups of flour go into each one, and it takes up to 26 minutes to create a single sugar flower.

  • An average wedding cake has four tiers.

Bridal Salons

  • It takes an average of eight-hour alterations and three dress fittings before the bride walks down the aisle.

  • Bridal salons do 27 bridal appointments per week—each bride bringing an average of three guests for her shopping appointment and two guests to her fitting.

  • They don’t always say “yes to the dress” on the first try: On average, only 43 percent of brides find their dream dress on their first visit.

  • Bridal salons stock up on an average of $302,000 worth of inventory.

Calligraphers

  • More often than not, they are the sole employees of their business.

  • They address an average of 1,600 wedding envelopes each year and go through one calligraphy pen every two weeks.

  • On average, they spend roughly five minutes on each envelope.

Beauty Pros

  • They spend over an hour and a half on a bride’s hair and makeup.

  • On average, they do hair and makeup for six bridal party members, spending 77 minutes on each.

  • They own an average of 86 makeup brushes.

Up Next
Bride and groom exiting their outdoor wedding ceremony
The National Average Cost of a Wedding Hits $35,329
We polled nearly 13,000 brides and grooms who married in 2016 for The Knot 2016 Real Weddings Study and learned that they’re splurging on total personalization and creating the ultimate guest experience.
by Maggie Seaver3 min read