I have seen plenty of articles (as well as heard various conversations) that go along the lines of...
..."never tell them you're booking for a wedding, they'll automatically give you a more expensive quote!".
I know lots of professionals in the wedding business that cringe every time they hear a statement like this, and for good reason. It gives the wedding industry a bad name.
I, however, do agree that weddings, when compared to a big party for example, often do cost more.
Are you shocked to hear me admit this?
Maybe you are!
But here's the thing.
Suppliers may well be charging more but that doesn't necessarily translate to any additional profit! In fact, in real terms, they may actually be making less profit because they don't feel able to charge what their service is actually worth because of this prevalent mindset.
Lets take a cake maker as an example. A wedding cake is likely to cost rather a lot more than a big celebration cake and in my opinion, rightly so. So why is this extra cost justified? Here are just a few reasons:
When ordering a celebration cake do you get the choice of lots of different flavours? Probably not - maybe just chocolate or vanilla - whereas, these days, wedding cakes come in all sorts of amazing and exotic flavours. Cake makers take a lot of time and effort (and considerable cost) to perfect their flavours and recipes to ensure that they can stand out from their competition.
Do you get offered a tasting session for a celebration cake? Probably not. You would normally just decide what size you want, the decorations you need and it is created for you. With a wedding cake, most cake makers will offer a tasting session where you get to try various combinations. And of course, this uses costly ingredients to make. Plus it also takes time to make it and also time set aside to meet you for the tasting session too.
With a celebration cake, is it delivered to your house? Again, probably not! You are probably expected to pick it up yourself. A wedding cake is often delivered to your wedding venue - perhaps a return trip of more than 50 miles - painstakingly put together and decorated to match your theme. Again, that's additional time and petrol costs, as well as the extra stress and responsibility of ensuring your cake is delivered in a pristine condition.
The fact is, services for weddings often DO cost more but that extra cost goes towards all of those hidden tasks and expenses that aren't normally required for a "party" or "celebration".
Lets take another example, wedding photography. A typical party booking may go as follows:
Booking taken via phone or email
Arrive at specified time to photograph event
Depart after typically 2-4 hours of shooting
Deliver images (normally via digital download)
A wedding booking, however, may unfold like this:
Enquiry received via email/social media/wedding directory
Trade a handful of emails discussing various bespoke packages
Arrange a face-to-face consultation or video-call
Arrange a venue visit
Arrive at specified time to photograph preparations
Travel to Church
Travel onto Reception venue
Work alongside other suppliers to ensure wedding day schedule runs to time
Use experience and expertise to arrange formal photographs
Depart after typically 9-12 hours of shooting
Deliver images (password protected online gallery and a USB posted directly to the couple)
You can see the difference.
Even if it is just a small wedding, the reality is that a wedding runs quite differently to a party and, as such, there will be additional discussions, different requirements and potentially different hidden costs. Weddings are uniquely personal events and so are the services that are provided. You therefore need to accept that you are paying for that unique service.
So please, before you jump to the conclusion that your quote will automatically be larger because you mention the word "wedding" I would urge you to think about all of the extra behind-the-scenes work that may be going into the service that you are requesting. Be honest with your suppliers. There's nothing wrong with saying "we're planning a wedding but we don't need all of the bells and whistles". Many suppliers will be happy to quote accordingly or suggest other suppliers that may be more suitable. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for - whether thats for a "party" or a "wedding" - so be sure you know what that means!