Have you ever heard that mentioning the word “wedding” will make a price quote way more expensive? Or that there is an automatic “tax” when it comes to weddings?
There’s this idea that weddings are more expensive than other types of events due to arbitrary and unreasonable pricing increases simply because it’s a wedding (aka: the secret wedding tax). We’ve even heard it said that just saying the word “wedding” will change your price quote from acceptable to outrageous. Well we’re here to tell you that this just isn’t the case…
Here at Brontë Bride, we aim to be as inclusive, authentic, and transparent as possible. Our goal in this blog post, and others like it, is to share some insight the local wedding industry, as well as pricing, budgeting, and wedding costs in general! We’re going to start this series off by debunking 3 myths about the wedding tax.
Myth #1: Weddings are more expensive than other comparable events
Image credits: Co-stylist: Moments by Madeleine // Photography: Jenny Jean Photography // Venue: Norland Historic Estate // Flowers: Flowers by Janie // Hair & Makeup: Bellamore Beauty // Cake: Bake My Day // See more here.
The Truth: Weddings are more expensive than other events, because other events simply aren’t comparable. Weddings require an incomparable level of planning, communication, and preparation.
We’re going to let you in on a little secret… weddings ARE more expensive than most other events.
Why? Because there really is no event quite like a wedding.
We want you to think of the last event that you have personally paid for and/or hosted in which you invited (with invitations, postage, and rsvps) over 100 of your closest friends and family – or however many guests – to a venue (capable and experienced in hosting events at that size) with entertainment like a live band or dj, where you fed everyone in attendance, had every tablescape decorated with florals, linens, and tableware, showed your guests where to sit with specifically designed signage, created a schedule for the day so everything ran smoothly and got every special moment captured on photo and film so you could look back on it later.
Our guess is that 99% of you haven’t planned an event like that before. Why is that? Because it’s very expensive and takes a lot of time to plan and prepare!
Weddings are truly unlike any other event. And part of that is because the day you get married should be unlike any other! There are SO many vendors and planning considerations involved in weddings, and each service is made customizable to your unique needs and wants for your wedding day. The sheer amount of communication and planning alone, is a clear indicator as to why weddings cost what they do.
Myth #2: Saying the word “wedding” will cause your price quote to increase for no reason
Image credits: Styling & Design: Rebekah Brontë Designs // Photography: Ana Douglas Photography // Florals: Hanaki Floral Design // Rentals: Bespoke Decor // Venue: The Greenhouse // Cake: Cake and Giraffe // See more here.
The Truth: Simply saying the word “wedding” won’t cause your price quote to increase, but the things associated with and required for weddings will.
Weddings are unique events with A LOT of moving parts. They require months (sometimes years!) of planning, and a team of people to support you (whether that’s family, friends, vendors – or usually a mixture of all of them).
For wedding vendors, there are a lot of additional considerations where weddings are concerned. For example, due to high season and popular summer months, there are only a select number of months in which their services are in high demand. Additionally, weddings require a larger time commitment for most vendors – whether it be with increased administrative work and anticipated meetings with the couple, trials or tastings, coordination with a multitude of other vendors, changes or revisions to the original plan – not to mention, the higher level of liability and risk associated with weddings.
Think about how important a wedding day is, and how much time and pressure and planning is involved. Think about how high expectations are that each element be perfect – this kind of pressure and expectation of perfection just isn’t seen in any other type of event. We understand that there isn’t a “redo” option for any event, but weddings often have a lifetime of expectations and emotions attached to them, which means a much higher risk if something doesn’t go right. We’ve heard of wedding vendors getting threatened or sued for small mistakes or miscommunications for a wedding – things that would never have been given a second thought at a birthday party or corporate event.
Weddings aren’t just big events – they’re meant to be one of the most special and amazing days of a couple’s life. So you can imagine why there might be more things to consider when it comes to a wedding vs any other type of event.
Myth #3: Weddings are overpriced, and should be priced like any other event or service
Image credits: Photography: Justine Milton // Styling & Creative Direction: Rebekah Bronte // Florals: Creative Edge Flowers // Hair & Makeup: Bellamore Beauty // Suit: Atelier by Ensemble // Invitation Suite: Debbie Wong Design // Venue: The Gathered // See more here.
The Truth: Weddings are expensive because of the amount of time, service, and customization they require. If you want a fully customized service from an experienced professional that you can trust – that’s going to cost you more than a standard off-the-shelf item or service.
Weddings are big events, and they take a LOT of effort to plan and prepare for before the actual day itself (yes, even if you’re “just eloping”)! When you take a look at how much planning, emailing, meeting, travelling, designing, tracking, revising, and updating goes into a custom process, you might understand better why it costs more than you think it should. Custom services are priced differently than standard “off-the-shelf” services, and you can see that in all sorts of industries – Want a customized meal plan instead of grocery shopping for yourself? That’s going to cost you. Want custom engraving added to your jewelry? More expensive. Want your backyard landscaped by a professional? You better believe that’s going to cost more than you picking up a shovel and doing it yourself.
If you’re wondering why weddings seem so expensive and where the pricing comes from, try to look at each individual service/product/business and what‘s included. For example, you may think you’re just paying for a florist to create some floral arrangements and bouquets, but what you may not realize is their fee covers so much more than that (because providing florals as a wedding vendor is so much more involved than just arranging flowers!) They email and correspond with you, have consultations with you and/or your planner, they have to research available floral varieties, price out the materials cost and labor to create a personal quote and invoice, put together an order, pick up the floral order, process and prep the flowers to make sure they’re looking their best, create the arrangements/bouquets, pack them in their vehicle to deliver them to you, set them up on site, and then they have to clean their studio space, buckets, and materials they used for the next project! There is so much backend work that goes into each and every wedding!
Customized services are more expensive, because they take much more time. And in the same way you end up paying more when purchasing a handmade item from a local business (compared to let’s say ordering the same kind of item off Amazon), you will have to pay more for a customized experience from industry professionals.
Now, you can go to Costco and order flowers yourself, and try to process them and store them, and create your own arrangements the day before your wedding – we’ve seen people do this before. But here’s the thing, not only will they not compare to the arrangements created by a professional wedding florist (who understands the seasonality and durability of different blooms, has all the necessary tools, and has experience working with florals and arrangements for years), this also means YOU have to be spending hours and hours in the days before the wedding trying to complete this task yourself.
The final myth: You must spend a certain amount of money on your wedding, and do things a certain way.
Image credits: Photography: Kaity Body Photography // Styling & Design: Rebekah Brontë Designs // Florals: Hen & Chicks // Stationery: Plush Invitations // Bridal Gown: Park & Fifth // Hair: Fox Hair Salon // Makeup: Madi Leigh Artistry // See more here.
The Truth: There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to get married. It’s up to YOU to decide what you want it to be like and how much you want to spend!
We’re totally not saying that you need live music and that you need a huge wedding budget and that you need certain decor, or florals, or stationery. And we’re definitely not saying it needs to be a huge event with 100-200 people (personally, we’re huge fans of the microwedding ourselves).
What we are saying though, is that just because you don’t fully understand all that goes into a wedding, doesn’t mean that a vendor’s services are overpriced or unreasonable. It just means that they are out of your budget. So you may need to find another vendor (or a unique alternative) that IS in your budget. It also might mean that you’ve never planned an event to this scale before, and you may need to take another look at your budget and your priorities (which is okay!).
We want to nothing more than to help you make your wedding day extremely special, no matter how big or small your budget is! If you’re looking for budgeting tips, check out some of our other posts on the blog: Tips for Beautiful Reception Flowers on a Budget, Important Things to Consider When Creating a Wedding Budget, and 7 Ways go Make The Most Out of Your Wedding Decor Budget!
When it comes to the cost of weddings, it’s not fair to expect a custom handmade wedding experience on an Amazon budget. Because the reality is, customized services cost more, and so do luxury items. And weddings are filled with luxury items and custom services.
At the end of the day, you get to decide what you want and what’s important to you:
- Do you want a sheet cake from Safeway or a custom 3 tier design from a local professional baker?
- Do you want your day captured and edited by a professional videographer, or is Uncle Joe’s camcorder good enough?
- Are you looking for a curated wedding experience, or a wedding with a backyard bbq party vibe?
Cause here’s the thing: while we truly believe in the value of high-end curated wedding experiences…. We also believe that your wedding should be how you want it to be. And if you want to get married in your backyard with pizza and beers and have your first dance song played on a record player in your living room, we will cheer you on the whole way! Your celebration should be what you want. And we’re here to celebrate with you, no matter what that looks like!
Yes weddings can be expensive. But they are also one-of-a-kind meaningful events that you will remember for the rest of your life. And we know for a fact that your vendors will pour their time, energy, and hearts into making your day extra special. And that is worth every penny.