Weddings are expensive, so it is too bad that they aren’t tax deductible. But wait – though tax write-offs may not be top-of-mind when you are planning your wedding, with careful planning there are some ways you can garner a tax deduction or two. Here are some ideas:
1. The church. If you are paying a ceremony fee, it may be tax deductible. If not, ask whether the church waives ceremony fees for members who donate at a certain level. It may be worth upping your donations for the year to get a triple benefit: a fee waiver, a tax write off, and a warm glow from donating to a good cause.
2. The venue. If you are having your reception or getting married at a historical garden, museum or homestead, or even a state or national park, the fee you pay may be deductible as a donation. Check with the site for more details.
3. Flowers and food. Once your wedding is over, have a friend take the leftover food and flowers to a homeless shelter, women’s center or similar non-profit organization. Not only will you have done a good deed, with a receipt, you’ll be able to take a deduction for the value of the items donated.
4. The gown. Donate your wedding gown to a non-profit organization such as Making Memories or the I Do Foundation, and you’ll help others enjoy their special day in style. The same goes for flower girl and bridesmaid dresses, as well as candles and other decorations that won’t spoil.
5. Wedding favors. Instead of soon-forgotten trinkets, make a donation to a charity on behalf of everyone in your wedding and your guests, and you’ll be helping others while garnering yourself a tax deduction. You might even let your wedding party choose the charities they treasure.
6. Gift registry. Create a wedding gift registry through the IDoFoundation.org and up to 10% of gift purchases will be donated to your favorite charity. You can harvest charitable rebates with wedding purchases through the foundation, and even create a charity registry where guests can donate to commemorate your special day.
Be sure to document these wedding write-offs with receipts and contracts, so you’ll have the backup available at tax time. Then you can claim your deductions, boost your tax refund, and have extra funds to toast your wedded bliss.