Recently engaged? Tying the knot can be stressful, especially if you’re worried about your wedding budget.
Planning a ceremony and reception can be pricey when you factor in everything from catering to the bride-to-be’s dress. On average, couples expect to pay $16,000 on their wedding, but ended up spending roughly $29,000 in 2018 because they often underestimated the cost of products and services, according to WeddingWire’s latest Newlywed Report.
But there’s good news: some wedding costs could be tax deductible. Donating your gown, leftover food or flowers after your big day could help offset some of your expenses after saying “I do.” Here are some of those things you can write off on your taxes:
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If you don’t plan on keeping your wedding dress, you can donate it along with bridesmaid dresses to non-profit organization like Brides for a Cause and Brides Against Breast Cancer. They accept used wedding gowns and even take accessories like veils and headpieces.
Tax filers should keep in mind that wedding deductions are considered charitable contributions, so you would need to list them as itemized deductions on your tax return instead of using the standard deduction.
You’ll likely pay a fee to secure a church or other venue on your wedding day. That fee may be tax-deductible as a donation if you’re having the ceremony or reception at a state or national park, a historical garden or museum.
If you’re getting married at a church, be sure to check whether you’re paying a ceremony fee because it may be tax-deductible. If not, ask whether the church waives ceremony fees for those who make a larger donation.
Catering is a major part of the wedding experience. Donating leftovers to those in need at a local shelter could help you score a tax break. Tax experts advise dropping off the food at an IRS-recognized, non-profit organization that feeds others in need. The organization will give you a donation letter that you can use as proof of a charitable contribution.
What should you do with the decorations after the ceremony is over? Give your flowers to a women’s shelter or a similar non-profit organization. Donations must be made to an IRS-recognized charitable organization to qualify. Be sure to request a receipt for your tax records.
If a couple wants to get creative, they could also extend a tax benefit to their guests through their gift registry. They can create a charity registry where guests can donate to the charity on behalf of the couple as a wedding gift. Those donations would be tax-deductible on the guest’s tax return, according to Mark Jaeger, director of tax development at TaxAct.
“Guests can celebrate the married couple and save a little on their taxes at the same time,” Jaeger says.