Wedding Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2020
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a study on the domestic wedding market, and found out the trends by major categories, the trends at market players, and the future outlook.
The wedding market (major six categories) for 2019 is estimated as 2,376 billion yen, 99.5% of the size of the previous year. Of the six categories, marriage matchmaking service is the only growing field; all other business fields scaled down compared to the year before. While spending per guest has increasing for the wedding ceremonies/banquets/parties, the market that accounts for majority of the entire wedding market, negative factors are notable, such as decline in the number of marriages, increase of “nashi-kon (marriage without ceremony)”, and decrease in ceremony spending as couples lean toward smaller parties. While further drop in the number of marriages is anticipated hereafter*, there are concerns for the lower rate of holding wedding ceremonies stemming from diversified sense of values, and for the reduction in spending for wedding-related matters. (*Source: Data by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)
Greater Influence of Bridal Agents
Bridal agents (mediation agents) are gaining power over selection of wedding ceremony venues. As wedding venue operators incline to follow a big trend, they have become “homogeneous”. For couples looking for wedding venues for the first time, it is quite difficult to make a choice, as difference between venues is almost indistinguishable. Aside from that, it is also true that while searching information online became easier, users face hardship sorting out necessary information. These are the situations where the bridal agents demonstrate their expertise. In general, bridal agents earn commission from wedding venue operators upon introducing customers. Due to such business model, pressure on profit per couple has become a new operational issue for venue operators, as increasing number of couples not just gather information but make actual wedding arrangements via bridal agents.
The wedding market (total of six major categories) is projected to be 2,240 billion yen for 2020, 94.3% of the size of the preceding year. Viewing from the market environment, it is expected that the outbreak of COVID-19 will impact the wedding ceremonies/banquets/parties markets significantly, which accounts for 60% of the entire wedding market. Much of the wedding ceremonies planned in the first half of the year were postponed or cancelled, particularly those scheduled in April and May. Further, a slump in consumer sentiment is anticipated among couples who had intention to hold their wedding ceremonies in the latter half of 2020. While it is typical for couples to visit wedding venues and make reservations months before their wedding date, sharp decrease has been seen in the number of inquiries and visit appointments for weddings to be held in 2020 LH.
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