PHOENIX — It's the time of year when people are starting their wedding planning, but the demand is higher than ever for clothing, vendors, and venues.
That's because so many people have been postponing their big day because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to The Knot, a wedding website and magazine, there will be 2.6 million weddings this year, compared to 2.2 million on the average year in the United States.
That demand, plus shortages in materials needed for wedding must-haves, and inflation are driving up prices on many of these products.
ABC15's Smart Shopper team spoke to "The Knot" Senior Editor, Esther Lee, about the rise in prices and how couples can still stay within their budget. The trend they are seeing this year, Lee told us, is more couples having "value-oriented weddings."
"Couples are being very thoughtful around the planning process: who they're hiring, why they're hiring them, and also the story that they're telling through their wedding day… So, just being a lot more thoughtful about the guest experience overall," Lee said.
That may mean cutting back on the number of guests, stocking an open bar, or setting the date during peak wedding season. Lee also explained how many couples are more casual this year, including how they send wedding invitations or accept online RSVPs.
While you can wait for sales and discounts on some things like dresses, shoes, and tuxedos; Lee suggests being very open with your vendors about your budget. "Work with your vendors directly on the specific budget that you've allocated, and you want to be very upfront with them about the cap number, the max number and also your vision. And you can work towards finding the perfect solution together," added Lee.
The biggest factor that can save couples a bundle is not scheduling the wedding during the typical season. Look at dates between before March and after October.
Lee's last piece of advice is to find a team that's willing to work with you and within your budget. "You have to do what's best for you and you want to work with a vendor team that really meets you where you're at," explained Lee. "Wedding professionals actually really do listen, and they make the best happen for you."
Esther Lee is a Senior Editor for The Knot. She oversees all news and trending content. She is a native of the Philadelphia suburbs but now calls New York City home. For more, click here.
The Knot is a part of The Knot Worldwide's global family of brands. The magazine and website are all about wedding planning, tips, and inspiration. For more, click here.