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9 Customer Segmentation Examples for Wedding Vendors

9 Customer Segmentation Examples for Wedding Vendors

Brides of All Kinds Need Options When it Comes to Prices & Planning 

Since I received a small piece of jewelry around Valentine’s Day (see my related article on Jewelry Pricing Strategy Examples), I have been in the wedding-planning market, and I’m not alone. Marriage rates have returned to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, the costs of weddings continue to rise, having increased to $30,000 on average in 2023. There is more and more money to be made in the wedding industry. However, capturing the value in this market depends on reaching the right customers — and wedding celebrations are as diverse as the brides and grooms that they honor. These customer segmentation examples can help businesses to identify the customers they want to target, and tailor their services accordingly.

Below is a needs-based segmentation model for wedding customers. Needs-based segmentations group consumers by what they need in a product. In this case, I’ve grouped customers by two sets of needs. The first is cost, and the second is the amount of time that the bride/groom/family is willing to spend planning or coordinating details themselves. These two needs will determine what sorts of venues, catering, clothing, etc. that a given couple is willing to consider on their wedding day.

Needs-Based Wedding Customer Segmentation Examples
Less expensive — 
0-30K total cost*
More expensive —
~30K total cost
Most expensive —
50K+ total cost
Less planningThe low-key, low-cost wedding: Courthouse wedding or elopement – as low as $125 at Boston City HallThe Wedgewood Wedding: All-inclusive venues or wedding services, like Wedgewood Weddings or the Publick House– for 100 guests, probably about 30KThe well-heeled, but busy bride: Full-service Wedding Planners, servicing any venue
More planningThe community affair: Local church or backyard wedding- $50 marriage license, plus cost of food, dress, etc.The restaurant buy-out: Renting out a restaurant, like Sarma in Somerville– rental of restaurant is 25K, plus cost of ceremony location (not included)- likely means few additional vendors neededSemi-inclusive, fully luxurious: Semi-inclusive wedding services, like the Catered Affair– e.g. renting out the Boston Athenaeum or the Boston Public Library
Most planningThe can-do wedding: Local church or backyard wedding- $50 marriage license, plus cost of food, dress, etc. Bobos at the altar: For example, renting out a summer camp like Laurelwood, which would require the bride and groom to coordinate even the waitstaff themselvesThe “Wedding Pages” Wedding: “It’s Not Just a Wedding Cake, It’s ‘Edible Haute Couture’”
*With the national average cost of a wedding at $30,000, and the national median family income at $77,000, many “less” expensive weddings are truly still expensive. I merely label these weddings as “less” expensive for the purpose of the segmentation.

Wedding Customer Segmentation Examples:
Choosing Segment Criteria

I’ll begin with some context about my methodology for choosing the segmentation criteria as well, as how I found my examples.

Cost is an obvious factor in segmenting wedding consumers. My three segments, less expensive, more expensive, and most expensive, are based on the average cost of a wedding in the US — the average wedding would qualify as “more expensive.” My second factor, what you might call “sweat equity,” and what I call “planning,” is less obvious, but it seems to be supported by a 2012 study of wedding venue selection, which found that the top ten factors in wedding venue selection were: 

“1) rental costs; 2) location; 3) professionalism of staff; 4) ease of communication; 5) clean bathrooms; 6) length of time venue available; 7) efficiency in returning electronic communication; 8) friendliness of staff; 9) efficiency in returning phone calls; and 10) room capacity.” 

Factors 2, 5, 6, and 10 are all related to cost or other practical factors. What factors 3, 4, 7, 8, and 9 seem to get at is the degree to which the wedding will run smoothly without additional effort on the part of the bride and groom. This gets at the larger question of how much sweat equity the couple and family are willing to put in. 

To a certain extent, cost and planning trade off against each other. It is cheaper for a bride to make all of the centerpieces herself, and it requires more planning. It is more expensive to hire a wedding planner, and to do so will mean less planning. 

Most of my customer segmentation examples have centered around the venue. While I have focused on venues in a sort of synecdochic way, you can imagine that different wedding consumers have different behaviors in every area of the wedding. For example, think of the dress: a bride who gets something from David’s Bridal might fit into the more expensive/less planning category, while a bride who hunts through thrift stores until she finds the perfect dress would fall into the less expensive/most planning category. I’ve also focused on examples in my own area, Boston/New England, even though the average cost of a New England wedding is somewhat higher, closer to $40,000. Keeping all of the examples in one geographic area makes for an apples-to-apples comparison.

Finally, I should note that many of the customer segmentation examples could potentially fit into other segments. For example, restaurant buy-outs range in price significantly, and there is a related option of hiring a private room for a small dinner at a restaurant, which might appeal to customers in the “less expensive” segment. These titles and examples are merely to evoke the differences in consumers in each of my nine segments. 

9 Customer Segmentation Examples for Wedding Vendors

9 Customer Segmentation Examples:
Factors Affecting Vendor Focus

For wedding vendors, these categories can provide a way to group and market their services: what services can be provided, at each price point, and with different levels of involvement from the people planning the wedding? 

Some wedding vendor categories will be trying to reach almost all nine segments. For example, all but the lowest-budget weddings will likely have some photography, and almost no venues, even the most all-inclusive, include a photographer as part of the wedding package. Therefore, while it makes sense for photographers to have relationships with venues, because many venues will recommend a photographer who has worked at that venue before, most couples will be finding their own photographer. So, photographers should look for customers in all nine segments. However, a photographer might still focus on certain segments, or offer different services to different customers. Photographers with many assistants and more elaborate set-ups might be priced too high to reach consumers looking for a less expensive wedding, whereas a solo photographer, working on her own, will likely struggle to offer what is desired by the most well-heeled customers.

Some vendors will want to focus on some segments over others. The most obvious factor is cost: wedding vendors must try to reach clients who are willing and able to pay for their services. However, some brands might still want to focus on the “less expensive” category. The median cost of a wedding is substantially lower than the average — meaning that the long tail of the distribution is skewing the average. To put it another way, the majority of weddings will have a “below average” cost, meaning that finding a way to reach consumers in the “less expensive” category means a much bigger market. When it comes to cost, pricing strategy is crucial for reaching the right customers: see these recent articles from Insight to Action on pricing strategy:

However, paying attention to the amount of preparation that the target audience can put in will also be a valuable way to determine which consumers are the target audience, and what services to provide. For example, a geographical area where most couples are composed of two working professionals might have more demand for all-inclusive and semi-inclusive venues and wedding planners. 

Vendors might also reach different customer segments in different ways. Take the example of vendors who rent tables, chairs, linens, china, and the like. For more all-inclusive venues, this vendor may be working directly with the venue, whereas the Bobos at the Altar might be dealing directly with the vendor themselves. 

In sum, when looking to market strategy in the wedding industry, customer segmentation is crucial. Insight to Action can help you develop a market strategy based on insightful analyses like customer segmentation. For more customer segmentation examples, check out our blog. To connect with our team, please visit our website. Finally, to stay up to date with market strategy, consider following our newsletter.