Wedding Planning Pandemic-Style

The emergence of COVID-19 has upended virtually everything related to socializing, and that includes weddings. If wedding bells are in your future, there are a few things to think about before you begin planning for the special day, considering the impact the pandemic may have on your event and your finances. Fortunately, it isn’t all bad news.

First, the good news. According to a recent survey from The Knot wedding planning website, the cost of the average wedding last year was $19,000, a $9,000 decrease from 2019, when the average wedding ran roughly $28,000 in the U.S.

Colorado’s average wedding costs run about $3,000 more than the national average. Although social distancing requirements played a large part in the shift toward smaller size weddings over the past 12 months, it’s a trend that’s anticipated to be the norm moving forward―even after the pandemic has finally become a thing of the past. That’s because the pandemic has forced people to reconsider the unnecessary wedding extras that gradually became commonplace, and back toward the significance of the ceremony and the celebration itself.

There is, of course, a flip side. Given that so many weddings were cancelled during 2020 because of the pandemic, many businesses that cater to the wedding industry are struggling. Consequently, the cost of many wedding-related expenses, from catering to flowers, has actually increased in many instances.

Following are a few things to consider:

  • Budgeting should still be a major factor for couples planning to get married, and costs should be outlined before a venue is booked or invitations are ordered.
  • For individuals with good credit, one way of avoiding the necessity of a loan, or paying for everything at once is to utilize a zero-percent interest credit card offer. If you go this route, however, be sure to determine how much your monthly payments will be in order to avoid being hit with significant interest rates once the zero percent/introductory period ends.
  • Social distancing it not going to end anytime soon. Given this reality, many couples are foregoing the large celebrations they initially envisioned. Instead, they’re holding smaller gatherings with close family and friends. Smaller spaces are less expensive and reduce the quantities needed for everything from the number of meals to floral arrangements.
  • Having a smaller physical gathering at your wedding doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t still celebrate with people who don’t make the guest list cut. Streaming internet options have become a popular way of including friends and family who cannot physically attend wedding celebrations during the pandemic, whether because of travel restrictions or fears about being around others. And you won’t have to incur the hefty costs of hosting a large, in-person gathering.
  • While buffet meals have long been an easy way to cut down on catering costs at weddings, COVID-19 safety measures do not favor this approach. In fact, many couples are having to switch to individually wrapped meals to ensure the safety of guests. Given this reality, one way that many couples have cut back on costs is toward less formal gatherings, utilizing outdoor spaces such as barns and serving less formal food, like pre-packaged meals.
  • Ever-changing pandemic factors have influenced social distancing requirements as infection numbers rise or fall. Many couples consider taking out event insurance, making sure it does not exclude pandemic-related factors that could impact your event.
  • One major cost of getting married is the honeymoon. But with so many travel restrictions still in place and ongoing uncertainty about the safety of traveling, many couples are postponing honeymoons for the future. Instead, they are celebrating with shorter, more affordable local trips. Many couples have opted to save up over a couple years for a bigger trip.

Interested in discussing a loan to help finance a wedding for yourself or a loved one? Check with your local Alpine Bank representative, or get started here.

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