The True Cost of Planning a Wedding in 2022 (and Beyond)

Is it just us or did 2021 fly by?

It’s no secret that the event industry has endured difficult times over the last two years due to the pandemic and corresponding shipping delays, labor cost increases, and staffing shortages. The arrival of 2022 has certainly been welcome, and we are anticipating an exciting season full of love, joy, and weddings at Julian Leaver Events.

With that said, a few changes are also on the horizon within our industry. And as your trusted guide to and through the wedding planning experience, we want to make sure you’re aware of what’s ahead.

In keeping with current pricing surges in many other areas of life, the overall cost of planning a wedding in 2022 is expected to exceed what we’ve seen in previous years. But why exactly are costs on the rise? And more importantly, what role should your wedding planner play to help you navigate these changes?

At JLE, we are here to guide you through all the ins and outs of the wedding planning process, which starts with sharing insight regarding the actual costs associated with weddings taking in place in 2022 and beyond. Let’s get to it!

First Things First: Shift Your Overwhelm to Our Shoulders

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re crunching numbers and frantically perusing all the details associated with planning a wedding. At some point you might even feel like throwing in the towel on your “happily ever after.”

Enter Julian Leaver Events.

Think of us as the Atlas of the event world—you can let everything rest on our shoulders. We won’t let you down. We promise.

As professionals who have been in the event business for more than 16 years, we’ve never met a wedding we couldn’t handle (trust us on this one – our clients have even lovingly compared us to the FBI).

Here’s a look at the steps we’ll take to ensure you’re in the know—and completely at ease—regarding all aspects of the planning process.

Step 1: Talk About the Budget

The term budget can trigger many of us, but it simply means creating boundaries and expectations tailored to you and your event. Creating a detailed budget is our method for knowing how and where to direct your finances in order to bring your vision to life. As your planner, it’s our pleasure to captain this process—from finding your flawless wedding venue to calculating your total expenditure. To this end, we regularly analyze costs related to per-person spending using current (not pre-pandemic) models, and calculate actual expenditures accordingly.

It’s essential to remember that this is your wedding and these are your dreams; it’s equally as important to provide each contributing “stakeholder” input as to where finances will be funneled.

As in all things, remember: Communication is key.

Money can be a tough topic to discuss, particularly with family members. However, open communication is essential to realizing the goals and expectations of all involved parties. The best news? As a JLE client, you’ll never go it alone. We are here for you every step of the way (even and especially during difficult conversations).

Step 2: Determine the Guest Count

Your wedding day is all about you. Your budget is all about your guests.

Well, sort of.

The general cost for your wedding directly corresponds to your guest count. As of early 2022, the per-person cost for a luxury event is between $1300-$1600 just for the wedding day (other wedding weekend events do not factor into this cost). As a point of reference, previous years averaged a per-person cost of $950-$1250. This jump can primarily be attributed to increases in freight pricing, scarcity in various industries, and heightened labor costs associated with the pandemic.

So…what does this mean for you and your planner?

After working together to determine your guest count, your planner should walk you through a list of items that can impact the cost per guest (including food and beverage, decor, and stationery). Next, you should plan to discuss additional events and expenses: rehearsal dinners, welcome parties, and so on.

Other items personal to YOU and your experience as a couple—like your dress, honeymoon, and rings—are not related to establishing your cost per guest and should be viewed as additional expenses.

If budget is a concern, here’s some good news: the Covid-inspired trend of hosting smaller, more intimate weddings is here to stay. Whether you’re planning a micro-wedding in your own backyard or an over-the-top tented soiree, we’ll ensure that your event is a beautiful reflection of you. 

Step 3: Selecting a Venue

Speaking of venues…now it’s time to decide where you want the magic to happen. Unearthing your ideal venue selection primarily depends on—you guessed it—your total guest count. Your selected venue will also have a significant impact on your budget, so it’s important to carefully consider your options before making a final decision.

Do you want an indoor or outdoor wedding? Are you catering in-house? Do you want a classic ballroom or tented venue? These are all essential questions your planner will help you work through.

If you are thinking about “tenting it,” keep in mind that you will have to bring in everything from toilet paper to salt and pepper shakers in order to build your own custom venue from the ground up, which should be accounted for in your total budget. Design details are one of the final elements to consider when calculating your total wedding expenditure. No matter what type of venue you choose, your overall cost stems from how tailored you would like your big day to be within that space.

Bottom line? Your perfect venue is out there, and we will pull on all of our resources and years of experience, as well as our trusted network, to make sure you find it.

. . .

On an occasion as important as your wedding day, the last thing we want is for you to be burdened by changing times and pandemic-related obstacles. As your planner and trusted advisor, that’s both our job and our privilege!

We have a variety of tools at our disposal to make your wedding planning process as seamless as possible, including technology, a worldwide vendor network, and the ability to plan your wedding from afar. If you are ready to take the plunge and discover more about the steps we take when orchestrating weddings and events, let’s get started. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Thanks for reading, friend.

  1. […] important element to consider when choosing a venue is your guest list. Pinning the particulars down–especially the number of attendees–will save you from unnecessary […]

  2. […] unearthed the perfect venue. But now you’re beginning to think about all the other details: guest count, invitations, wedding protocols, proper […]

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