HOTELS battling against falling prices and profits are also suffering from a fall-off in weddings, which have long proved a lucrative earner.
Figures show the number of weddings in Ireland was down by 15% last year. Fewer people were also invited to share in a couple’s big day with the average size of a wedding down by 20%.
Accountancy firm, Horwath Bastow Charleton said that hotels are fighting harder than ever to secure wedding business with many marketing weddings as an all-inclusive package.
They said the lead-in time for booking weddings has shortened considerably in Ireland and consumers now have the bargaining power.
“They research the various packages available and approach the hotel with the competitor’s prices either asking the hotel to match them or select a price and ask the hotel what is available for that price point,” said a spokeswoman from Horwarh Bastow Charleton.
“Hotels have been severely impacted by the fall-off in corporate associated business, a reduction in the average size of a wedding and function and the competitive rates now being offered by properties in the race to secure a booking,” she added.
Naomh Kirwan from The Wedding Crew, a company offering a variety of wedding services said she has definitely noticed a change in attitude when dealing with brides.
“One of the first questions asked is about cost and I am nearly always asked if I can give them a better deal,” she said.
According to the Central Statistics Office, there were 702 fewer weddings in 2009 than in 2008 – a 3% decrease.
Editor of weddingsonline.ie, Rachel Sandall, said however that the number of new registrants on its website has increased in 2010 from 2009.
“Our ongoing wedding budget survey on Weddings Online.ie, which has over 1,000 respondents, indicates that most couples are still spending between €20,000 - €30,000, similar to what they were spending pre-recession,” she said.
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