Jul 9, 2023 - News

Denver weddings are getting more expensive

Illustration of a woman wearing a pink sash that says "bride" as it wraps around her and forms an upward arrow.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

After a pandemic-induced backlog and pent-up demand, wedding season in Colorado is roaring back with bigger budgets, longer guest lists and grander ideas.

State of planning: Nearly every aspect of hosting and attending weddings is getting pricier thanks to inflation and high demand, Axios' Erica Pandey and Carly Mallenbaum write.

By the numbers: The average cost of a wedding in the Denver area went up 5.4% between 2019 and 2022 β€” though still below the national average increase of 7.1%, according to data from The Knot, a wedding planning website.

  • This year, weddings in Denver average just over $23,000, per wedding planning website Zola. Across Colorado, spending costs hover at about $26,000.
Note: 2019 data was unavailable for Denver so 2018 estimates were used; Data: The Knot; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

What they're saying: "2023 is bigger and better than ever from our perspective β€” and that's not just us as a business, but what we're seeing with our clients," says Angie Johnston, owner of Colorado wedding planning company Sapphire Celebrations.

  • It's also "more unpredictable than it has been in the 19 years that we've been in business," she says.
  • That's because planners like her have had to juggle labor shortages, inflation, and all the ways the pandemic flipped the industry on its head, including the introduction of hybrid weddings.

Zoom in: Personalization seems to matter most to couples right now, no matter the size of their ceremony, Johnston tells us.

  • Social media's influence also has more couples feeling pressure to spend big and make events pop with splurges on custom cocktail napkins, doughnut walls and champagne towers.

Of note: Moms are also having a moment.

  • "This generation of mothers of the bride and groom have aged differently fashion-wise β€” so they want something that's a statement piece," Johnston notes.

The other side: One wedding cost that's bucking the trend and declining is attire for the groom. That's because grooms are increasingly opting for a more casual outfit than a tuxedo, industry experts tell Axios.

  • "I'm definitely seeing more guys say, 'I have a great suit, so I'm going to wear my suit,'" rather than "going and getting measured and picking it up from Jos. A. Bank or The Black Tux or any of those companies," says Johnston.

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