While the pandemic has caused engaged couples to postpone, postpone and even cancel weddings, the wedding industry has certainly come back in full force – driven largely by small businesses.
According to a survey of 500 American adults who married within the last year, conducted by Intuit QuickBooks, 95 percent of couples worked with at least one small business. The company notes that the result shows consumers’ clear desire to partner with small businesses on their wedding day.
The wedding industry opportunity, the company says, will be a key driver of small business growth in 2022 and beyond — especially given the wide range of elements that go into planning the perfect wedding. Couples shared they had worked with these small businesses for a range of products and services, including photographers, makeup artists, event planners, florists, bakers, caterers, hairstylists, DJs and more.
Still, small businesses compete against big players in the wedding space in all categories, and that presents some challenges. Data in the Intuit QuickBooks survey found that the top reason couples chose to hire a larger company was because the smaller company didn’t offer the same service (41 percent). Another third of respondents said they chose a larger provider because the small business wasn’t available when they needed it.
Importantly, many couples make a conscious choice to work with a small provider, with nearly all (98 percent) of respondents saying it is “important to work with a small business provider.”
In part, this sentiment reflects a general consumer desire to support small businesses, with a third of respondents saying they wanted to support local businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. When the company delved deeper into why consumers think it’s important to support small businesses, the company found that 44 percent of respondents felt that service would be better and more personal with a small business provider.
To capitalize on the opportunities presented by the wedding industry, the report’s authors emphasize that small businesses need to modernize the methods of accepting payments as their business grows. The Intuit QuickBooks survey found that the most popular form of payment is cash, with 56 percent of consumers saying they paid sellers cash. Another two-thirds of respondents said they had used a credit card to pay vendors, and 21 percent used cryptocurrencies.
Overall, consumers of small business wedding vendors shared great appreciation and positive experiences. While 68 percent of respondents said there was a “vendor that saved the day,” 74 percent said the vendor was a small business.
Specifically, in a second Intuit QuickBooks survey report, data showed that consumers plan to spend 40 percent of their total vacation budget on small businesses, representing an $88 billion opportunity during the holiday shopping season.