Gas prices, raw material costs, and shopping problems are all hitting the wedding industry hard this spring. It seems the cost of everything related to getting married is going up.

At bridal shops everywhere, consultants are trying to find affordable dresses for nervous couples stunned by recent price hikes. Bride-to-be Madison Cox is struggling to keep costs in check. “Stuff has gone up a lot, even from people who got married a few years ago,” Cox said.

According to The Knot, the average gown is now $1,900, up from $1,600 pre-pandemic. Shop manager Tina Minshell says manufacturers are hitting her with rising labor, shipping, and silk costs. “They are just now passing on the price increases they have had the past two years,” Minshell said.

But it’s not just bridal gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses seeing price hikes this year. Brides and grooms are getting hit with sticker shock when it comes to all aspects of wedding planning. Sit down dinner? Plan on $75 a guest, according to The Knot’s latest survey. Photographer? The average is now $2,500 which shocked grandmother Sandra Ashby. “We were talking thousands of dollars. Not just a thousand or $1,500 as it was when my daughters got married,” Ashby said.

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And if you are a guest, you are not off the hook either. A setting of fine china dinnerware is now almost $100. “The cost of food has gone up, the price of rentals has gone up, gas prices, and that affects everything when you are planning a wedding,” Minshell said.

She also says to keep costs down, look for marked-down off-the-rack dresses and start planning a year ahead, if you can. Six months is no longer enough time, especially with vendors now overbooked due to postponed weddings. “When I was looking for my venue there were two weekends available for 2022,” Cox said. She’s just glad she locked in some decent prices last year.

Finally, the day of the week you get married can make a big difference! Saturday is the most expensive time to have a wedding. Friday or Sunday can be cheaper, so you don’t waste your money.