Instagram Envy Is Causing Wedding Prices To Skyrocket

Flower walls were never mandatory until social media hashtags came around

Cindy Ord
May 13, 2016 at 3:54 PM ET

After seeing an endless stream of whimsical, flower crown-wearing bridal parties on Pinterest, a bride might feel a burning, competitive desire to festoon her bridesmaids with flowers on their heads, too. That living headgear is not cheap, but services like Instagram are convincing more and more brides that they must spend money on a rapidly growing list of previously unknown wedding must-haves, or risk matrimonial FOMO.

While the rising cost of weddings is well documented, reaching an average cost of $32,641 last year, wedding experts are now pointing the finger at social media as the main driver. Sites like Instagram and Pinterest serve as a breeding ground for #weddinginspiration, which in turns gives brides more grandiose ideas of what a wedding should be. Executive editor of The Knot, Kristen Maxwell Cooper, told CNBC:

Social media has definitely influenced weddings in a way that couples are seeking larger-than-life ideas. I think they are having greater expectations for how their day should look and feel.

More Wasting Money On A Wedding Vs. Wasting Money On Yourself

Cooper also told CNBC that that 89 percent of couples use their smartphones to help plan their blessed event. But the ability to constantly thumb through Pinterest for table decor ideas puts Brides in a constant state of planning, which over time makes exceptional wedding ideas seem mandatory.

Brides are no longer just comparing their weddings up against their friends’ weddings; they’re comparing them to the rest of the world. A prime example was the famous flower wall from Kim Kardashian’s wedding. It gained traction on Instagram, and now everyone is trying to have one, too. The problem is that one decoration cost an estimated $136,000. Brides who aren’t members of E!’s first family don’t typically have that kind of money to spend, but they’ll still go for a downgraded version, which still inflates the budget.


A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

Wedding costs aren’t just being driven by flower walls, though; every wedding trend you see on Instagram, from photo booths pics to floral kimonos favored by bridesmaids for pre-wedding prep to gaudier, more ‘grammable tables filled with desserts, to custom tablescapes has a robust presence on social media. Couples hoping that their magical day is just a little more magical than their neighbors’ just keep piling onto the trends, in hopes of having a perfect, shareable Instagram photo of their own.

Oh, and one last thing: if you want people to actually see your grand Instagram moment (and continue the cycle in perpetuity), don’t forget to pay someone to manage your wedding hashtag, too!