2017 Weddings Statistics | Bellwether Events

top DC wedding planner Bellwether Events

Photo by Steve and Jane

As the year seems to pass so quickly, and 2018 begins, I am taking  a few moments to reflect on 2017, and what the year meant to Bellwether Events. Bellwether Events worked on ten weddings in 2017. This is a little down from past years, but as a small business owner, I know there are peaks and valleys. I’m hoping for a peak this coming year. But I need your help – do you know anyone planning a wedding or fun party? If so, please send them my way!

For fun, I like to look back on the year of weddings, and calculate some anecdotal evidence from those celebrations. This look back provides me a macro view of the weddings I lived and breathed during the year, when I wasn’t seeing the forest through the trees. I hope you enjoy it! Don’t miss my 2016 real wedding stats, if you’re interested! And check back over the next few weeks – I’ll be sharing photos from all these 2017 real weddings!

Wedding Locations

I had six Washington DC weddings, and four Virginia weddings. Where were you, Maryland couples? I missed you this year!

Five weddings were at a special event venue, three were a hotel weddings, and two were private homes weddings.

Five ceremonies were held outdoors, one was held in a church, and one was held under a chuppah.

Only one wedding had a ceremony location that was different from the wedding location (that was the church ceremony!)

Five of the ten wedding venues were places that Bellwether Events had never worked at before, inculding the two private homes.

Wedding Sizes

The average wedding guest list (actual attendance, not invited) was 110. I had a high of 156 guests and a low of 48 guests over the ten weddings.

I had weddings parties in the size of: 2, 4, 6, 6, 8, 10, 10, 10, 12, and 16. This doesn’t include any kids or the brides and grooms.

RSVP response rates: I made this little graph for you. As you can see, in general, the more people you invite to your wedding, the lower the response rate is. But for the most part, 80% still seems like a safe estimate.


Wedding Budgets

My ten couples spent an average of $65,100, with a high of about $100K, and a low of $36K, on their weddings.  The average budget spread over the average head count is a spend of about $591 per guest. The lowest per wedding guest spend was $333 and the highest spend was $1190 per wedding guest.

Wedding Planning Details

My clients spent an average of 7.75 months working with me.

Eight of the ten couples opted to have a “first look” before the wedding ceremony. Which means that there were only 2 wedding ceremonies where I was stressed out!

Six weddings had a DJ, and four had a band. This is basically the inverse of my 2016 weddings.

Five weddings featured a long table where the couple sat, and four couples sat at sweetheart tables – I think sweetheart tables might be making a come back. The tenth couple sat at a 5′ round with their families.

Eight of the ten weddings had a traditional wedding cake. The other two served some favorites of mine: ice cream sandwiches from Milk Cult and Nutella-stuffed pretzels from The Pretzel Bakery. I might have been stuffing my pockets with some pretzels at the end of the night.

Biggest Challenge

In July of 2017 my clients received word that their venue (for their October 2017 wedding) would not be opening on time and we would have to relocate. I’m proud to say that in 6 weeks we had a new wedding venue, caterer, beverages, room block, and rehearsal dinner venue. I can’t wait to share these wedding photos with you.

Notable Success

In May of 2017 I celebrated the 10th wedding annversary of the first ever Bellwether Events wedding clients. I mailed them a little treat, and wrote a special blog post about their Virginia wedding.

Coming Soon

In 2018 I’m already looking forward to seven weddings, and hoping to book 8-10 more. I’m looking forward to working at some old favorites (Saint Francis Hall and 101 Constitution) and venues I’d admired for many years but never worked at (Peabody Library and Fathom Gallery.) Larry and I will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary in April, and we have a trip planned to Big Sky, Montana, in October. What are you looking forward to in 2018?

Be Sage Conference 2017 - DC Squad

My DC Squad, at Be Sage Conference 2017. Photo by Barbie Hull