Wedding Planning Write-Offs to Fatten Up Your Tax Return

Posted by Azure on April 12th, 2013

There are two things (ok, maybe more) that give me serious anxiety. Having a huge stack of unopened mail to sort through (random right?), and the time of year when companies like Turbo Tax and H&R Block start barraging the airwaves with commercials.

The latter is my least favorite because it can only mean one thing…. the tax man is coming!

Hopefully you’ve already filed your taxes, as April 15th is just three days away. But by this time next year, you may be filing as a married couple and believe it or not, there are some crafty things you can do with your wedding to rack up extra deductions (and increase your return from Uncle Sam).

The name of the game? Donate, Donate, Donate! We'll cover this in a moment but first:

News Flash! Venue Rental Fees May Be Tax-Deductible. If you’re getting married in a church and paying a ceremony fee, or hosting your reception at a historical garden, museum or homestead, or a state or national park, there’s a good chance the fees you pay (or at least a portion of them) can be deducted as donations. Each venue and church will be different though, so make sure to check with your point person at the location to see if the fees qualify as donations.

Wedding Things to Donate and then Deduct

  1. Wedding Dress—Once you’ve said I Do and returned home from your honeymoon, consider donating your wedding dress to an organization like Brides for a Cause, the IDoFoundation or Brides Against Breast Cancer. You’ll feel great knowing that you’ve made one deserving bride’s dream come true, and your donation is tax deductible!
  2. Leftover Food and Flowers—Ask a bridesmaid, family member or friend to deliver your catering leftovers and beautiful flowers (flowers that cost a bundle) to a local homeless shelter or similar non-profit organization. And make sure they grab a receipt! Why? Because the value of the food and flowers you donate can be deducted when you file.
  3. Charitable Gift in Lieu of Favors—Have you ever received a wedding favor that really blew you away? Given your budget and the size of your guest list, can you think of an awesome item that you could afford to buy for everyone? If not, then we say ditch the favors and make a charitable donation (on behalf of all your guests) instead!

Now before you run off to share your newfound wisdom with all your nearlywed friends, remember two things. First, make sure to document your wedding write-offs with receipts and contracts so you're ready to roll when tax time comes.

And second, we're not tax professionals, we're just trying to help you save some cash! So when the time comes to file again, and you’re tallying up the values of your various wedding donations, we highly recommend that you work with a pro. He or she will make sure everything is on the up and up, so that you know who doesn’t come knocking at your door.

So brideys, will you use these tips to get more back from Uncle Sam next year? What will you donate and then deduct? Sound off below!

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