US Couples Seek Parents’ Permission Prior to Marriage Proposal, But Majority of European Couples Skip This Tradition; Half of Italians Jointly Agree to Marry Without the Proposal Moment, According to First-Ever Global Wedding Report

9-in-10 Couples Live Together Before Marriage in Spain, France and
the UK; Only 35% Cohabitate Prior to Nuptials in Mexico and Brazil

Global Wedding Report by The Knot, WeddingWire and Unveils
Engagement, Planning and Celebration Behaviors of 20,000 Couples in 14

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Despite cultural differences and varying societal norms, couples around
the world agree on one thing—a wedding is the ultimate showcase of love.
In honor of Global Love Day on May 1, 2019, The
, WeddingWire
the leading international wedding planning brands, are releasing the
first-ever Global
Wedding Report
, highlighting how couples worldwide celebrate love,
proposals and weddings. The report unveils the personalized behaviors of
20,000 couples from 14 countries around the world—including the US,
Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, the UK, Spain,
Italy, France, Portugal and India—providing insights into the
demographics of engaged couples and their wedding planning journeys.

Our extensive research on couples across North America, Latin America,
Europe and India found couples have more and more choices for when,
where and how to celebrate their love and plan a personalized wedding,”
says Lauren Goodson, Senior Director of Insights at The Knot Worldwide.
The Global Wedding Report highlights how couples worldwide are tapping
local vendors to bring their unique wedding visions to life. From an
Indian bride’s special
Mehndi design
, to a family ‘confetti
dance’ tradition
, or a venue
with rich cultural history
, we love seeing how couples are putting
their personal stamp on their celebrations.”

Global Engagement Experiences

“Popping the question” takes on different meanings across the globe.
While more than 80 percent of couples in the US, Mexico and Canada
report having one partner ask the other for their hand in marriage,
other countries report not taking part in the practice—couples in Italy
were most likely (50%) to forgo having an official proposal moment, as
many decide together to take the next step in their relationship and buy
a ring. A proposal moment is also less common in India, Portugal, Spain,
Brazil and Argentina, where less than 75% of couples report one person
asked for the other’s hand in marriage.

For nearly all countries surveyed (13 out of 14), December reigned as
the most popular engagement month. However, in India, couples most often
report getting engaged in either February (20%) or January (13%), likely
due to the preference of holding the engagement ceremony, as well as the
wedding, on an auspicious
or “good-luck” day

Including parents in the proposal process is another aspect that differs
around the world. As a kind gesture and sign of respect, the majority of
US-based proposees consult their partner’s parents prior to proposing,
whereas in European countries, most parents are looped in after the
fact. In Mexico, approaching one’s parents for their blessing isn’t the
only involvement family members have throughout a couple’s engagement;
it’s also common for to-be-weds to honor close relatives, friends or
family members by naming them a padrino,
or sponsor, of their wedding. These individuals typically serve as
mentors to the couple throughout their engagement, often contributing
financially or participating in the ceremony in some way.

Characteristics of Couples Around the World

Couples worldwide aren’t in a rush to walk down the aisle; they’re
continuing to marry later in life. The majority of countries surveyed
have an average marrying age of 30 or older. Although to-be-weds may be
holding off on saying “I do,” it’s not stopping them from moving in with
one another. In fact, living together prior to marriage is common, as
the majority of couples in France (93%), Spain (90%), the UK (88%),
Portugal (80%), Argentina (79%), the US (78%), Canada (76%), Italy
(74%), Chile (72%) and Colombia (52%) report doing so. Premarriage
cohabitation, however, is less common in Mexico and Brazil, with only
one in three (35%) couples reporting living together before their
wedding day.

Nowadays, to-be-weds are also merging their various backgrounds, culture
and traditions as more and more couples report marrying outside of their
own race, ethnicity and religion. The US and India reign as the leaders
in to-be-wed diversity; nearly one-third of couples in both countries
report marrying someone of a difference race, ethnicity or religious
upbringing. This is less likely in Western Europe, including Portugal
(6%), Spain (4%) and Italy (4%).

Planning Particulars by Country

Planning a wedding that is a true reflection of a couple’s unique love
story is no easy feat, and doing so takes couples varying amounts of
time around the globe. Couples in Colombia report planning their wedding
in just seven months—the shortest wedding planning timeline
worldwide—followed by couples in India (8 months), Chile (8 months) and
Peru (9 months). On the other hand, couples in the US and UK tend to
have almost twice as much time for wedding planning, with engagements
lasting 14 and 15 months on average, respectively.

Despite these differences, to-be-weds around the world are on the same
page when it comes to hiring local professionals to bring their unique
wedding visions to life. Couples in all countries hired more than eight
wedding vendors, on average, with 80 percent of couples hiring a
photographer to capture their special day, reigning as the most popular
vendor category across 13 countries. France, however, tends to
prioritize food over photography, with more than 3 in 4 couples hiring
caterers for their weddings. Other popular vendor categories include
venues, music, cake bakers and florists.

The Wedding — Global Trends & Traditions

Whether it’s a family-focused
in Northern India; a vibrant bash complete with neon
dancing robots
in Santiago, Chile; or a picturesque
wedding in Verona, Italy; couples around the world are
putting unique touches on their wedding celebrations as the ultimate
showcase of their individual personalities and love stories. When
determining wedding dates, weather is one of the most influential
factors for couples in all countries, with couples often opting for
weddings during the warmer seasons. September and October are the most
popular wedding months for those in North America and Europe, while
October, November and February reign as the most popular wedding months
for countries in the southern hemisphere.

From honoring one’s heritage with a traditional
Chinese ceremony
, to late-night dancing with “La Hora Loca,” couples
are incorporating unique cultural elements into their weddings
respective to where they’re being held. Additionally, some traditions
are widely embraced by most to-be-weds worldwide, like the first dance.
A majority of couples in 11 out of 14 countries report having a first
dance, though these dances may look vastly different. For example, a UK-based
surprised their guests with a choreographed number, while
Mexico-based newlyweds set off mini-fireworks for a first-dance grand

Another tradition embraced worldwide is celebrating with a toast to the
newlyweds or drinking wine, with 80% of weddings around the world
serving alcohol as part of the celebration. An open bar is a frequent
occurrence at weddings in Spain, while the majority of UK weddings have
a champagne toast, but skip free-flowing beverages. Couples in India,
however, are least likely to serve alcoholic beverages, with less than a
quarter (22%) incorporating them into their wedding reception.

While couples are nodding to their cultural backgrounds throughout their
celebrations, many continue to incorporate religion as well. Religion is
often embraced by couples based in countries with a Catholic-majority
population, with more than 68% of couples in Colombia, Italy, Brazil,
Mexico and Portugal doing so. Popular religious wedding traditions
include taking communion during the ceremony for Roman Catholics,
marrying Jewish couples under a huppah,
and signing the marriage contract in a traditional Muslim
Nikhah ceremony
. Although many couples may incorporate such
traditions by putting their unique twists on them, other couples may
forgo religious ties in their wedding altogether. The least likely to
include religion in their weddings are UK-based to-be-weds; less than a
third of couples in the UK weave religious elements into their weddings.

With predominantly millennial couples making up the to-be-wed population
worldwide, it’s no surprise they’re relying on their smartphones and
other technology throughout their planning and on their wedding days as
well. In fact, 7 in 10 couples in the US rely on social media for
wedding inspiration throughout their wedding planning journeys. As a
result, modern trends like creating and sharing a personalized hashtag
are gaining popularity, particularly among couples in the US (53%),
Canada (45%) and India.

The celebrations continue after the wedding day, as many couples jet-set
off on their honeymoon. Most couples opt to travel shortly after their
wedding to unwind and celebrate the start of the next chapter in their
lives (78%).

Budgets Across Borders and the Guest Experience

With varying wedding styles, elements and traditions come varying
budgets. Costs of weddings around the world differ greatly depending on
the region, with couples in Latin America spending the least (under
$9,000). Couples based in Peru, Chile and Colombia typically pay for
roughly 55% of the wedding costs, while couples in other regions tend to
receive more financial support from family members—especially in Spain
and Italy, where they cover roughly two-thirds of the wedding expenses.

The largest determining factor for wedding cost internationally is guest
count. Although the number of wedding guests varies significantly from
country to country, Chile-based couples have the smallest weddings with
an average of 91 guests, while couples in India welcome, on average, 524
guests to their largest wedding event (Indian weddings typically span
multiple days).

More than half of weddings in Brazil (57%) and Mexico (46%) also take
place in one’s hometown and tend to have higher guest counts than other
countries, ranging from 159-181 on average. Couples in Portugal are
arguably the most responsible when handling wedding finances, with only
7% of couples taking out a loan or incurring credit card debt as a
result of their wedding festivities. On the other hand, 47% of couples
in Brazil and Peru report taking out loans or incurring debt as a result
of their wedding costs.


The 2019 Global Wedding Report is primarily based on data collected from
The Knot Worldwide (The Knot, WeddingWire and annual newlywed
survey, distributed to couples married in 2018. The survey was sent in
December 2018 to couples with an email address on file, and a total of
19,993 responded. India data comes from a gen pop survey of 357 recently
married college-educated couples. To provide the most comprehensive
view, this report includes findings from ad hoc studies and examples
from couples who have shared their real wedding experiences with the

About The Knot

The Knot is a leading multiplatform wedding resource offering a
seamless, all-in-one planning experience—from finding inspiration and
local vendors to creating and managing all guest experiences, wedding
registries and more. The trusted brand reaches a majority of engaged
couples in the US through the #1 wedding planning website
and #1 iOS and Android mobile app The Knot Wedding Planner, The Knot
national and local wedding magazines, and The Knot book series. Since
its inception, The Knot has inspired approximately 25 million couples to
plan a wedding that’s uniquely them. Visit The Knot online at
and follow on social media:
and @TheKnot on
and Instagram.

About WeddingWire

WeddingWire, Inc. is a trusted global online marketplace, connecting
consumers with local wedding professionals and a suite of comprehensive
tools that make wedding planning easier. Operating within a $250 billion
industry, WeddingWire helps 16 million users every month find the right
team of wedding professionals to personalize and pull off their special
day. Consumers around the world are able to read more than 5 million
vendor reviews and search, compare and book from a directory of over
500,000 vendors local to them. Founded in 2007, the WeddingWire
portfolio serves couples and wedding professionals across 15 countries
in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. The company is
headquartered in Washington, DC with international headquarters in
Barcelona, Spain. Visit WeddingWire online at
and follow on social media at
and @WeddingWire on Instagram,
and Pinterest.

About, part of The Knot WorldWide group, is a leading bridal portal
designed to help the bride and groom organize the happiest day of their
lives. With its international presence, the group has created the
world’s largest bridal community and virtual wedding marketplace on the
Internet. It has a comprehensive database of over 560,000 wedding
professionals and offers couples tools to prepare their guest list,
manage their budget, find their suppliers and more. The Knot WorldWide
operates in 15 countries through different domains such as
(Argentina), (Peru),
(United Kingdom),
(Canada) and


Stephanie Colpo

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