Nearly 2 million couples got married in 2021 – but 2022 is set to be even bigger, with the most weddings since 1984.
This means plenty of opportunities to work side by side to help couples launch their big affairs.
9 easy ways to make extra money with wedding gigs
Here are nine weekend hustles and gigs to earn some extra cash while romance is in the air.
1. Take engagement photos
If you are a shutter enthusiast this is a great way to build your portfolio and earn extra money.
Your friends might want to hire a professional photographer for the wedding itself, but they might want to save a little money on their engagement photos.
Be sure to look at professional engagement photos first for pose ideas, then upload the edited photos to a photo-sharing platform so the couple can easily upload them and order prints.
If you’re an experienced photographer, you probably already have what it takes to start your own wedding photography business.
2. Address envelopes
Many couples want the address on their save dates, invitations, and thank you cards to be perfect. And many are willing to pay top dollar for perfection: professional calligraphers charge $3-4 per envelope!
If you have good calligraphy, offer to address envelopes for a fraction of the price.
Even at $1 per envelope, you’ll still earn $100 for a wedding of 100 people.
3. Bake desserts
Wedding cakes cost an arm and a leg. If you’re good at cooking, here’s one area you can definitely take advantage of.
Choose a dessert that you are good at or a dessert that makes sense to the couple.
Cupcakes are an obvious choice – they’re cheaper than a cake, easier to carry, and trendy. Bake up a few different flavors to satisfy the varied tastes of guests and decorate them to wow the crowd.
4. Provide musical entertainment
Help make the day special with your musical talent.
If you’re a guitarist, play and sing along as the bride walks down the aisle or during cocktail hour. If you have a group, bring the crowd to the reception.
Do you like to sing? Consider working weekends as a wedding singer to earn $400+ per gig.
Or if you have the equipment, throw a wedding DJ side hustle.
Southwest Indiana’s Nick Smith bought his first DJ sound equipment at the age of 20 at a local bar that was closing down.
Sixteen years later, Smith runs his own successful wedding DJ business where he earns over $1,000 per gig.
DJing involves up-front costs, such as music license fees and reliable transportation to move your gear.
But finding work is easy, Smith said. He performed at over 200 weddings, most of which came from referrals from friends and word of mouth.
5. Create decorations
Craftsmen, rejoice! Weddings give you plenty of opportunities to use your glue gun.
Everything from centerpieces to place cards to favors is cheaper to make than to buy, so offer to design and execute all the decorative needs for the wedding.
Shop at discount stores and buy in bulk to save money on your supplies.
6. Pick up the Restoration Gigs
With wedding season in full bloom, it’s the perfect time to find gigs alongside dining.
From bartenders and cooks to servers and general kitchen staff, catering gigs run the gamut. Most shifts are on weekends and last seven to 10 hours per shift.
Catering staff are generally paid more than catering staff. Expect to earn around $13-17 per hour, with some high-end events earning upwards of $25 per hour.
7. Do the wedding makeup and hair
Every bride wants to look beautiful on her wedding day. This is why people who do wedding makeup and hair make a lot of money.
If all your friends are coming to you for beauty advice, this might be the perfect job for you.
Be sure to give it a try a few weeks before the wedding. This gives you and the bride a chance to agree on a style and helps avoid unpleasant surprises on the big day.
If you want to take your bridal makeup business to the next level, get licensed and purchase limited liability insurance.
Also, be sure to Google the cosmetology laws in your state.
8. Do you like to sew? Make changes
Sewing is a rare skill these days, but if you know how to get by with a needle and thread, you could make a lot of money altering clothes, especially wedding dresses.
Brides want their dress to fit like a glove, but don’t want to pay the high alteration fees charged in bridal shops.
Market yourself as a freelance seamstress who can deliver the same quality at a lower price, and you’ll have brides knocking on your door in no time.
9. Be a celebrant
If you’re not shy of large groups and don’t mind digging into a few state and local laws, becoming a wedding officiant could earn you a few hundred dollars per gig.
Getting ordered is simple. It takes about five minutes and is usually free.
But according to FindLaw.com, Alabama, Connecticut, Virginia, Tennessee — and parts of Pennsylvania, New York and Las Vegas — don’t recognize online ordinations.
To be certain, you should ask a clerk at your county courthouse. You can also use this interactive map of state licensing requirements from US Departments of Marriage.
If you want to start performing ceremonies on a regular basis, you’ll need to set a price: $75 to $100 is a good starting point for average celebrants.
Rachel Christian is a Certified Personal Finance Educator and Senior Writer for The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers across the country to make smart decisions with their money with practical, inspirational advice, and resources on how to to earn, save and manage money.