2024 Global Wedding Report

By: The Knot Worldwide Insights team

June 25, 2024


As we explore today’s newlyweds around the world, one thing is clear: no two couples are alike. Yet distinct cultural nuances emerge when observing marriages in different regions. The Global Wedding Report delves into every aspect, from proposals and planning to the role of technology and the vendors involved. To provide a comprehensive overview of wedding preferences and emerging trends, The Knot, Hitched, Bodas.net and the rest of The Knot Worldwide global wedding brands surveyed more than 25,000 newlyweds across 15 countries to give you the scoop.


Key takeaways from the study

  • Proposals: Winter continues to be the most popular season for couples to get engaged, most notably in North America and Western Europe. Engagements can range from as short as five to six months in places like India to more than a year (15-16 months) for those living in the US and UK.
  • Technology: There has been a noticeable increase in the reliance of online resources and advancements in technology to support wedding planning around the world—from half of couples watching video content for tips, tricks and inspiration in the US and Canada to 9 in 10 couples in Brazil and Mexico utilizing WhatsApp to communicate with their vendors post-booking.
  • Vendors: Couples worldwide depend heavily on their vendors (10 on average) to bring their wedding vision to life. Photographers continue to be the top category hired, with roughly 90% of couples in the UK, Canada, Brazil, US and Portugal relying on them to capture key moments—from one-of-a-kind ‘first-dips’ to larger-than-life celebrations
  • Economy: Couples in 2023 continued to face challenges of economic uncertainty and high inflation rates, thus impacting overall budgets. Most countries in Latin America handled the economic challenge by both inviting fewer people and increasing the budget of the wedding. In the US and Canada, couples continued to rely on making trade-offs while keeping budgets relatively flat overall (though many increased to meet inflation).
  • Honeymoon: Roughly 75% of couples worldwide planned to go on a honeymoon and/or mini-moon following their weddings. Beach destinations are favored by many, including the Maldives which was one of the top five destinations in every European country surveyed. Additionally, couples favored major metropolitan locations featuring sightseeing, while adventure-seeking escapes were popular across the board. 



The Engagement


Today’s Couples

Let’s take a look at today’s couples and how the composition differs in various parts of the world. For instance, while it’s common for many couples in Western Europe to meet their partner through mutual friends (i.e. Italy, 35%), we see some variance throughout Latin America where couples in Peru and Colombia are more likely to meet through work. This differs from those in the United States, where online dating continues to be the most popular way to meet your partner. Approximately 30% of couples in the US meet using a dating app (specifically Hinge and Tinder). This is a stark comparison to the global average of 8% among other nations—though the popularity of online dating is continuing to rise in places like France (24%).



While the global average marrying age ranges between 33 – 35, we see couples in India marrying younger at around 29 years old and those in Chile on the higher end at 36. Millennials continued to make up the majority of the weddings in 2023 (around 75% in numerous countries), though Gen Z is starting to enter into marrying age. This is particularly notable in regions such as Latin America, where Gen Z accounts for roughly one-sixth of weddings (Brazil, 15%, Peru, 17%).



Aside from age, cohabitation and family structure also differ across the world. Couples in North America and Europe are much more likely to live together prior to getting married—nearly 9 in 10 couples in Spain, France, Italy and the UK. Many are also starting families together before tying the knot. This is most common in France, where nearly 50% of newlyweds already had a child pre-marriage, (43% in Chile and 39% in Portugal) indicating a cultural shift toward more progressive relationship dynamics. 


The Proposal

Now that we have a better understanding of who’s getting married, let’s take a look at the engagement. When it comes to the proposal itself, roughly 80% of couples globally said “yes!” on a specific date. While we see everything from romantic proposals on the Amalfi Coast to intimate engagements around the Christmas tree, couples in France continue to be least likely to say there was a specific day a proposal took place (not surprising given the dynamics we spoke about earlier).


Winter continues to be the most popular season for couples to get engaged, with December being the most popular month. The United States (21%), Portugal (19%), Mexico (18%), France (18%) and UK (17%) all see their highest number of proposals take place in this month.



Wedding Planning


Planning Timeline

The average length of engagement can range from as short as five to six months in places like India to more than a year (15-16 months) for those living in the United States and UK. During this period, couples are not only planning the wedding ceremony and reception, but may also be coordinating multiple other events. In fact, 45% of couples in France report having a multi-day wedding celebration, while roughly one-third in India follow suit. Moreover, nearly 40% of couples in India shared that they had at least three separate events during the week leading up to their wedding (fortunately, they also tend to have a lot of assistance from family and friends).



The Role of Technology

In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the reliance on online resources and advancements in technology to support wedding planning around the world. Many couples utilize technology from start to finish—whether that means watching videos or turning to social media for wedding inspiration, connecting with vendors via video conferencing or using AI to help plan. Most countries, aside from the US, are also highly dependent on WhatsApp to communicate throughout the planning process, especially when sharing details with their guests and talking with their vendors. In fact, 9 out of 10 couples in Brazil, Mexico and Italy use WhatsApp for continued communication with their vendors after booking.


The study found some notable differences by country:

  • Watching online videos for inspiration
    Couples in North America are most likely to consume wedding video content for planning tips, tricks and inspiration as compared to other regions. This holds true with roughly one in two couples in Mexico, the United States and Canada (both 46%).

  • Video chatting with a vendor
    On average, roughly one in three couples worldwide utilized video chat to connect with at least one vendor. Those in the UK (59%), United States (54%), Canada (44%) and Brazil (41%) are most likely to utilize it, while those in Peru (22%) and Uruguay (20%) are least likely.

  • Creating a wedding website to share information
    The majority of couples in North America create a wedding website to share important information, collect RSVPs and share registry information (United States 82%, Canada 69%) while it’s less common among those in South America (Chile 12%, Colombia 14%, Peru 17%).

When Couples Wed

The choice of when to get married is one of the first decisions a couple makes, as it sets the stage for the rest of the wedding planning process. Knowing the ideal season (or weather) may play a role in the overall location, wedding vibe, decision to do an indoor or outdoor ceremony or even what color palette to use. Summer tends to be the most popular season in Europe and North America, most notably early September, though October is equally as popular in the United States. Conversely, in Latin America where the seasons are reversed, November or December are preferred.



As couples embark on the planning process and juggle all of their wedding goals, there are a few key factors that are top of mind. Overall, guest experience is what couples care about the most when it comes to their weddings. Whether that’s making sure guests have endless fun through unique entertainment (inflatable slide, anyone?) or are well satiated with late-night snacks like BeaverTails in Canada, guests are a top priority! Budget, no doubt, is also a top priority for many, but different cultures have their own factors that take precedence. For instance, couples in Italy (60%) and France (57%) consider the wedding location to be of high importance, while personalization is key among couples in the UK (64%) and US (63%). 



The Vendor Team


Venue Selection

As soon as couples have a better idea about when they’d like their wedding to take place, it’s common for couples to move on to booking their venue. Nearly 75% of couples worldwide report getting married within 50 kilometers (30 miles) of their home. Those in Peru and Colombia tend to travel further, with roughly 35% of couples getting married further away—most notably due to the size of the capital cities and the preference for villas (Colombia) and banquet halls (Peru) that are often found in the suburbs and surrounding cities.



When searching for the right spot to wed, couples across the globe agree that the cost and venue style/type are the most important aspects to consider. Furthermore, photos and guest capacity are also deemed highly important, in addition to reviews. While searches on wedding-related websites continue to be a top way folks discover their venue (Portugal 64%, Italy 56%, France 54%), recommendations are also a top resource, in addition to social media which is notable in Uruguay (46%) Mexico (48%) and Brazil (42%).


Couples in Western Europe have a tendency to gravitate toward villas for their reception location, while those in North America and South America prefer banquet halls. Whether it’s marrying on the beaches of Mexico or in the countryside in Surrey, roughly 40% of couples said their venue was their dream location (Italy 41%, Brazil 40%, Colombia 39%).



Relying on the Professionals

Couples heavily depend on a diverse array of wedding professionals to bring their vision to life, like this uniquely personalized medieval affair in Brazil. On average, couples are hiring 10 professionals, with those in the United States hiring up to 14, while in Argentina, the average is slightly lower at 8. Photographers continue to be the top category hired across all countries, with roughly 9 in 10 couples hiring in the UK (94%), Brazil (90%) US, Canada and Portugal (all 89%). In France, 4 in 10 couples are intentional with their vendor selection, for example, seeking out local, eco-friendly and sustainable vendors.



Wedding Spend

In the United States, weddings typically have the highest average costs, while countries in South America, like Colombia, Chile and Peru, tend to be comparatively lower. This is reflective of income levels and the respective countries’ cost of living. While many elements (such as time of year, number of vendors, etc.) can impact the total cost, guest count is a large contributing factor. The average cost per guest in the United States is roughly $300 per person, while we see higher numbers in the UK at $320 per guest and lower spending in Mexico around $60. A significant portion of the cost per person is allocated to expenses like catering and beverages.



As we think about total cost, we’d be remiss not to mention that couples in 2023 were still facing challenges of economic uncertainty and high inflation rates, which undoubtedly impacted overall budgets. Similar to prior years, those in Argentina were most likely to say that their wedding budget and planning were affected by the current economy (66%) which aligns with the larger macro challenges at play. While the impact on budgets remained relatively stable in North America, couples in Europe experienced a higher degree of economic impact in 2023 compared to previous years. Approximately 40% of couples in Spain reported that the economy affected their wedding budget (a 9% increase from the previous year), and the impact was even more pronounced in France, where 47% of couples stated that their budget was affected (up 16% versus prior year).


Wedding Trends and Traditions



Couples in Mexico (64%) and Brazil (62%) are most likely to have religious wedding ceremonies, as opposed to those in the UK (18%) and Canada (24%). Brazil is considered to be one of the most devout Catholic countries globally, followed by Mexico, making it no surprise their faith carries over to the ceremony.



The Reception

The reception is the moment for the couple, their families and all guests to come together and celebrate—and for many, it’s a time to create an experience that everyone will remember. While cultures have their own traditions, a few are more notable in certain countries:


  • Cake-cutting ceremony: This tradition is highly favored in Portugal (96%) and Italy (90%), whereas it’s far less common in places like Brazil (30%), where they opt for a lavish sweets table featuring an abundance of treats like Brigadeiros for their guests to accompany the cake display.


  • Libations: Nearly 8 out of 10 couples around the world serve alcohol at their weddings, with it being more common in North America and Western Europe. Some incorporate distinctive features (typically included in the price of the venue), such as an open bar with hour limit that are very popular in Spain (70%), and signature cocktails in the US (45%). Weddings taking place in India are much less likely to serve alcohol (15%).


  • Speciality Vendors: Besides the common elements found at weddings, there are some cultural aspects and trends that end up as a part of many weddings worldwide. For instance, one out of five couples incorporate fireworks in Mexico and Italy, while photo booths (53%) and ham cutters (38%) are an integral part of many weddings in Spain. And given that more than half of French newlyweds had children before the wedding, over one-quarter of couples hire a babysitter for their wedding day.

  • Favors: The tradition of sending guests off with favors is popular in Western Europe, with almost 9 in 10 couples in Spain and Italy following suit. In Italy, it’s customary for couples to offer bomboniere, traditionally containing five sugar-coated almonds symbolizing wishes for health, happiness, wealth, fertility and longevity.


  • Attire: The old English rhyme “something old, new, borrowed, blue” is still a wedding tradition many adhere to around the world. While it’s most popular in the US (69%) and UK (65%), those in Spain (55%), Portugal (49%), Italy (46%) and Uruguay (45%) also commonly join in on the tradition to bring good luck to the marriage.


Fashion alert! Couples today are not afraid to switch it up when it comes to their wedding look. Nearly one in four couples in Peru, the US, France, Argentina and Colombia are opting to change into different outfits throughout their special day. Many brides and grooms take the opportunity to swap their formal wear for something more playful during the reception, whether it’s glittered pantsuits, religious attire or a feathered mini for this spectacular choreographed number.



Almost three-quarters of couples intend to embark on a honeymoon and/or mini-moon following their wedding. While beach destinations are favored by many (with 72% in Portugal and 57% in Brazil opting for them) about 40% of couples in the UK prefer city/sightseeing destinations for their honeymoon.


As for the top destinations, in LatAm, most honeymoons are held nationally, considering the availability of great tropical weather that allows for beach destinations all year around and adjusting to tighter budgets. The same holds true for the US, where a large portion of honeymoons take place within the country, followed next by Caribbean destinations such as Bermuda, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.


As for European countries, Maldives shows as one of the top five destinations in every European country, while other destinations vary in preference. Common honeymoon locations for Spain include Asia, with popular spots being Thailand or Japan, while one in four couples in France seek out more adventurous holiday destinations like Sri Lanka or Seychelles.


Among some more unique destinations, 14% of the honeymoons in Italy were held on cruises. The cruises in Italy show an interesting balance, since they usually comprise at least one international stop, but are on average 60% cheaper than an international honeymoon.



The 2024 Global Wedding Report captured responses from nearly 25,000 people who got married in 2023 across 15 countries; respondents were recruited via email or SMS invitation from The Knot Worldwide (The Knot, WeddingWire and Bodas.net membership) between March 2023 and March 2024. Respondents represent couples from all over the country with various ethnicities, income levels, race, age, sexual orientation and gender identity. To provide the most comprehensive view, this report includes findings from ad hoc studies and examples from couples who have shared their real wedding experiences with the company.