Date nights and vacations weren’t the only things being put on hold during the pandemic. Many happy couples postponed their big days as well. Who wants to have a wedding party when all your loved ones are mandated to stay at home?
Now those dream weddings are finally happening — and they’re more expensive than ever. Couples who couldn’t get married during the pandemic are bidding up the prices of venues, DJs, and wedding cake. Additionally, with social media timelines teeming with people tying the knot, some may feel unspoken pressure to make sure their special day stands out.
The US wedding services industry boomed 10% to $71 billion in 2022. This may be great news for vendors, but it’s not ideal for brides, grooms, or wedding guests across the country.
Average Wedding Costs
From 2022 to 2023, the average cost of throwing a wedding increased by $1,000. It now sits at a whopping $29,000, according to the wedding planning website Zola.
In addition to pent-up demand, the price hike has been magnified as wedding vendors raise costs to keep pace with inflation. What’s more, the costs may only continue to rise. In a recent survey, 77% of wedding vendors said they plan on raising rates in 2023.
DJs, makeup artists, and florists have all raised their rates since 2019 — by 25%, 20%, and 20% respectively. Interestingly, the only wedding cost to consistently decline is the groom’s attire, as many today opt to be married in casual fits rather than black tie.
Navigating Scale Skew
Both throwing and attending a wedding can be dangerous for your budget, thanks to a concept known as “scale skew.” Scale skew refers to the phenomenon of losing track of costs when you’re already spending a lot of money.
In other words, you might normally balk at a $500 expense. But if you’re planning a wedding that already costs $25,000, what’s another $500 if it means imbibing from a fun champagne fountain you found on TikTok?
This can also apply to guests, who may not be on the hook for an open bar, but still may feel pressure to spend big on wedding gifts, attire, and accommodations. In fact, the cost of attending a wedding is pretty eye-popping these days, too.
When planning big events like a wedding, being aware of scale skew can help you keep costs in perspective and limit your spending. Your wedding may be the proverbial best day of your life. But the next day can be pretty great too, so long as you don’t have to spend it digging out of a deep financial hole.
Looking for more stories like this? Check out On the Money — SoFi’s one-stop-shop for news, trends, and tips!
Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.