Wedding season is in full swing and this year especially, there’s a good chance you’ve received at least one save-the-date in the mail. Whether you are involved in the planning or simply attending a loved one’s nuptials, it’s going to cost you more than previous years. Weddings are a $58 billion per year industry, and we have the reasons why weddings will be more expensive than ever before in this week’s Five for Friday.
#5: Overall demand
The COVID-19 pandemic forced countless couples to put off their big day as social distancing put a damper on large gatherings. Supply and demand is very real, and with more weddings this year, prices would be higher even without surging inflation. The Wedding Report expects vows will be exchanged a record 2.5 million times this year, a substantial jump from the 1.9 million weddings last year after a dismal 2020. Not only is overall demand driving up prices for hosts, guests also have more weddings to attend.
Finding the perfect setting for tying the knot can be tough in a year with a moderate number of weddings, not to mention a record-setting year. If 2022 is the busiest year, October is the busiest month of this year with 17% of weddings taking place in the early fall, according to Zola. The cool weather and beautiful foliage of Oct. 22 is the most in-demand date. If the price is too steep, some venues will give you a deal if you take the plunge on a weekday.
The cost in our guest category is twofold. The number of people invited to and attending weddings is up in 2022, averaging more than 100 guests, costing the hosts more. And as a guest, you are going to have to earn that good time with inflation running at 40-year highs. You can expect to pay between $600 and $1,300 for travel, gifts and attire for the big day, according to Zola. And if you’re in the wedding party, bachelor and bachelorette parties are becoming more extravagant as well, with partygoers spending between $300 and $1,900 last year, according to The Knot. This could be why people are ditching Las Vegas for another desert locale in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The great resignation helped create an incredibly tight labor market, and with 11.3 million job openings as of May 2022, the shortage of help has pushed up wages across all industries. It’s no surprise this is also a challenge for wedding planning. Staffing is crucial to making guests feel special and shortages are taking a toll on everyone from caterers to florists.
The average wedding will cost roughly $27,000 this year, according to The Wedding Report. There’s a lot that goes into getting hitched — food, cake, flowers, photography, and music, to name some — and every one of these microindustries is facing inflation and high demand. For couples who booked this year, vendors have the flexibility not only to pass on inflation and labor costs but also jack up prices over demand. But the expense here goes both ways: vendors who are locked into prices from pandemic-delayed weddings the past two years could be forced to eat that 9.1% inflation increase.