No matter the budget for your big day, the final tally for wedding costs is usually more than what couples anticipate. While these large events can certainly add up, what many people don’t know is that some of your wedding-related purchases can be tax deductible.
If you got married last year and are preparing to file your taxes, check out the five tax deductions that you may be eligible for, below!
If you and your spouse-to-be are getting married or having your reception at a historical garden, museum, or even a state or national park, the fee you pay for the space may be tax deductible as a donation.
Or, if you choose to get married in a church and you’re paying a ceremony fee, it may also be tax deductible. If not, ask if they will waive ceremony fees for members who donate at a certain level. It may be worth increasing your donations for the year to get a triple benefit: a fee waiver, a tax write-off, and positive vibes for donating to a good cause.
If you have flowers and/or wedding decorations left over after you tie the knot, have a friend or family member take the flowers to a homeless shelter, women’s center, or similar non-profit organization. Don’t forget to grab a receipt, so you can take a deduction for the value of the items donated.
Even if your bridal gown was one of the biggest line items in your budget, you may want to consider donating it to a non-profit organization, such as Making Memories, Brides Against Breast Cancer, or Brides Across America, to help others enjoy their special day in style. If you had a huge bridal party, encourage your bridesmaids and flower girls to do the same!
Instead of soon-forgotten trinkets branded with your wedding hashtag, make a donation to a charity on behalf of everyone in your wedding as well as your guests, and you’ll be helping others while garnering yourself a tax deduction.
In order to include your wedding party and guests in the decision, have them vote or ask them for suggestions regarding the charity you donate to if you don't have one already selected.
Explore a wedding gift registry such as The Good Beginning from famed event planner Beth Helmstetter that gives guests the option to donate to your favorite charity. You can gather charitable rebates with wedding purchases through the foundation and even create a charity registry where guests can also donate to celebrate your special day.
While wedding planning can be hectic, don’t forget to track your wedding write-offs along with your overall budget. By keeping all of your receipts and contracts, you’ll be able to claim your deductions, boost your tax refund, and have extra funds to toast your wedded bliss and tuck away for your next big life moment, such as a down payment on your first home together.
Getting married is one of life’s biggest milestones, so you and your spouse should be able to reap all of the tax benefits for your big day!
Opening photo by Duke Images; From Real Wedding: Timeless, Baroque-Inspired Wedding at Luxury Hotel in Beverly Hills