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How has the pandemic affected a typical wedding budget? Quite a bit, it turns out. Shortages of staffing and supply chain issues have caused prices to skyrocket, and these costs are passed along to your vendors.

The Great Resignation

Many workers are tired of manual labor jobs and the mistreatment that comes with these roles – including folks in the service industry. (I have some blood-curdling tales of how I myself was treated by some of my own clients!) After being able to spend time with their families during quarantine, many of these people have decided not to return to these jobs, yet consumers are spending more than ever now that we’re almost at a new normal. This is why you’ll see wages of fifteen dollars an hour advertised at fast food companies, and help wanted signs at just about every retail store.

Wedding services are no different. In Los Angeles, for example, hourly wages for florists and catering servers and other support roles are nearly triple the minimum wage. While it’s great to see hardworking citizens be paid well for their work (finally!), these wages add up fast for companies offering these services; and the profit margins are already somewhat slim for these businesses. So, guess what – this cost is passed along to you.

Supply Chain Slow-Downs

Giant container ships docked for days- weeks – with no where to go. Factory shut downs creating a glut of unfulfilled orders. Empty shelves. Yep, we’re still having slow downs with the chain of sequences in the fulfillment of consumer goods. Multiple issues affect this, from COVID outbreaks at factories causing stoppages of production to the resulting lack of space at ports to offload the products that finally arrive.

Thus, everyday goods are pricier than ever, including flowers, food, and decorative goods. And yep, these things affect pricing for your event.

Wedding budget for lush rustic bridal bouquet with greenery and blush flowers
Scarcity is causing major price increases for florals. Photo by Sally Pinera. Bouquet by Plenty of Petals.

How to Control your Wedding Budget Post Pandemic

But you still have the ability to control and contain your wedding budget. Here’s how:

  1. Be realistic. Don’t expect to get a sweetheart deal from a wedding vendor right now – they’re getting back on their feet after being essentially out of business for a year or so during quarantine. A vendor will turn down clients with too-low budgets because they will literally lose money if they charge too low. Be respectful and consider the current state of the world – there are forces at play affecting costs, that wedding vendors can’t bypass.
  2. Invite fewer people. Microweddings became popular during COVID for obvious reasons – fewer people meant lower exposure to disease – and couples and their families found these events were warmer, more intimate, more satisfying potentially than a bigger bash. Your outer-circle friends won’t resent not being invited, and many of them may not want to attend anyways due to continued concerns about the Delta variant. Fewer guests mean fewer logistics to handle, and of course, lower costs, and thus a lower wedding budget.
  3. Have a weekday wedding. These have become very popular during quarantine, and they’re so fun! If you are inviting fewer guests, they’re more likely to be much closer to you and thus more eager to take a day or two off work. Plus, with remote work, guests may have more flexibility from their employer to work while they’re away, if they’re flying in from out of town. And – venues tend to charge less for weekday events, so you’ll likely enjoy a greater savings in this regard.
Weekday Wedding at Malibu Rocky Oaks with couple on mountain
A gorgeous Malibu Rocky Oaks weekday wedding – on a Thursday :) Photo by Sally Pinera.

Ultimately, remember to treat your potential and hired wedding vendors with respect. It’s been a crazy time especially for those in the service industry. Having an honest and patient dialogue with them will lead to a fair experience for all.