How much does a wedding cost in 2023?

According to a recent study from Zola, the average cost to get married in the U.S. is on the rise. The average cost of a wedding in 2023 is $29,000 — up from $28,000 in 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an increasingly congested wedding market. As inflation continues to drive prices up, many vendors and event spaces have raised their consumer rates to offset their balance sheets.

According to Zola, 83 percent of wedding vendors report the cost to run their business has increased, while 26 percent say the cost of goods has continued to rise.

“We’ve had to kind of adjust for that, and then also we want to make sure we pay our employees as well, so we’ve had to up their hourly rates. That translates to slightly higher costs for the customer," Emma Dykstra, the office manager for family-run Deborah’s Specialty Cakes in Athens, Ga., told CNBC.

“The bakery has had to raise prices by about a third or more,” she added.

In 2023, 17 percent of couples have a smaller and tighter budget when it comes to planning their nuptials.

The price tag for a wedding can be overwhelming for many couples, leading them to consider other options, such as eloping or having a small, intimate ceremony with minimalist decorations and lighter catering instead.

Some couples are even turning to big box stores such as Costco for their wedding cakes.

For couples who are looking for an alternative to the traditional expensive wedding, plenty of options are available.

They may just have to think outside the box.

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