Inflation hits wedding industry, caterers hard

Inflation hits wedding industry, caterers hard

The wedding industry and caterers are having to adjust to the highest inflation in 40 years amid what a study by The Knot predicts to be a busy year.

A study by The Knot predicts 2022 will be the busiest year for weddings since the 1980s. Coupled with the highest inflation in 40 years, and the wedding industry is having to adjust.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, an airline chicken breast cost Shully’s Cuisine and Events $5.22 per pound. Today, it costs than $7.69 – a 47% increase.

“It’s just – holy cow,” said co-owner Scott Shully.

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At Shully’s, most people book their event more than a year in advance. It means, if you booked last year in June 2021, the Consumer Price Index has increased 9.1% since. Inflation is forcing the caterer to negotiate with customers.

“That can be complicated. The best thing is we are just honest with people,” said Shully.

Shully’s Cuisine and Events

Shully said their prices are not final until 60 days out, and they are working with customers to adjust menus to try to keep with a couple’s budget.

“What’s your budget, and then within that budget we can and do things that will adjust to that budget you have,” he said.

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It’s not just caterers feeling the impact. Wedding planner Meredith Sipes owns Blue Fancy Events.

“We’re being tested after having dealt with all the postponements, and now kind of dealing with these huge jumps in costs. It’s been a roller coaster, and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Sipes.

Shully’s Cuisine and Events

Sipes encourages couples to budget with inflation in mind and encourages everyone to read the fine print.

“Make sure that you’re reading those contracts,” she said. “Not just you, yourself, but have somebody else look them over because it’s really easy to miss crucial information if you don’t know necessarily what you’re looking for.”

Sipes said she is seeing couples planning further out than ever before. She is already working with couples on weddings for the summer of 2024.