For obvious reasons, the last couple of years have been tough on the wedding industry. In addition to rapid inflation, many vendors and venues are trying to recoup lost income from the pandemic.

Whatever your budget was for your 2022/2023 wedding, you may want to double it. For some however, increasing planned spend on a wedding isn’t an option – but don’t worry! We have the top 3 highest wedding costs, and how to handle them.

The Guest List

As can be seen in my last blog, Cut the Guest List: How New York Couples Can Save Money on Their 2022 Wedding, I broke down how cutting the guest list can be the best way to save on your wedding without compromising the quality of your event. 

Each guest needs an invitation, RSVP card, thank you cards, chair, napkins, glasses, plates, appetizers, entree, dessert and so much more. Breaking down the resources that go into each guest can really highlight how important it is to keep your guest list tight. 

When making your list of people who want to invite to your wedding, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is on my A list (the people you NEED)
  • Who is on my B list (those friends with the plus ones you haven’t met)
  • Who is on your C list (seat fillers)

Human Labor 

This one is expensive but super necessary! Do not try to cut this off your list. This is the one area that is a non-negotiable expense. The caterers, bartenders, photographer,  DJ or band, and of course wedding planner are all essential to curating a memorable experience that you and your guests will remember forever. 

Dependable, experienced and professional people play a huge role in the success of your event. Staff is expensive, but worth every penny. Everyone will definitely remember that time you had your cousin DJ the wedding or your aunt as the wedding planner. And not in the way you think!

The best way to cut down this cost?

Truthfully there isn’t a really good way to cut this down. The only way to do that would be to have a smaller amount of people and a shorter timeframe for the day. Also depending on the day of the week, obviously weekends are the most expensive.

But if you’re having a Tuesday wedding some of these things are a little bit more negotiable. For every hour a human is on site they will need to be paid and this unfortunately is something you cannot get around. Family members do not want to work your wedding nor should they.

If you decide to choose an up-and-coming professional that costs less, make sure you are ok with the possibility that that part of your wedding may not be perfect.

Experience and talent does come with a price tag so it’s important to weigh the things that you’re willing to compromising on. When it comes to wedding planning especially, a good wedding planner will be able to save you the amount that they cost with their expertise and know how in the industry.


Many people think this is the thing to cut back on.

But be careful — there’s a lot in decor that you really shouldn’t skimp on. Skip the ceremony aisle flowers but do not skimp on table decor or something next to you while you say your vows. A stand alone arch can be repurposed!

There’s also a lot of ways to elevate your wedding with decor that looks expensive but is actually not, like candles and centerpieces. You don’t need to go grande but having the table be completely empty is something simple will notice.

Nobody will notice a lack of a bar arrangement, however you should put something on tables! This small expense will go a long way. Bud vases and candles are sometimes more than enough with a really nice runner!

Looking for ways to budget on decor? Read my blog on this topic here.

Looking for an expert to help you plan and navigate the expensive and complicated wedding world in New York City? Contact me here.