By Erin Conroy, AP Business Writer
More people are tying the knot and spending on their weddings this year as the economy improves, according to a recent survey of the entire membership of the National Association of Catering Executives.
More than three-quarters of those polled said more weddings were taking place in 2010 compared with 2009, a near reversal of the trend reported last year. At that time, less than a third said they saw more weddings compared with the year before.
Meanwhile, nearly 30% said this year that they saw an increase in expenditures per event, while 40% saw increases in total wedding revenue.
Last year, nearly 90% reported seeing a decline in overall wedding spending due to the economy.
"We are cautiously optimistic that our survey results this year will predict a return from the brink of the recession," said Greg Casella, president of NASE and owner of Catered Too! in San Jose, Calif.
While spending is up, Casella said members of NASE reported that brides and grooms were looking for the best deals."While we're seeing a busier year, caterers are definitely noticing that people are shopping around and asking for price matches," Casella said. "That wasn't as common before the recession."
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