It’s June 6, 2015, which happens to be the first Saturday of June this year, and wedding-related posts pop up all over social media. A simple Twitter search of “wedding” and #weddingseason turns up thousands of results—posted from all over the globe—on that June day alone. What it boils down to is that “wedding season” is not a myth, and people love to talk about it all summer long.
According to research by The Knot, widely recognized as an authority on all-things-wedding, June is the most popular month for weddings in the United States. In fact, 15% of all 2014 weddings took place in June. This isn’t something new or overly surprising—the tradition of summer weddings dates back to ancient times.
The notion of the “June Bride” goes all the way back to the Romans when the festival of the deity Jupiter and his wife Juno—the goddess of marriage and childbirth—occurred on the first day of June. But what makes June such a popular month for weddings nowadays?
“It's the easiest time of year for most brides and grooms to take extended leave from work,” says blogger and Huffington Post Wedding contributor Sandy Malone. “Many occupations are significantly more flexible between Memorial Day and Labor Day.”
So what does this have to do with small business, you ask? Think about what a traditional wedding entails—a venue, the dress, flowers, invitations, entertainment, and more. With the occasional exceptions, the grand majority of those details have a positive impact on local venues, dress shops, florists, photographers, bakeries, and DJs.
The potential for an uptick in revenue is not lost on small business owners who serve summer wedding clientele. The Knot reported the average wedding cost in 2014 to be $31,213, excluding the honeymoon. Several pieces of that pie—or wedding cake, if you will—likely belong to small businesses that are cashing in on the preparations for and the execution of the Big Day.
One of the first decisions most brides need to make involves finding the dress and formal wedding party wear. Unlike some wedding details that may be addressed closer to the event, dresses typically need to be ordered months in advance. That means bridal shops like Bella Bridesmaids’ Nashville location experience a boost in sales during the winter months to outfit summer weddings.
“We absolutely see an uptick in dresses needed for June weddings, but we also see a high demand in our market for May and October weddings,” explains Allison Taylor, owner of Bella Bridesmaids Nashville. “Because dresses are ordered 4-6 months in advance of the wedding season, we actually experience increased sales during the winter months with brides gearing up for the summer wedding season.”
Last year, brides spent an average of $1,357 on a wedding dress.
Wedding dresses—for both the bride and bridal party—makes for a lucrative business, but those shops aren’t the only ones making money on the wedding tradition. Flower shops and bakeries—especially those specializing in weddings—are two other local businesses that can experience an uptick in sales during the summer months. Last year, couples spent an average of over $2,000 on flowers and décor, as well as more than $500 on their wedding cake.
Patricia’s Weddings and Custom Cakes in Cincinnati, Ohio, has seen that trend continue into 2015. Owner Patricia Lang says sales boom throughout the summer and are now stretching into the early fall months, as well.
“Our busy season runs from May through the beginning of November,” says owner Patricia Lang. “Over the last 10 years or so, our business has experienced a shift with more and more couples ordering cakes in September and October. Anecdotally, I can say brides are electing to get married in the latter part of summer due to a reduced chance of rain and slightly milder temperatures.”
Patricia and her team, who also create custom cakes for occasions such as birthdays and graduations, crank out anywhere from five to 15 wedding cakes a week during their busiest time. That number is exclusive of the 40-50 non-wedding-related custom cakes they produce each week throughout the year.
From the dresses to the cake to the flowers to the entertainment, local small businesses play a vital role in creating a lasting memory for any couple’s wedding day.
Not only does summertime make for happy couples, it also makes for happy small businesses.