It seems that we have finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel with Covid, but just was we get comfortable and fall back into our normal lives, a new issue has risen: inflation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the annual inflations rate in the U.S. reached 8.5% in March.
This rise has affected every industry including weddings, and with an estimated 2.5 million weddings (up 30% from 2021) to occur this year, you can bet there are going to be repercussions.
Supply and demand issues, labor shortages, and inflation have all become contributing factors in the high cost of planning a wedding. The average wedding was $28,000 in 2021, and according to The Knot, you can expect to pay much higher in 2022 and 2023.
After hearing all of this it seems impossible to stick within a budget, and still have a dream wedding, right? Wrong! All this is doing is making you reevaluate your wedding priorities.
Start by asking yourselves a few questions:
· What do we want to accomplish?
· What do we want our day to look like?
· What is important to us at our wedding?
Make a List: Wants vs. Needs
· Wants: "Live Without"
· Needs: "A Must-Have"
Pick 3-4 "Must-Haves" that are important to both of you and then allocate your budget from there. Is it photography, a top shelf bar, seated dinner, florals? Creating a separate list of these important items will help you make better and quicker decisions. When you start to get overwhelmed in the planning process, going back and reviewing your list will guide you!
In addition to separating your wedding Wants vs. Needs, there are other things you can do to help save money- Here are a few ideas:
Weekday Weddings: Monday-Thursday dates are less expensive than Friday-Sunday.
Off- Peak Season: Depending on where you live, there is likely an off-peak season. Ask your venue which months are off-peak and there’s a good chance for a discounted rate.
Day vs. Night: Some venues have separate rates depending on the time of day. If so, day weddings will be less expensive than evening weddings.
Guest Count: Now that capacity restrictions are over, it’s hard to not invite everyone you know. Just remember, the more people you invite, the more costs you will incur.
Offer to Pay Cash: Don’t be afraid to ask your vendors if they accept cash. If so, there may be some room for negotiating prices.
Dinner Buffet: A buffet is always a less expensive option than a seated dinner because it requires alot less staffing.
Smaller Wedding Cake: Opt for a smaller wedding cake (2 tiers) and have a large sheet cake in the back for your caterer to cut and pass.
Well Liquor: If guest want gin or tequila, you don’t have to provide them with top shelf options. If there’s free liquor, trust me, your guest will be happy!
Candlelit Decor: Use candles or lanterns for centerpieces instead of flowers. Mix tall and short for depth and create a super romantic ambiance.
Faux flowers: The cost of flowers has skyrocketed this year, consider faux/silk flowers as an alternative, you’d be amazed at how real they can look!
Online Secondhand: After the big day has passed, couples have decided to sell their wedding items. From attire, to decor, and everything in between, you can find all kinds of items at discounted prices. Check local FB Bride groups
Paperless Invitations: Invitations are one of those unexpected high wedding cost. Digital invites are not only cheaper but a great way to help the environment!
DIY: It will take some extra time, but if you or your loved ones are crafty, this can be a great way to save money on items like centerpieces and other decor.
The above list is a great place to start and there are even more ways to save! With set priorities, open mindedness, and a little extra patience and work, you can still have your dream wedding- just remember, invest in what’s important to you!