April 13, 2018

The Marriage White Paper

“The Wedding sector is increasingly digitized: 88% of couples look for marriage ideas online”, according to a research study by ESADE and Matrimonio.com.

  • “There is a clear trend that the profile of future couples is changing: they are increasingly more informed and have clear expectations”, explains Carles Torrecilla, professor of ESADE and author of the research.
  • “This book was created with the aim of shedding light on the current wedding sector by analyzing it from a dual perspective. On the one hand married couples, and companies on the other “, says Nina Pérez, CEO of Matrimonio.com
  • Curated by Luana Carcano, SDA Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at SDA Bocconi, the preface is focused on the “Premium” positioning of Italian companies.

Milan, April 2018 – The information and advice process for managing weddings is becoming increasingly digitized. 88% of couples look for wedding ideas on the internet and 54% browse online to find vendors for products and services. This is one of the main conclusions emerging from the “The Marriage White Paper: news, challenges, reality and illusion. A holistic research centered on the bridal sector”, carried out for Matrimonio.com by Carles Torrecilla, Marketing department professor at the ESADE. The research has shown that “since June 2015, search volumes using smartphones has surpassed those of searches carried out using computers. This means it is now the favorite way to search for users”.

The research carried out by ESADE, in conjunction with the Matrimonio.com portal, provides a complete overview of the preparation and management process for current marriage trends. In addition, the data shared by Google has added information on the latest trends. The book’s preface, edited by Luana Carcano, SDA Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at SDA Bocconi, frames the study on the scenario of Italian companies, which are increasingly focused on a “Premium” positioning.

“This book was created with the aim of shedding light on the current wedding sector by analyzing it from a dual perspective. On the one hand married couples, and companies on the other”, says Nina Pérez, CEO of Matrimonio.com. “This research goes far beyond the descriptive, economic or socio-demographic information typical of this kind of research. We have decided to ground ourselves on the actual operators active in the sector, and are happy to say that the company’s’ participation rate in the research has been very high. There are increasing signs of a trend towards digitalization and a clear desire to improve, which has always been a feature of our sector”.

In the Marriage White Paper, the key points of the sector are analyzed, taking into account each aspect of the marriage preparation process and identifying the current trends of the Wedding sector; both from the point of view of couples and vendors. The Matrimonio.com research shows a clear positive trend with the various players responding well to market demands, with a continuous reinvention to meet an increasingly sophisticated set of criteria. Among the main topics tackled in the Marriage White Paper: the average cost of an Italian wedding, trends in the choice of dress and accessories, the profile of couples and the increasing average age of couples.

A trend to stay within budget
Regarding the costs of the wedding, the ESADE and Matrimonio.com research shows that the average cost in Italy is €23,970. Surprisingly, Italian marriages exceed their budgets only by 10%, on average. Additionally, over time the role played by parents has taken second place. “The marriage is no longer organized by parents but by the couple”, points out Torrecilla.

Perception of wedding vendors
Almost 1 in every 3 vendors claims to have increased its turnover by 10%. Another feature highlighted by companies is the changing customer profile: a gradual increase in the average age (with an average age of 33.5), increased expectations, as well as being better informed and with their own ideas. As many as 62% of companies say they have noticed changes in the type of couples over recent years. The data only reinforces the idea that future newlyweds are increasingly informed. Consequently, this leads to higher expectations of the service provided.

Carles Torrecilla concludes his analysis with a reflection on the market’s diversity: “In recent years, we are facing a market that is undergoing a period of slow growth. This means we are unable to state that Italy has typical type kind of wedding, simply that the market is increasingly heterogeneous. Yet, this aspect is more difficult to assess, as in some ways the market is still very traditional”.

The wedding experience is made special with “premium” positioning
Luana Carcano, SDA Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the SDA Bocconi School of Management, claims that ” among the fundamental values that Italian companies contribute to make the wedding experience special, the research highlights three elements typical of “premium” positioning: customer care, quality/price ratio and exclusivity”. Carcano also stresses that “this positioning is achieved by expertly combining a series of key elements. First of all, an almost maniacal attention to detail in every activity: from the development phase of new products or service ideas to their introduction on the market”.

Web searches on the Wedding sector grow from year to year
Alberto Frasarin, Head of Google Marketing Solutions, Italy, states: “We are happy to collaborate with Matrimonio.com in a project that involves sharing information on the Wedding sector, by providing data on user behavior”. Among the main information collected on the marriage services industry, it’s clear that “online searches for this market tend to grow every year. In 2015, the growth on an annual basis reached 115%, while in 2017 it was 121%”, explains Frasarin.

Methodology of the “The Marriage White Paper”
We have devised a rigorous research method based on a series of statistical samples and relevance of the data comparison. We aimed to present data, reports and final conclusions in a way that was easy to understand for consumers. Data used included: 1) Secondary reference sources: Istat, (National Institute of Statistics) Research Studies and previous information from Matrimonio.com; 2) Questionnaires administered through online platforms using specialized databases (belonging to the sector in question): 5396 completed questionnaires (2911 married couples and 2485 companies in the sector); 3) Data shared by Google regarding the latest trends; 4) Qualitative interviews with experts in the sector.

About Matrimonio.com
Matrimonio.com is part of the WeddingWire group. It was created to help newlyweds prepare for the happiest day of their lives. Thanks to its international presence, it has created the largest bridal community and the world’s largest virtual wedding market. It has a detailed database with more than 400.000 professionals from the wedding sector and provides couples with the tools for: preparing their guest list, managing the budget, searching for suppliers, etc. The WeddingWire group operates in 15 countries with different domains such as bodas.net, WeddingWire.com, matrimonio.com, mariages.net, casamentos.pt, bodas.com.mx, casamentos.com.br, matrimonio.com.co, matrimonios.cl, casamientos.com.ar, matrimonio.com.pe, Weddingspot.co.uk, casamiento.com.uy, weddingwire.ca and weddings.co.in

About ESADE and ESADE Alumni
Founded in 1958, ESADE Business & Law School has offices in Barcelona and Madrid and is present in São Paulo, Lima, Mexico City, Bogotá, Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires. The company has collaboration agreements with over one hundred universities and business schools all over the world. Every year, more than 11.000 students participate in its courses (MBA, Executive Education, Bachelors and Masters in Business Management and Law). ESADE Alumni, the ex-students association ESADE has a network of 60.000 alumni in positions of responsibility in companies on five continents. Through 72 professional groups, it promotes continuous training, professional development and entrepreneurial initiative. It has an international network of 126 nationalities in over 100 countries and since 2007 has run the ESADE Alumni Solidario project. This counts on more than 1.500 alumni have contributed their talent, experience and management skills with more than 200 organizations from the third sector. The association has a network of investors, ESADE BAN, recognized as the best private business angels network in Europe by the European Business Angel Network (EBAN). ESADE also participates in the ESADECREAPOLIS business park, a pioneering center dedicated to innovation. A space for universities and companies to come together. With a clear international calling, ESADE systematically maintains its position in the top global positions in the main business school rankings (Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist and América Economía). ESADE is a member of Ramon Lull University.