Local wedding venues and couples planning weddings are feeling the effects of inflation

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One year it’s COVID, then the next it’s a spike in inflation like we haven’t seen in 40 years, couples hoping to get married have struggled for the past two years.

Businesses and people from all walks of life have felt the effects of inflation, couples and wedding venues are no exception.

With inflation refusing to subside, many couples hoping to tie the knot this wedding season are being forced to rethink their big day. Kirkbride Hall sales and events manager Chelsea Harland says couples’ budgets are a bit tighter this year.

“Couples are getting a little more creative about how to save money and still have that overall budget so they can still get the things they really want,” Harland says. “We have a wedding in August and they decided to get married on a Sunday because it saved them money. Both with us and some vendors.

Local event centers have noticed fewer weddings being booked or couples spending less than usual. Grand Traverse Event Center owner Stuart Lazar says they’ve seen wedding receptions cut in half due to rising prices.

“It certainly allowed us to make a little less money. I think we did a few less events than we normally would have done this summer. We have also seen a drop in overall prices for weddings,”Kirkbridehall explains Lazar.

They say couples are spending less on food and drink packages, which has led to lower revenue for wedding venues. The Grand Traverse Event Center has seen a slight decrease in the number of people booking weddings, but their biggest revenue loss is from couples, “reducing what they do.”

“So instead of having bars open, [instead] maybe offer their guests a drink or have cash bars. We’ve also seen them reduce the number of people they invite or the types of food they serve,” says Lazar.

They say it hurts more than them, but local florists, bakers, DJs and other industries are also tied to wedding season. They say they’re like every business in town, just hoping to ride out inflation.

“It’s tough for everyone, and I sympathize with everyone, but we’re all going to get through this,” Lazar said.


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