Jul 13, 2022 - Weddings

Experts say high fuel prices won’t impact your wedding guest list

A To Gather wedding. Photo: Natalie Ray

Wedding experts say that high fuel costs are not impacting wedding attendance.

While Charlotte-based wedding planners, Jackie Fogartie of Jackie Fogartie Events and Lisa Pleasant of Lisa Pleasant Events both told Axios they haven’t seen a decline in RSVPs to weddings, the rise in fuel is impacting how people choose to travel to weddings.

  • Some are opting to drive longer distances instead of flying.

Why it matters: Weddings are in full swing after the throws of the pandemic, which popularized virtual and micro weddings. And couples want to create lasting memories with those dear to them, but they also don’t want to create a financial strain on their guests.

  • “We always ask [couples], ‘what are the most important things to you in planning your big day when you think about your big day?’ and almost always it’s the ease for their guests to get there or to have a good time,” Pleasant told Axios. “They don’t want them to spend any time [worrying about] transportation.”
  • And for many people, this is the first time friends and family have been able to gather like this since the start of the pandemic.

Between the lines: Gas prices reached an unprecedented average $5 per gallon on June 11, but that hasn’t led to less driving yet, as Axios’ Ben Geman reported. Plus airlines are feeling the effects of increased fuel costs. 

Context: Pandemic precautions pushed 15% of couples to postpone their entire wedding, ceremony and reception, according to The Knot’s study. Couples like Charlotte Ballet dancer Amelia Sturt-Dilley and her husband Erik Messina had to wait three years because of the pandemic. 

Yes, but: The rising costs of fuel are hitting everyone, and Fogartie has one piece of advice for couples, “brace yourself.”

  • Vendors have also increased their prices amid the fuel price hike, Fogartie said, making everything more expensive.

By the numbers: Weddings cost an average $34,000 in 2021, which included the ceremony, reception and the engagement ring, per The Knot, a wedding planning platform.

  • My thought bubble: That’s more than my car, but hopefully marriage will also last longer than my Ford Fiesta.

Pro tips: Send save the dates out 8-10 months before your wedding instead of the traditional six months, Fogartie said. This gives guests more time to save, look up travel options if necessary and book where they’ll stay.

  • You can also look at Airbnb options for bridal parties, or large groups of friends/family going to the wedding, to help save money.

The bottom line: “If you can swing it, it’s worth it, because everybody is just so happy to be together,” Fogartie said.

My thought bubble: She’s right. I was at a wedding in Arkansas last month, and it was a chance to see friends for the first time in five years.

  • Flights from Charlotte to the closest airport were $600 each. My partner and I opted for the 12-hour drive from Charlotte, because it made more financial sense, even with the high price of gas. 

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