Pella Chronicle

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

June 24, 2013

Gatsby-style weddings show confidence to spend big

WASHINGTON — Lauren O'Shaughnessy has boosted prices for her wedding-planning services by about 25 percent since 2009 as the economic expansion puts Americans in the mood for bigger parties and fancier locations.

Spending on the average wedding in the United States climbed 5.2 percent to $28,427 in 2012 from a year earlier, according to XO Group Inc., a New York-based company whose websites include theknot.com and WeddingChannel.com.

"People do feel more comfortable spending their money than they used to," said O'Shaughnessy, a 29-year-old partner at Bellafare, an event and wedding-planning company in New York. "We're busier, the stuff we're getting is much more grand, and we've had to hire more people to help us out with everything."

Further strides in employment, record household wealth from rising home and stock prices, and consumer confidence at a five- year high will help sustain such discretionary spending gains. More lavish special events, from weddings to bar mitzvahs, have sparked stepped-up hiring in the leisure and hospitality industry and kept the bubbly flowing for companies such as Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Signet Jewelers.

"There are those who, as the economy returns and improves, are ready and willing and anxious and excited to spend more and to maximize the celebration of the biggest day of their life," said Brian Beitler, executive vice president of Conshohocken, Pa.-based David's Bridal, the U.S. largest wedding-gown retailer.

Rising property and stock values are boosting consumer finances, helping Americans cope with higher payroll taxes. Household wealth jumped to an all-time high in the first quarter, exceeding its pre-recession peak for the first time, the Federal Reserve said on June 6. Net worth for households and non-profit groups increased by $3 trillion, or 4.5 percent from the previous three months, to $70.3 trillion, the Fed said.

Text Only
CNHI/Southeast Iowa
  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former Centerville teacher drowns in Creston

    A long-time Centerville Community School District teacher and coach has been identified as the man dive teams recovered from a southeast Iowa lake on Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Picture veteran -T -M Veteran finally receives his medals OTTUMWA — A World War II injury may have saved the life of a U.S. Coast Guardsman from Iowa, but he lost friends and a box of military awards. Francis Hardy Harbour was born on Dec.16, 1919, in Drakesville. He joined the Coast Guard in 1941 as a mach

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

Features
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Obituaries