By Paul Pannone
Since asking Are You Getting the Right Data in May expert members of the Wedding Water Cooler discussion group have picked apart data from various sources and questioned every source under the sun. The most famous was Andy Ebon destroying survey results from BRIDES magazine where the Ebomintore takes them to task for many reasons including omitting what he felt were important facets of music and entertainment.
Group discussions circling around various sources ended up at information provided by the company formally known as the Knot. Members of the Wedding Water Cooler say they find the lack of credible information disturbing, including respected wedding analyst, Jacqueline Johnson. According to Johnson there are “Lies, lies and damn lies” when it comes to data.
“You pick your poison when it comes to data and statistics. You try to find the best, most trustworthy available but are always on the hunt for better. Remember, I sit on the board of many Caribbean nations that rely on my judgement and choice of information. But also remember the information can only be as good as the person or organization that is collecting the data. Many things come into play and it becomes a judgment call of how reliable the information is,” according to Johnson.
There is no question; Jim Duhe questions everything, including but not limited to asking if the Pope is really Catholic. And if so, why?
Jim Duhe picked up on the discussion today questioning the overall, accepted idea about weddings declining in this country.
“I question everyone and everything; that’s how you get to the right answers– not just ‘an’ answer. If you do enough questioning, you’ll eventually find the information you were looking for,” says Duhe.
Duhe questions whether weddings are actually declining, challenging US government statistics and the widely accepted idea that weddings are at their lowest rate since 1968. “Since off-shore ‘Destination Weddings’ are not included in the national reports on the number of marriages, it’s not possible to say exactly where the number stands. It’s quite possible that the number of marriages is INCREASING. Most research indicates that about 1/3 of all weddings are labeled ‘destination’. So add 1/3 to the reported number and what do you get?
It’s quite possible that the numbers aren’t as bad as most people report. However, nobody wants to tackle the job of trying to figure it out. It’s easier to use the numbers that exclude destination weddings and complain that the number of marriages is down dramatically,” according to Duhe.
In his best Andy Eboninatore tone Duhe proceeded to cut into ambiguous surveys while further questioning findings, as well as incomplete thoughts and the methodology behind the survey format.
1. Exactly when was this study conducted? I couldn’t find a date.
2. Why are the numbers presented as “averages” rather than median numbers?
3. If the average age of the bride and groom has increased dramatically this year, is there an explanation as to why?
4. If the average wedding has 141 guests and the average amount spent on wedding favors is $220, what can you buy for $1.60?
5. If the average bride is spending $1,055 on her gown, where is she shopping? Not David’s. Not full service bridal shops. No the internet. Where?
6. If the average engagement ring will cost in excess of $5,000, where is she buying her ring. Most experts agree that the median cost is about half that amount.
There’s a lot more that I’d like to ask — but — who would answer?
Good question Jim.
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