Luxury Coach & Transportation

April 2015

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 19 of 75

18 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR APRIL 2015 WWW.LCTMAG.COM Orlando Sentinel, the city is poised to become a "marriage mecca" for same-sex couples. The article reports that Orlan- do already is a destination for gay travel, but legal wed- dings will offer a new market for vendors and "limousine ser- vices." The article points out that market- ing to gay couples has meant wedding planners are changing or tweaking their names to be more inclusive and updating websites to attract gay clientele. Overall, spending on weddings is rising. "Wedding budgets have been increas- ing steadily since the economic down- turn of 2008, and in 2013, couples spent a record high average of nearly $30,000," says Carley Roney, cofounder of TheK-, a wedding planning website. "Couples are more focused than ever on creating a unique, personalized and once-in-a-lifetime experience for their guests — plus they're doing so in a mod- ern way, by planning from their smart- phones, publicizing details on social me- dia and more." — SPECIAL EVENTS: DESTINATION WEDDINGS she says. For operators, the best way to market to the LGBT community for transportation ser- vices is through network- ing with wedding planners and destination management companies (DMCs), but there also are specifc marketing tactics to reach the community. According to gayweddinginstitute. com, the top three ways same-sex cou- ples fnd vendors are: Word of mouth; online LGBT wedding directories; and mainstream wedding directories. In fact, 72% of same-sex couples want vendors with LGBT inclusive language in their marketing, and 69% seek vendors with LGBT photos in their marketing. Considering that billions will be spent on same-sex weddings, ceremo- nies and events, operators who market to the LGBT community can reap the additional business that will only con- tinue to grow in the future as more states legalize and recognize same-sex marriages and unions. In fact, according to an article in the TRENDING Growing Budgets: Couples are spending more on their wed- dings (2013) than ever. Following the trend of growing budgets for the past two years, wedding budgets are at an all-time high with the average wedding cost hitting $29,858, the highest level ever. Fewer couples (20%) say the economy affected their wedding budget — a statistic that has continually decreased year over year, since reaching an all-time high of 34% in 2009. Wedding standards also continue to rise. In fact, about one in 8 couples (14%) spent more than $40,000 on their nuptials, and nearly one in four (24%) didn't even have a budget. Seasonal Shift: Summer is slowly mak- ing its way out of style as the wedding season. Summer is generally defined as wedding season. However, the trend toward beautiful summer weddings is shifting. In 2013, 35% of couples opted for sunshine-filled nuptials, down from 2009 when 41% of couples opted for the season. In recent years, fall has been making headway as the "new" wedding season, but the rise of fall weddings is pausing. In 2013, 32% of couples chose the season, down from its high of 36% in 2011. Spring is gaining traction with couples who aren't afraid of April showers; 26% of brides chose pretty spring weddings, up from 22% in 2011. Winter is also coming from behind to give couples gorgeous snow-filled portraits; though still the minority, 7% of couples chose a winter wedding in 2013, up from 5% in 2012. Personalization: Weddings are the ultimate form of self-expression. The trend in weddings for many years has been to create a personalized experience, where the couples' personalities are evident in many areas of the wedding. This trend is gaining, with couples opting for unique details such as signature wedding cocktails, which 20% of couples chose, up from just 12% in 2008, and hosting interactive food stations (15% of weddings in 2013, up from 13% in 2010). Couples are also personalizing their ceremonies into unique, touching experiences with a family member or friend officiating — just 57% of couples hired a professional ceremony officiant, down from 63% of couples who did so in 2009. Source: TOP WEDDING STATISTICS f Percentage of operator re venue weddings account for. P c e t a g e o — LCT Fact Book, May 2014. Source: • Most Expensive Place to Get Married: Manhattan, $86,916 average spend • Least Expensive Place to Get Married: Idaho, $16,159 average spend • Average Number of Guests: 138 • Average Number of Bridesmaids: 4 to 5 • Average Number of Groomsmen: 4 to 5 • Most Popular Month to Get Married: June and September (15% each) Cliff Wright, President of Royal Coach and Limousine, Orlando, Fla., has seen an uptick in Orlando area wedding business. He has a diverse feet, including the traditional white stretches, to handle destination weddings.

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