6 Tax Write-Offs for Your Wedding

Tax Tips

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.

Comments (10) Leave your comment

  1. Hi Lisa,
    The venue we are having our wedding at is a historic building that is being restored in the community. Our intent of having our wedding there is to support it’s rehabilitation and the community. The organization we write the check to is a 501c3. Would this be deductible? thanks!

  2. The groom called off the wedding two days prior to the wedding. all of our payments were non-refundable. Can I claim the wedding expenses as a loss on my taxes?


  3. What form of receipt can be collected if you donate your food to a shelter and flowers to a retirement home? How do you prove the worth and the acceptance of said items?

    1. I donated my flowers to both nursing homes my grandmothers were at. I was informed after I dropped the arrangements off that since they are not a nonprofit organization they could not give me a donation letter for tax purposes. Facility must be nonprofit for tax deduction!

  4. How do you determine if payment to a church for a wedding as well as a gift payment to the priest and servers is tax deductible.

    1. Hi Dave,
      You would only be able to deduct it if the church gave you an acknowledgement noting that your payment to the church and payment to the priest was a charitable contribution.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  5. What kind of deduction is the one for historical places? I’ve searched the site and cannot find info. My wedding was booked at a venue listed on the National list of Historical Places. I don’t know if it qualifies but its worth a shot. Thanks


    1. Hi Schuyler,
      Unfortunately, you would not be able to take this as a deduction. There are charitable deductions for donations to maintain Historical buildings, however whether something is deductible as a charitable contribution is based on your intent. You have to make the donation with the intent to preserve the Historical building. It cannot be a result of something else.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

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