When you run a business in the wedding industry, you learn pretty quickly that staying a few steps ahead plays to your advantage. From anticipating your clients’ needs and solving problems before they are a thorn in your side to preparing for different scenarios and making sure you are equipped for an influx of new couples to onboard, looking ahead (and getting your plan in place) is one of the best favors you can do for your future self. The thing is, there can be a lot of guesswork when it comes to deciding what to focus on—especially as we gear up for an historic year of weddings (2.6 million weddings in 2022 to be exact). So today, we wanted to share some important marriage proposal statistics from our annual engagement and jewelry survey to help you hone in on your next move.

Read on for the most up-to-date wedding market research and then use the insights to prep your business and team for an influx of inquiries.

 

Things are trending towards pre-COVID numbers

It’s music to everyone’s ears—proposals were less impacted by COVID in 2021 than they were in 2020 (18% vs. 50%) and planning timelines are back to what we’re used to seeing. Currently, proposals are being planned more than a month out (nearly 2 in 3 taking 1-6 months) which is significantly longer than last year where 50% of proposals were planned within a month of popping the question.

 

Proposals are planned with more than a ring alone

Customization and personalization of wedding-day details has been steadily increasing over the years, and now we are seeing the trend in proposals too. Nearly 1 in 4 proposers told us they feel pressure to plan something unique—and they are following through. About 1 in 3 engagements take place on a planned trip (up 7% from last year) and 1 in 5 proposers are enlisting the help of professional vendors to help them plan or photograph it (up 8% since 2019). In addition, couples are extremely likely to publicly share the details of their engagement on social media (90% of couples do) with 78% making the announcement on Instagram and 77% doing so on Facebook.

Did you know? When looking at engagements that took place from January to November of 2021, nearly 3 in 4 took place outside (compared to 40% in 2020). This is most likely due to continued safety precautions regarding COVID and is in line with the trend of couples wanting to book outdoor wedding venues as well.

 

When it comes to engagement ring shopping

Gone are the days of being totally surprised by a proposal! Now, 3 out of 4 people who are being proposed to have some sort of involvement in selecting or purchasing the engagement ring (a 10% increase since 2015). In addition, nearly 80% of people told us they dropped hints about what kind of ring they wanted—1 in 5 actually visited a ring retailer on their own to look. 

When it comes to ring aesthetics, there are some changes slowly taking place. While diamonds are still the most popular option for a center stone (86% of engagement rings), moissanite is growing in popularity (especially with Gen Z). Yellow gold is also trending upward with 11% more couples choosing it over white gold since 2017.

Did you know? Engagement ring purchase data predicts a surge of proposals this coming engagement season. 

 

Eco-conscious habits are impacting the jewelry industry

There are quite a few wedding trends to know about but there is one that crosses over. Today’s couples are finding it less important that the stone in their engagement ring be natural and more couples are opting for man-made. Nearly 1 in 4 engagement rings in 2021 have a center stone that is man-made, (up +11% in the past two years) and younger generations (Gen Z) find it less important for the stone to be natural (28% vs. 35% Millennials and 41% Gen X).

 

Ring budgets are increasing

One of the wedding industry statistics you might be most interested in revolves around spending habits, and the engagement ring is what kicks spending off. And this year, couples spent an average of $6,000 on an engagement ring (consistent with a pre-pandemic spend of $5,900 in 2019). Roughly 2 out of 3 couples set and stuck to their budget but nearly 30% spend more than they had planned (up 9% from 2020).

Did you know? Only 13% of couples start planning their wedding with money they specifically saved for it. In addition, 75% of couples set a wedding budget before doing their research and talking to vendors. The result? 2 out of 3 couples say they need to increase their wedding budget and 68% of them realize they set it too low to start.

 

Couples are ready to start wedding planning

Which brings us to the (most) exciting part—couples are ready to hit the ground running! In fact, 89% of them talk about at least one aspect of their wedding and 70% actually start something before even getting engaged. Another important wedding proposal statistic for you to know? Roughly 85% of couples start wedding planning in less than 2 months of getting engaged and 60% within a month of getting engaged. 

 

Did you know? There is another interesting stat that should get you excited about 2022 and beyond. Couples start to book their wedding venue an average of 15 months out, so the data we are seeing indicates we’re going to have a busy 2023 as well!

2022 and 2023 are shaping up to be the busiest wedding seasons in decades—are you doing everything you can to make sure couples can find you? If you have any doubt, be sure to make these important updates to your Storefront, learn how couples use The Knot and WeddingWire to research and plan their weddings, and how advertising with WeddingPro can help you get found by this record number of engaged couples!

 

Photo Credit:Molly Anderson / Shutterstock.com