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'Beef is a whole lot cheaper than getting chicken': The impact of inflation on the cost of a wedding

An Omaha wedding planner says staffing, avian flu and supply chain are all factors
Posted at 7:39 PM, Sep 12, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Shelby Bremer has always dreamed of having a Christmas wedding — and that's what she is having. She's getting married in December with a reception at the Durham Museum. But planning her day isn't so dream-like.

"Do not have a wedding in 2022 because it is so expensive," Bremer said.

Originally, she budgeted $32,000 for the wedding, but they've already spent $35,000 so far.

"A lot of sacrifices have been made as far as trying to get rid of things to come up with extra money," Bremer said.

Why is it so pricey?

With inflation at 9.1%, one wedding planner says it's led to increases in prices for catering, flowers and rentals for products like linens, tables and vases.

"Chicken used to be the most cost-effective meat dish and I've had a caterer recently tell me, beef is a whole lot cheaper than getting chicken at this point in time," wedding planner Rayna Roseby said.

The USDA reports a nearly 12% price increase in poultry between January and July of this year, partially because of the avian flu outbreak.

What about flowers?

"Some of our floral specialists aren't able to get the products they're used to using because they're stuck in a shipping yard somewhere, so they have had to get very creative in how they get their supplies," Roseby said.

Rentals for items like chairs, tables and linens are also expensive because of staffing shortages. Before, rental companies would pick up and deliver anywhere, but now they have to be choosier about customers and locations.

"You're going to see the most increase with that, one if it's a new item and if they have to ship it from abroad, that might increase the cost difference but labor is where you're going to see the biggest increase — especially if it's after hours," Roseby said.

Ultimately, Roseby is noticing that micro-weddings are becoming more popular. Those are events with no more than 50 guests, which can be cost-effective.

"They are much more intimate affairs, but they still get all the bells and whistles so that they can get those memories," Roseby said.

It's putting the focus on the love between two people, rather than the dollars and cents.

Roseby says the average price of a wedding can vary between $30-$35,000. Pre-Covid it was $20-$25,000.

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