Engagement Gap and How to Deal with It

the words wedding engagement gap with wedding bouquet

wedding bouquet with the words wedding engagement gap

As a wedding photographer, you’re no stranger to the ebb and flow of the wedding industry. Recent trends in engagement ring sales have had a noticeable impact on businesses, resulting in fewer inquiries (or just odd ones) and bookings across the board among wedding vendors. If you’ve been wondering why this is happening, I’ve got the answers for you.

The Wedding Gap

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant shifts in the dynamics of relationships. During this time, couples experienced various highs and lows in their partnerships with many breaking up with their significant others and other choosing to hold off on the dating scene all together.  This divergence in relationship trajectories has given rise to what we now call the “Engagement Gap” or as Vanessa Joy and I like to call it the “Wedding Gap.” But what does this term really entail?

Understanding the Wedding Gap

According to Signet Jewelers, a leading jewelry company in the US, the average time between couples beginning to date and getting engaged is approximately 3.25 years. In light of recent events, their representative noted that engagement jewelry sales were lackluster in fiscal 2023, and they anticipate this trend to continue into fiscal 2024.

In fact, Signet Jewelers shared some statistics: “The category will need to grow approximately 25% by calendar year 2026 just to return to prior engagement levels. All product categories showed declines. Rings had the most significant decline, down 9.8% in unit sales and 8.0% in retail sales value. Within rings, bridal was down 9.4% by units sold, outperforming fashion rings which were down 13.8%.” – Tenoris Statistics – February 2023

Do We Just Give UP

Despite the current data on engagement ring sales, dating is on the rise and at a higher rate than back in 2019.  So while you may be currently frustrated with the state of your wedding inquiries and bookings it is certainly not time to throw in the towel yet.

What This Means for Your Wedding Photography Business

Now, here’s the crucial part for us wedding photographers: You can’t go radio silent.  Now is the time to revamp that tired website, start blogging again, and showing up on social media.  Additionally, while most would consider dropping their prices now is the time to raise them and add additional revenue streams like boudoir to your offerings.  Want more information on how to survive in the middle of the wedding engagement gap?  Check out this Youtube video or join us in our weekly accountability group called Connect.

Meredith Ryncarz with the words wedding engagement gap