How much does a wedding cost
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  • Experts are warning that weddings will be more expensive in 2021 and 2022.
  • Many vendors are increasing their fees to keep their businesses afloat and to meet the increased demand caused by the pandemic.
  • But the cost of weddings typically increases year-over-year, and it's often the pressure of the wedding industry that actually causes couples to break the bank as they plan.
  • A wedding planner recommends taking your time and focusing on what you value for your wedding day to avoid unnecessary spending. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

It's common knowledge that weddings are often costly, with some couples saving for years to afford their dream ceremonies.

But brides and grooms-to-be may need to save more than they were expecting for upcoming weddings in 2021 and 2022, according to experts.

Experts say weddings could become more expensive in 2021 and 2022

There are multiple reasons wedding costs might increase over the next two years, but the two main reasons are results of the coronavirus' impact on the wedding industry.

Thousands of couples canceled their weddings amid the pandemic, rescheduling them for 2021 and 2022. Those cancellations left wedding vendors - like wedding planners, venues, florists, and caterers - with no sources of income.

As vendors try to bounce back from the economic hardship caused by being largely out of work for a year, many of them are raising their fees, Valentina Ring, a UK-based wedding planner, told Insider.

Vendors have struggled amid the pandemic.
Westend61/Getty Images

"Sadly, the uncertainty and increased logistical complexity that the more 'physical' wedding service providers are facing, like florists, caterers, or decor hire companies, has meant that their expenses and running costs have increased - which in turn means they need to increase their fees in order to run a sustainable business," Ring said.

"The difficult circumstances of the last twelve months may leave many business owners having to make the difficult, but necessary, decision to raise their prices," she added.

At the same time, the high number of couples who rescheduled their weddings means there will be more weddings than ever in 2021 and 2022.

To meet the booming demand, vendors will need more staff to pull off the events, which could also lead them to increase their fees, according to Juliana Mead, the vice president of B2B Marketing, The Knot Worldwide.

"Given that the 2021 and 2022 wedding seasons will be busier for most wedding professionals, it's likely that they will raise prices to not only manage their calendars more efficiently but also ensure that they can continue to provide that exceptional experience for all couples," she said.

And if you're a couple that already had to pay to reschedule your wedding as a result of that pandemic, the news that weddings are becoming even more expensive might be concerning. 

Weddings often get more expensive annually, so engaged couples shouldn't panic

Elisabeth Kramer, a day-of wedding coordinator based in Oregon, told Insider that it's not unusual for weddings to become more expensive year-over-year.

"In my experience, vendors often raise their prices every year, if only to keep up with inflation," Kramer told Insider. "This is an understandable business practice, and when it doesn't mean price gouging, a good one."

Ring echoed Kramer's point. "Many vendors revisit their prices annually anyway, to reflect inflation, and sadly many of them will be now attempting now to recover and stay afloat after a year of having received very little income," she said. 

Data also backs up Kramer and Ring: The average wedding cost increased from $27,000 (R416,064) to $44,000 (R678,031) from 2017 to 2018, according to the "Brides" American Wedding Studies.

In fact, Mead told Insider that The Knot advises vendors to raise their prices annually.

"Overall, we recommend that wedding professionals raise their prices - even a small percentage amount - each year for a number of reasons - whether it be because they are more experienced or due to financial obligations as a business owner, like pay increases for staff," she said. 

Kramer told Insider that vendor fees aren't what could cost couples the most in 2021 or 2022, but instead, the mentality in the wedding industry that decisions must be made as early as possible.

The wedding industry thrives off of stressing couples out

"The wedding industry makes people feel like they're 'running behind' because it's good for business," Kramer told Insider. "People who feel pressure often make hastier buying decisions."

"They're more willing to spend money that they might have spent on purchases that, upon second thought, don't align with their values," she added.

Couples often spend more money when they make rushed choices.
Maskot/Getty Images

So in short, the wedding industry thrives off of stressing out engaged couples. 

That stress could be increased if you had to postpone your wedding or move it up as a result of the pandemic, as you might feel like you just want to "get it over with" instead of thinking thoughtfully about what will make you happy on the wedding day.

As a result, you could end up making expensive purchases you later regret. 

Read more: How an Etsy seller turned her sewing side hustle into a full-fledged company, hired 7 employees, opened a store, and grew sales by 30% in 2020

Kramer recommends couples avoid spending unnecessarily by taking a step back and focusing on what they want their wedding to be like, rather than what others tell them it should be like. 

"The thing I want couples to keep in mind is to not let this reality turn up the heat on their personal decision-making," she said. "Couples need to talk to each other. They need to identify what has the most value for them for their wedding and put the bulk of their budget there."

Kramer thinks communicating with your partner about your wedding needs is so important that she created a prioritization worksheet for couples to help people stay true to themselves as they plan their weddings.

Even if wedding vendors increase their fees in the coming year, you can still find a way to host an event you love without breaking the bank.

To learn more about how to plan your wedding, check out Insider's step-by-step guide to planning a wedding here.

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