Jun 27, 2023 - Business

A typical Miami wedding may include sticker shock

Illustration of coins falling into a cake as if it were a piggy bank.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The estimated cost of a wedding in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro is $33,000, up 8.2% from 2019 to 2022, per The Knot.

What's happening: Almost every aspect of planning, hosting and attending weddings is getting pricier. Guests are even going into wedding debt.

The big picture: The pandemic halted travel and get-togethers, but weddings have come roaring back with bigger budgets, longer guest lists and grander ideas, Axios' Erica Pandey and Carly Mallenbaum report.

By the numbers: The cost of weddings in the Miami area is significantly higher than the national average, which ticked up from $28,000 in 2022 to $29,000 in 2023, according to the wedding planning website Zola.

What's happening: Inflation and high demand are driving up the price of everything from music to flowers to makeup.

  • 77% of wedding vendors surveyed in a recent study said they'd be raising their rates in 2023, CNBC reports.

On top of that, social media has infiltrated the wedding planning process — and more and more couples feel pressure to spend big to make their events pop.

  • They're splurging on details like doughnut walls, custom cocktail napkins, and champagne towers.

"We're just really inundated with images of wedding possibilities," says Landis Bejar, a New York therapist who specializes in talking to couples and wedding guests.

  • "Maybe 15 years ago, if you got engaged you got a couple of bridal magazines. Now, a quick Google search can turn into six hours of wedding research. It's analysis paralysis."

The stakes: Pricey weddings aren't just burdening couples.

  • 40% of people who've gone to weddings in the past five years have gone into debt to be there, per a recent LendingTree survey.
  • That jumps to 62% if they were also in the bridal party — which comes with additional obligations, like showers and bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Trend to watch: One wedding cost that's declining is attire for the groom.

  • That's because grooms are increasingly opting for a more casual outfit than tuxedos, Kirsten Francis, director of global insights at The Knot, tells Axios.

What's next: The U.S. wedding services business is booming as a result of the rush — growing 10% in 2022 to $71 billion, according to research firm IBISWorld.


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