‘It’s been tragic lately:’ Wedding planner says inflation is forcing prices across the industry to rise

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Weddings are already expensive but inflation is causing some couples to spend more or change plans.

“The prices are outrageous,” said Freddy Leonard. “It’ll cost you an arm and a leg just to get a venue, much less anything else.”

Freddy Leonard proposed to his fiancée Katelyn Ralls in August. While preparing for the big day, they were hit with big costs.

“We’ve been forced to actually look outside of the city for cheaper rates,” said Leonard.

The couple found many venues to range between $10,000 and $12,000. Instead of getting married in Birmingham, they found a venue for half the price in North Alabama.

“A wedding that was planned in 2021 is probably about $10,000 more now if you took the same exact wedding and got new quotes,” said Sarah Tedder. She is a wedding planner and owns Kindred Weddings.

She says the prices of nearly everything have gone up and they vendors with the largest increase, in her experience, have been florists. She says a big reason for the price hike is the war overseas. Because a lot of flowers come from other countries, Tedder says florists are having trouble getting flowers which causes a rise in prices.

The next largest price increase is for catering. While food costs are up, so are other expenses like gas.

“For a catering company to travel to a venue, there’s gas involved so that price has increased,” said Tedder. “Most all vendors have to increase their travel fee because of that.”

Tedder says some of her clients have had to scale back their guest count to stay within budget.

“At the end of the day, the average is about $350 that you spend on a guest,” she added. “For every guest is a linen, a meal, a drink, a center piece, a table cloth. It definitely adds up.”

While prices are high, Tedder has a few tips for couples planning their wedding right now. She says instead of spending more money on stamps, send digital Save The Dates instead. If you can’t spend extra on flowers, she recommends using candles or photos instead around lower trafficked areas.

Leonard noticed hiring a wedding planner has helped him and his fiancée save some cash. Because most wedding coordinators have connections, he says they can get discounts easier than the average couple.


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