Mike Steib, CEO of The Knot's parent XO Group, attributed the steady growth to one key trend: personalization of weddings. Over the past few years, brides have found ways to differentiate their wedding from others they've attended. Often, that means spending more on the perfect band, or adding extra touches.
"If you look back at your parents' weddings, they all look the same," Steib said. "Everybody wore the same stuff."
That's not the case anymore. According to The Knot's study, which surveyed nearly 18,000 U.S. brides and grooms who were married in 2015, custom guest entertainment has more than tripled since 2009, from 11 percent to 36 percent. That includes a big spike in the amount of couples offering signature cocktails, which has nearly doubled to 22 percent since 2008.
Keija Minor, editor-in-chief at Brides magazine, agreed that personalization is playing a bigger role in couples' weddings, particularly as more of them foot or split the bill. She added that many are looking for creative ways to make their wedding stand out, as the rise of social media sharing means that "everyone has seen a million weddings."
"An idea goes from fresh to cookie cutter really quickly," she said.