Recessionista Report: Destination Weddings, Health Costs, And Domestic Abuse

  • Destination Weddings: A growing number of couples are choosing to say “I do” under the Caribbean sun, rather than having a traditional wedding in their hometown, even though we’re in a recession. A survey by Destination Weddings predicts the destination wedding industry will grow to $16 billion this year, compared with $13 billion last year and $3 billion in 2001. A destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort can be cheaper than a traditional wedding. “Weddings at home tend to be larger,” said Cathy Preece, a tourism industry expert who represents the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. “Brides who are here have their mother who says you have to invite this person and this person.” But the couple having a destination wedding tends to only invite close family and friends — 48 guests, on average. Unfortunately, destinations that are farther away haven’t had the surge that the Caribbean, Mexico, and Florida have enjoyed. [Reuters]
  • Healthcare Costs: Women are hit harder by health costs than men, according to Commonwealth Fund, a private health policy group. Seven out of 10 women are uninsured, under-insured, or in debt from medical bills. And the recession isn’t helping the situation. Families are having to choose between paying health care costs, credit card debt, or the mortgage. Researchers found that 52 percent of women, compared with 39 percent of men, were more likely to not fill a prescription, ignore a recommended treatment or test, or not seek necessary medical treatment because of cost. And 45 percent of women were in debt from medical expenses and had a difficult time paying their medical bills, compared with 36 percent of men. Women were affected more harshly than men by the rise in health costs because they traditionally have lower average incomes, spend more on health care, and use the health system more frequently than men. [Reuters]
  • Domestic Abuse: The recession has also caused an increase in domestic abuse. Mary Kay cosmetics surveyed 600 domestic violence shelters around the US and found that about 75 percent have seen an increase in women seeking help since September. Seventy-three percent of the shelters link the rise to financial issues in the home. Job loss was the major factor behind the rise in domestic abuse, according to nearly 50 percent of those polled. [Reuters]