Why Weddings cost what they do.

Today we’re going to get a little more serious than normal. 

The reason? Yesterday I read an article {and I use the term article loosely here} entitled ‘What the Wedding Industry doesn’t want you to know’ . 

The article’s author Sarah Shewey, herself {supposedly} a 12 year veteran of the Wedding Industry goes on to give her three theories as to why weddings cost so much. They include: 

  • Your vendor is a hobbyist that is growing up into a professional, at your expense.
  • You’re boring your vendor.
  • Weddings actually do take more time to pull off.
The insulting article goes on to say much more of course, but here I want to give you facts and reasons, not theories, and so I wont be sharing more of the drivel with you. I do suggest you take a read yourself, if only for the hilarity of it! 
 
I am 9 years in the Wedding Industry. I have been a bride, I am a Wedding Planner and I am also a Wedding Business Consultant, where I help wedding venues and professionals book more brides. I have seen the wedding industry from many, many angles and here are the reasons that weddings costs what they do. {See how I said reasons, not theories!} 

 

 
Yes the word wedding does have a price tag and here is why. 
 
1. Society has billed your Wedding Day as the happiest of your life. With this comes the expectation that your wedding day will be perfect. The most amazing day ever. 
 

Perfection costs. Fact. 
Perfection takes a hell of lot of time. Fact. 

 
Example: 
 
Ordering Flowers.
 
A Normal order:
You walk into a florists and order a bouquet of red/white/pink roses as a gift/ a thank you or to brighten your home. The florist will most likely have a selection of pre-made ones for you to choose from. You make your selection, you pay and you are on your way. You might pay anything from a few bucks to €100.00. 
 
A Wedding order:
You walk into a florist to order your wedding bouquet of red/white/pink roses. You are in luck, the florist has the time to sit down with you there and then. They bring you into the office, offer you tea, take out a consultation book and their portfolio of options. You produce the print out and cut outs you’ve brought with you. You realize you will also need bouquets for the bridesmaids, buttonholes, corsages, flowers for the ceremony and reception and you’re not entirely sure what you are looking for. ”No problem” says the florist, talk me through your wedding, tell me about your vision, about the colours and the style you are after. The florist begins to form a design in their head and shows you some more ideas. You like them but are having difficulty ‘seeing’ it all. The florist offers to put together some mood and inspiration boards that they will email to you. Once you’ve narrowed down your selection you can then come back into the store and she will put together some sample displays for you. You receive the boards and ask the florist to make several changes before actually deciding on a design. The florist orders in some samples and you go back for another meeting. You are delighted with everything and place an order. 
 
It comes to price. 
 
Here you’ve got to remember or realize 4 main points: 
 
1. By now, this florist, has most likely spent in excess of 10 hours working on your wedding {and this is before they even get the order!} 
2. Included in the price of your flowers will of course be money to cover the florists costs: heat, rent, staff, insurance etc etc. 
3. Your florist is in business to make money {and a profit}; they are not a charity! 
4. In order to produce perfect arrangements for a wedding, the florist needs to order in up to twice as much flowers as will be used {possibly more}. Why? Not all flowers are perfect. But all weddings arrangements should be! Your florist knows that the flowers are going to photographed, thus preserved forever and so ensure that every bloom used is perfect for you… this of course needs to be covered in the cost! 
 
2. Now I want to address this ‘claim’ by Sarah that your Wedding Professional is a hobbyist ‘ growing up into a professional, at your expense’. 
 
There are of course ‘hobbyists’ out there, advertising themselves as wedding professionals. These we call weekend warriors; they work mon-fri at 9-5’s and come out at weekends to work on weddings. Often they can be spotted a mile away by their lack of skill and quality product and cheap or too good to be true pricing. { The reason they have cheap pricing is they realize their skill or product is not there and they pry on couples with small budgets who either can’t afford something better or know no better}. 
 
As a Wedding Planner, part of what I do, is ensure that my clients work with Professional and Reliable Wedding Professionals who charge realistic prices for the product or service they are providing. Sure, we might contract the services of someone new, who is only starting out, but most definitely they have been vetted, checked and like most honest to goodness wedding professionals {new & veterans} they have studied, researched, interned, educated themselves and invested heavily in their business. This all costs money too! 
 
The one thing I will say when it comes to weddings and price versus ‘hobbyist’ and Professional – you get what you pay for! If its too good to be true it generally is. 
 
3. Now I want to address the whole ‘ you are boring your vendor’ so we charge you more… well this I think is hugely insulting to both wedding professionals and couples alike! 
 
Those in the Wedding Industry are part of it because they love it. It is not an easy industry to work in. The hours are long, the work is demanding and expectations are very high! We work in the industry because we love sharing that special moment or day with each couple. 
 
Yes, we are creatives and you come to us for that creativity. Either you share the same creativity or its what you want to capture in your day. 
 
To say a couple is boring a vendor is to say a vendor {themselves} is boring or bored with their craft or skill? How could you say that? Specifically, when it comes to weddings which are ever involving and changing! Vendors don’t charge you more cause you bore them! They charge what they do because they are highly skilled individuals and because of their skill, experience and creativity they can take your vision and make it a reality!  
 
4. The one point I will agree on is that weddings take a long time to pull off! That they do! 
 
Did you know that the average bride will spend 254 hours planning her wedding? Yes, 254 hours, now that does not include all the time each respective wedding professional will put into that bride’s wedding, both before, during and after. Not to mention the skills, products and services they have and continue to gain all through their careers. 
 
To summarize: 
 
Weddings cost what they do, because everyone involved is focused on making the happiest day of the couples life perfect for them. { And this is not cheap! } 
 
And remember you are not just ‘paying’ for the flowers or car or entertainment, you are also paying for the consultations, phone calls, emails, preparation time, any products needed, their skill, the insurance, advertising, the actual product or service, their mortgage, their food, their bills, sending their kids to college and any post production. 
 
A hell of a lot of time goes into this as well as the fact that Wedding Professionals are in business to make money, to live, grow and survive themselves! 
 
 

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