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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Truth About Wedding Vendors and Pricing

The first question from couples inquiring about the various aspects to planning their wedding is usually, "How much will it cost?"  Sometimes it is just a question that serves as an ice breaker to get a conversation started.  I would recommend that a couple comes up with something else or they could find themselves placing a vendor in a high-alert, defense mode.  Even a little bit of research about that particular aspect to a wedding will take them a long way.  A couple would be better off to just say, "I have no idea how much anything will cost!"  The most important thing is to develop a comfortable relationship with a vendor so that ideas can flow back and forth between everyone.  Vendors love to suggest ways to save money and accomplish the look and feel of a wedding for less if we think a client could do something a little differently or become aware of a particular product.

The wedding industry is unique in that we are in charge of putting together one of the most personalized days in a person's life.  A cookie cutter approach just won't cut it. Most wedding vendors will have sample packages and a ballpark price, but it really means nothing because no two weddings are alike.  One size does not fit all.  It is inevitable...a conversation needs to be started before there's a discussion on pricing.

At first glance, people (with no help from the media) think that they are being ripped off and that vendors aren't being forthright with them.  It makes no sense that for such a complicated, most detail-filled event, that you would expect a simple answer.  A wedding is a much more complicated event than a birthday party or even some corporate events.  The average wedding employs between 16-20 vendors. Therein lies the real issue!  Weddings feel that they are expensive, but it is usually because a couple is unaware of how many minute details are involved and that each portion costs money!

The wedding industry is like every other business.  We have bills to pay, networking costs, promotional costs as well as equipment and supply costs.  Most independent wedding vendors work at lot more than 8 hour per day and wear many hats.  Yet, even though this should be obvious, there's something about a client and their wedding that comes with a feeling of entitlement simply because it is their wedding.  Guess who get painted as the bad guy?  The vendors.  A good cliche to remember is, "If it was so easy, everyone would be doing it!"

Even after a wedding, some people will begin their Monday morning quarterbacking and start picking apart what they might not think well as planned.  In reality, a couple seldom really knows what is going on behind the scenes on their wedding day even if they aren't intoxicated!  They don't know about the "saves" or "close calls" and that is on purpose.  If anything goes wrong, we want it to appear that nothing went wrong.  It's all about not stressing out a couple on their wedding day.

People in the wedding industry do what they do because they love it.  They are not in it for the glamor because that is almost non-existent compared to the long days, lost weekends, a lot of sweat and very sore feet.

When I come across people who mention that they used to be a wedding planner, 90% of the time they will say they quit because they "got tired of dealing with brides!"  This is sad because it wouldn't have to be this way.  A little bit of education leads to realistic expectations and keeping an open mind lends itself to creative solutions and fabulous conversations.

Wishing you the greatest of days!

P.S.  We would love for you to leave a comment!  What would you like us to answer for you in our upcoming blog posts?  Feel free to contact us!  Serious inquiries and suggestions only, please.  No spam!

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