BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Utah wedding costs are skyrocketing

Mar 22, 2024, 4:00 PM

Flowers and place settings at a wedding as wedding costs surge....

A place setting and floral arrangement graces the tables of a wedding, planned by Kaushay and Co. Events. (Hailey Marie Photography)

(Hailey Marie Photography)

SALT LAKE CITY — Wedding costs are skyrocketing in Utah. Couples plan to spend an average of $24,000 to walk down the aisle this year. Data from the Knot shows that number is up from $17,000 in 2023.

Kaushay Ford, from Kaushay and Co. Events, says she has noticed those increases for her clients. According to Ford, the average wedding here in Utah will cost couples a minimum of about $20,000 — and that would be by doing a lot of DIY elements or less experienced vendors.

Related: The average wedding cost is $29,000

Her company has seen couples paying anywhere from $15,000 to $150,000, depending on how much they are willing to spend. Ford says she has been managing expectations, helping brides understand how far their money may go. She claims that as everything else in Utah’s economy becomes more expensive… so do weddings.

“The components of a wedding are all very tied to the other increases we are seeing in food service, in labor, in shipping, in gasoline,” Ford said. “Every single aspect of a wedding is touched by those different factors.”

Biggest Utah wedding costs to consider

Ford says that as those costs go up, she has to raise her prices as a wedding planner. She says there are increased labor costs and the company has to retain the quality and standard most people expect for their wedding. She claims venues and flowers are often some of the biggest budget busters here in Utah.

“The sticker shock, the ones that people are surprised about lately, is certainly floral,” Ford said. “Floral here in Utah anymore, I tell couples, at a minimum, you’re probably looking at is at least $3,000 — even if all you’re doing is a ceremony piece and personal flowers like bouquets, boutonniere, and corsages. Quite frankly, Utah is a bit of a desert. Even though we get a little rain and moisture, it’s still a bit of a desert. While we have some amazing local flower farms, a lot of florists are still having to order outside of Utah. Those shipping fees, those trucking and all the time and labor they put into to prepare those kinds of flowers is certainly reflected in the increased prices that we are seeing.”

Recommendations for couples

She recommends planning out every dollar on each expense before signing any contracts. Oftentimes, couples might put money down on a venue they love, but then they get locked into the prices of the vendors used by that venue. Another common problem is spending a lot on one item, like the wedding dress, the venue or the flowers, and not leaving enough room in the budget for the other little costs that add up.

“Be smart with your money and really map out where every dollar needs to go before you start putting money down and find yourself with surprise costs later,” Ford suggested.

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Utah wedding costs are skyrocketing