Food trucks, flowers, and personalized favors – all on a budget. With inflation bringing prices up, Reno wedding planners say they’re seeing more couples find ways to tone down their big day.
One of the most common strategies: fewer guests.
“They’re still spending the same amounts, but having a wonderful party with 75 of their closest friends instead of 200 where you need nametags,” said Christina Perry, owner of The Garden of Reno.
She’s not the only wedding vendor seeing more intimate ceremonies. Karen Nichols, president of Red Carpet Events & Design, said brides working with an average budget have been downsizing.
“You have a set budget, and you’re finding a way to create that special experience for everybody, with just a smaller guest list,” she said.
It doesn’t mean couples have to cut corners. Nichols said she’s seen people get creative with things like food truck catering or inexpensive but sentimental favors. She had one couple who met at 10 Torr brewery in Reno, so they catered 10 Torr.
“We absolutely love it that people do not copy and paste, that they create their own wedding with touches,” Nichols said.
Another cost-saving strategy: couples are putting their family members and friends to work.
Washoe County Clerk Jan Galassini said that over the last three years, her office has seen nearly double the number of friends and family members purchasing single-ceremony certificates that allow them to officiate for one couple’s wedding.
“I think the national trend has shown us it’s your own ceremony. You do whatever you want to do,” Galassini said. “And if it means Uncle Joe marries you or your best friend, then that’s what people are doing.”
But the ultimate budget hack is booking early, if you ask Perry.
“With your photographer, your DJs, things like that – your venues. (Nail) in this year’s prices … because everybody’s going to go up with inflation,” she said.
Nichols added that couples should be wary of vendors not setting their prices in stone.
“I would say definitely book now, but understand there might be caveats on some of those contracts, and really read the fine print,” she said.