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Inflation, high demand making Western Montana weddings more expensive

Wedding Expo
Posted at 8:27 AM, Jan 09, 2023

MISSOULA - Many couples waited for the COVID-19 pandemic to slow down before tying the knot, and now, it looks like 2023 is going to be a booming year for weddings.

MTN News stopped by the Missoula Wedding Show to talk to brides-to-be who say they're cutting corners because it's just all too expensive.

"The lodging that we wanted to have is all booked out so I'm looking for alternative options,” said Rachel Cowan.

She has 10 months until her wedding day — which in the wedding planning world, is not a lot of time. But she has some great help.

"My mother-in-law and my mother are very good at organizing, so I've just been kicking back, and those two women are whipping everyone up into shape,” Rachel told MTN News.

Most couples though need to whip up a lot of cash. Between photographers, catering, venue, music and the dress, inflation and high demand have made weddings expensive.

Wedding researcher ZOLA says the average wedding in 2023 will cost around $36,000 and more than 70% of couples plan to pitch in with their parents to pay for it.

Many are choosing to ditch the DJ and make homemade decorations to save some cash, but what's Rachel's big-ticket items?

"I'm not super worried about my wedding dress, which I know is taboo, but I'm only going to wear it once. I think, as far as creating the environment of my wedding, that's what I want to spend the most on."

We went around the wedding show and asked vendors if the post-pandemic wedding boom is starting to slow. Every one of them said no and many are now booked a year in advance.

Rachel says if that means she doesn't get the perfect limo or bouquet, so be it.

"I think whatever happens, happens. If we don't have something, that's fine. The people who show up and love me are going to be happy with whatever happens,” Rachel concluded.