The explosive wedding boom according to last year it is decreasing, but the average cost of a wedding is still increasing new data from Zola.
Couples will spend an average of $29,000 to say “I do” this year — up from $28,000 last year, the digital wedding planning platform found. In 2019, before the Covid pandemic created a crowded wedding market, that number was closer to $24,700.
The expected jump is largely due to rising, inflationary costs faced by vendors, the company said.
In a January survey of about 300 wedding vendors, 83% said the cost of running their business would increase in 2023, 26% said merchandise costs had risen and 17% said couples had smaller service budgets.
More than 77% of retailers surveyed said they have increased rates for 2023.
Emma Dykstra, office manager for family-owned Deborah’s Specialty Cakes in Athens, Ga., said supplier costs have in some cases “tripled or gotten worse,” forcing her team to raise prices twice in the past year.
“We’ve had to adjust a little bit, and we also want to make sure we’re paying our employees as well, so we’ve had to raise their hourly rates,” said Dykstra, whose mom started the bakery. “This means slightly higher costs for the customer.”
According to her, the bakery had to raise prices by about a third or more, which she says leads more customers to shop elsewhere. Dykstra estimated that before costs jumped, one in 10 customers would move their business elsewhere because of price concerns — now she estimates it’s closer to one in five or one in six.
“We haven’t raised our price in ages and we hate that we have to because we really want to be as affordable as possible for people, but we definitely have to cater to the higher income clientele,” she said.
According to Emily Forrest, Zola’s director of communications, couples hosted more than 2.6 million weddings in the U.S. last year. This number decreases in 2023 pending matters related to the Covid pandemic start cleaning.
To mitigate rising costs, Forrest said she’s seeing more couples forgo typical traditions, shop at thrift stores or even opt for a weekday or morning celebration.
“They’re really open-minded about what the cost of a wedding is and what decisions they have to make to fit their personal style and fit a day that they’ve maybe been thinking about for a long time,” she said.
Paige Thom, co-founder and chief planner of Weddings by Leigh, a Las Vegas-based wedding planning service, said she doesn’t see many couples cutting their budgets, but noted that many are far more focused on the value of services than they were in the past. past.
Thom said couples are increasingly asking questions like, “What services will I get? How much time will I get? What’s really the best bang for the buck right now?”
“What do I get for it and is it worth it?”
The cost of food and other labor-intensive services is a particular concern, Thom said, as retailers raise wages to support workers.
“Flowers or installations or anything that’s really heavy on the decor, that requires extra work on site, those costs go up dramatically,” she said.
“Everybody’s feeling the pain — the rent, the groceries and the gas — so if you’re trying to keep the team, like we are, you’re raising the salary,” she continued. “The idea of cheap labor is not really a thing anymore.