New Trends in the Wedding Business
There are an average of 2.4 million weddings performed in the United States annually. The U.S. wedding business is estimated at more than $70 billion in sales a year. Not all of that is catering, but a large portion of it is. As a caterer, you'll probably be involved in wedding catering at one time or another.
Imagine a whole new segment of customers in the profitable wedding industry. Gay marriage celebrations are a profitable, growing segment of the business. While gay marriage isn't legal everywhere, commitment ceremonies and celebrations are on the rise, and the gay community is looking for vendors who will cater events with understanding and respect.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2000 Census, there are approximately 600,000 homosexual couples living together, and commitment ceremonies are likely to represent a growing segment of the catering wedding business.
Brides and Grooms as Hosts
As couples marry in their thirties and beyond, many are finding that they have more money to spend on a wedding than their parents did. Caterers used to deal with the parents of the bride, who traditionally financed the nuptials, but more frequently the brides and grooms themselves are taking charge of the wedding budget and their catering options.
Jeffrey Stillwell, catering director for Abigail Kirsch at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, says between a third and a half of weddings are now being paid for by the couple. Consequently, brides and grooms are requesting specific dishes, themes, and details, since they're footing the bill.
You'll need to be up on trends for the thirty-something crowd, understand pop culture, and be able to relate well to Generation X, those champions of PDAs and e-mail. Most of them are not old enough to remember the 1969 moon landing, and they believe anything is technologically possible. They're concerned about what they eat and where it's from. It's the caterer's job to satisfy clients' wishes and stay up-to-date on trends.