Bad Economy leads to more Elopement?

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Forum founder. Former Owner.
May 17, 2008
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Was talking with another innkeeper about the economy and how their year was shaping up. He claimed that while others in the area were doing less business this year, he was actually doing more. The cause he attributed to a marked increase in elopements. (he has a license to minister marriages).
The theory being that the same number of people are getting married, but in tough times more of them are choosing to elope and save themselves or their family the expense of a full wedding. That logic made sense to me. Anybody else noticing similar trends?
Not necessarily elopements but definitely wanting to cut corners on the wedding...most recently - having their own caterer which I presume to be family members....NOT HERE! Wanting an afternoon wedding mid week with no rooms...NOT HERE! Or today....wants not only to do her own catering but wants to use one of our guest rooms for the babysitter to watch all the kids...right!
I do love the elopments - so easy!!!!
The few brides who have been here have been having smaller weddings. Definitely elopement size. And the one person who booked half the town for her kid's wedding never came thru with the deposit, so that says something, too. friend innkeeper who is also an marriage seeing big increases in the numbers. Makes sense to me.
The wedding business has always been considered pretty much recession-proof. People are always going to get married is the thinking. I believe it is a testament to the extent and depth of this recession, especially with the recent rise in gas prices, that it is finally affecting that industry as well.
I'll keep this in mind when I'm watching Bridezillas or Whose Wedding Is It Anyway. Not that I can wach Bridezillas. Whenever those commercials would come on i would say, "Having a wedding shouldn't be that stressful."
Little did I know that it's not just the wedding that makes them that way. I was horrified after watching just 10 minutes of this season's new show. So, no more brides for me.
There is a new show on BBC where the men plan the wedding, from start to finish (with disastrous results for the most part) if anyone is curious enough to watch. Sometimes surprising however. It is called Don't Tell the Bride.
I think the touristy areas may be harder hit than those not typical tourist destinations? I am working harder and harder on marketing tho, anything that might click I consider. Our revenue has increased each year, including last year 2008.
Guests ask how we are faring in this doom and gloom economy and it is hard to explain to them the details of this whole marketing thing for our business. They think we open our doors and people just show up to stay with us - LIKE A HOTEL. We are not hotels, we do not sit on the side of highways or interstates with big signs "Kids Eat Free."

But we do consider where to get the most bang for our buck. For that I will not be renewing BnBfinder this year. I have put my money elsewhere. I like that directory, but "show me the money!"