Tying the knot in style has never been more expensive — or this popular.
With the staggering rate of inflation impacting everything from floral arrangements to the cake — that’s if you can even find someone to make them, thanks to the post-pandemic “wedding boom,” which saw 2.6 million lovers get hitched last year at an eye-watering average of $28,000 per big day — getting married in 2023 means getting creative, first.
For at least some of the 61% of sweethearts planning to say “I do” this year who said the economy has impacted their wedding plans, according to a new survey by the Knot, the cure for pre-wedding financial jitters turns out to be as simple as a trip to Costco.
After one couple became social media-famous for their $800 wedding pulled together entirely at their local outlet of the popular big box retailer, The Post tracked down brides across the country who confessed to making more than a few trips down the aisles — before taking that trip down the aisle. Here’s how they saved big.
Coming up roses
Laura Saxe and her husband Corey always dreamed of traveling the world together. For the Montreal darlings, exploring foreign continents seemed much more appealing than throwing an opulent production for their September 2022 nuptials. So, after receiving quotes from local florists demanding upwards of $10,000 for a white rose bouquet and centerpieces to be displayed at her wedding, a frugal Saxe, 26, decided to take matters into her own hands.
“I purchased all of my roses and greenery, in bulk, from Costco for $480,” she boasted to The Post. “That saved us over $9,500 alone.”
“My fiancé purchased my platinum wedding band [from Costco], too,” added the brunette, a full-time college student. “So we were able to save even more.”
Saxe, who also avoided overspending by making her own wedding cake, having an outdoor ceremony and handcrafting her own floral arrangements, says she and Corey wound up with $20,000 they’ve put toward their honeymoon to Japan in May.
She had her cake and ate it, too
On September 2, 2022, with only three weeks to plan her impromptu wedding to then-fiancé Christopher, Phoenix bride Willa Eigo, 26, found herself in dire need of a cake — and fast.
Bakers in her area were asking for over $350 for the confectionery, and most needed at least two months to get the job done. But rather than fret, Eigo ran to Costco, ordering two vanilla half-sheet cakes with cream cheese frosting for a grand total of $50. The price-friendly sweets earned sweet reviews from satisfied guests, and she and husband Christopher saved over $500.
“The whole night people were like, ‘Where’s this cake from?’ and I was like, ‘Costco,’ and they’d be like, ‘No, seriously. Where is it from?’ and I’d be like, ‘No, seriously, Costco,’” said Eigo, a realtor, to The Post. “It was so moist and delicious. It was the perfect thing for us. Everyone loved it.”
“Some of the money we saved [on the cakes] is going towards our [postponed] honeymoon to Italy in May,” Eigo said.
‘Saving’ has a nice ‘ring’ to it
For years ahead of their September 2021 wedding, whenever Jennifer Pangan and her firefighter boyfriend Cody would shop Costco for food and home goods, she’d always eye the engagement bands displayed in the store’s jewelry case.
So, when it came time for Cody to put a ring on it, he snagged his soon-to-be fiancée a 1-carat round diamond knockout with a halo setting that the wholesaler priced at $6,000 — $4,000 less than it would have cost at a name-brand jeweler in their home city of Seattle.
“Costco literally had exactly what I wanted,” Pangan, 26, told The Post. “Rather than Cody working a ton of overtime hours in order to buy the same ring somewhere else for $10,000, we figured, why not save money and get this high-quality, big ticket item at a reasonable cost.”
Pangan and her husband also purchased their wedding bands from Costco, at $200 and $400, respectively. The two also booked an all-inclusive mini-moon to Los Cabos, Mexico, through Costco’s travel department.
Aloha, great deals
Not wanting to exceed the $60,000 budget set for their May 2023 wedding in Chicago, Cassidy McDowell and fiancé Tim McKeague invested the first $120 in an executive Costco membership, a year ahead of the dates.
The shrewd purchase offered the lovebirds access to the wholesale club’s exclusive savings benefits on its services, including Costco’s travel discounts
“We always wanted to Hawaii for our honeymoon, and Costco [had] a really great deal for a stay at a top resort in Kauai,” McDowell, 28, a marketing agent from Kansas City, Mo., told The Post. She and McKeague secured a seven-night stay at the oceanfront property of Koloa Landing resort for $5,000 — a considerable savings over the $7,500 list price.
“I looked everywhere online for cheaper,” added McDowell, “but booking through Costco was the least expensive option with the most benefits.”
The pair also saved over $400 by furnishing their wedding invitations through Costco’s partnership with Shutterfly — members of the wholesale club are afforded a 51% discount on printing costs. And when it came to flowers for their big day, McDowell and McKeague purchased 100 stems of baby’s breath blossoms for $75 from the big box store, saving them over $1,000 on floral.
In total, the nearlyweds squirreled away just under $10,000. They plan to allot the funds towards purchasing their first home in spring 2024.
Making pour choices
In an effort to ensure that guests of her July 2021 wedding were able to properly toast her nuptials, Hailee Crawford and then-husband-to-be Brandon sprinted to Costco’s spirits department to stock up on wine, beer, hard liquor and cocktail mixers ahead of their vow exchange.
And thanks to the mart’s cut-rate prices — and the thrifty couple’s plot to charge their wedding attendees $2 per drink — Crawford, 24, and her groom made out like bandits. “We knew Costco sold high-quality alcohol at good prices,” the economical bride, from Invermere, Canada, told The Post. “So, it was our plan from the start to book a wedding venue that would allow us to supply our own liquor.”
Thanks to their cash bar set up, the couple recuperated the hundreds they spent. Being cardholders with the store also saved the happy couple thousands on garlands they used to adorn the tables at their reception — local florists wanted more than $4,000 for the greenery.
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.