The Knot Worldwide Compares Engagement/Wedding Trends in 15 Countries

An ambitious survey of 25,000 newlyweds in 15 countries, The Knot’s “2023 Global Wedding Report” highlights how engagement and wedding trends differ across cultures and continents. Some of the top-line results were expected, but others had us saying, “Wow.”

The biggest surprises dealt with the size of guests lists, the length of wedding planning and the most effective strategies for finding the right spouse.

Here’s a summary of the top-line survey results…

Overall, wedding expenses were the highest in the US and lowest in South America. Couples in the US ($30,000), UK ($23,000), Italy ($23,000), Spain ($23,000), Canada ($19,000) and France ($19,000) topped the list, while Argentina ($4,000), Colombia ($5,000) and Mexico ($8,000) rounded out the bottom.

The average number of wedding guests spanned from a low of 76 in Colombia to a high of 285 in India. Mexico (145) was second on the list, followed by Brazil (125) and the US (117). On the other end of the spectrum were the UK (81), Canada (89) and Chile (89). The Knot pointed out that India’s sizable guest lists had been even larger pre-Covid.

The Knot reported that in Western European countries, including Spain, Italy and Portugal, couples begin planning their weddings approximately 12 months ahead of time. Those in the US and the UK tend to take longer (15 to 16 months on average). In South America (except Brazil), the planning timelines are 10 months or fewer and, in India, the timeline is reduced to five to size months. The researchers explained that Indian couples can plan faster because their parents/family are generally more involved.

December is the most common month for couples to get engaged, according to The Knot, and this is true throughout many countries. France (20%), Portugal (20%), Canada (19%) and the UK (19%) had the largest percentage of engagements occurring in December. Another month with high levels of engagements in Europe is August when many take summer vacations.

Across all the surveyed countries, popular wedding dates tracked with the better weather. Europeans generally favored August and September, while US and UK couples preferred October. The months of November or December were selected by Latin America couples living in the Southern Hemisphere.

Favorite reception venues varied widely by region. Couples in Western Europe preferred villas, while banquet halls were the top pick in North and South America. UK couples noted that hotels were their top choice for receptions.

The survey also revealed that while online dating continues to be the most popular way to meet a potential spouse in the US, Canada and the UK, many other countries still prefer the traditional method of meeting in person. In 7 out of the 15 countries, the top way couples met was through “friends in common,” with Italy capturing the highest levels (33%). In contrast, in Latin America, it is more common to meet through work — especially in Peru (33%).

Three in 10 couples in the US, Canada and UK, said they met their significant other via dating sites/apps or social media.

Couples in South American countries seem to be catching on to this trend, however. The Knot reported a surge in online love connections in 2022 vs 2019: Argentina (22%, +9 pts), Uruguay (20%, +7 pts), Colombia (19%, +13 pts) and Brazil (18%, +6 pts).

“The 2023 Global Wedding Report” is based on responses from 25,245 couples surveyed by The Knot Worldwide (The Knot, WeddingWire and during the period from December 2022 to February 2023.

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