Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sticker Shock & Awe

Every bride-to-be either already knows or is certainly about to find out that weddings are expensive. Throughout my engagement, I’ve definitely had a few “sticker shock” moments, and have offered support to many a fellow bride going through the arduous task of creating a budget for the big day.

One question I hear frequently is simply, why do weddings cost so much? And while I certainly can relate to the emotional aspect of such stunned disbelief, the practical side of me also realizes that weddings only cost so much because of our very willingness to pay so much.

When we give in and pay the prices vendors ask, we demonstrate that we are indeed willing and able to pay as much. And if we’re willing to pay those prices, why would vendors cut their profits by lowering costs? Without a doubt, weddings are big moneymakers for all sorts of businesses, and brides, myself included, are often more than willing to splurge in a quest to create the day of our dreams.

Plus, while there are dishonest price-gougers to be found in every profession under the sun, I believe that the vast majority of hardworking photographers, wedding planners, hair and makeup artists and other wedding professionals charge what they do because they really have a huge amount of responsibility – making our wedding day visions a reality, down to the smallest details.

Yes, while we brides often get lost in our own emotions, the truth is that weddings are pressure-filled situations for vendors, too, and the majority of the work for some of them – including photographers and videographers – is just beginning when our special days each come to an end.

Have you experienced a lot of shock over wedding costs throughout your engagement? Do you feel that most vendors offer a fair price for the services they provide?


  1. My biggest thing about "sticker shock" isn't that the vendor/service isn't worth it... its that a lot of times its just not needed. I feel as if society (or "tradition") dictates a lot of what we have on our wedding day.

    If you had never been to a wedding before (or ever blogged, read a glossy magazine, or chatted about it in college) what would you truly want there? You and your fiance? Your closest friends/family (the ones you want there, not the ones you have to invite because they invited you)? Your favorite foods? Would you be all about tuelle? photobooths? and limos?

  2. Great post. Yes, I've experienced some shock... but I'm cutting back in other areas to keep everything within budget.

  3. Agreed, good post! The only area where we have had sticker shock so far is with the DJ (still working on it). I guess we assumed everything would be more expensive than it has been, but we saved by serving non-American-style food, going with a small town florist and asking for help from a few friendors along the way.

  4. Sticker shock has set in a couple times and then I simply said um no ... At the hotel we picked certain venues were included in the wedding package for the ceremony. When I said we wanted one certain venue for our ceremony, I was told there would be a 15 thousand dollar site fee even though an almost replica venue was available at the same hotel free for our package. Why 15,000 dollars? Bill Gates got married there lol ... I also inquired about a videographer that I liked better than the other ones and was told that his minimum was 6,000 dollars and once again I said um thanks but no thanks aka hell no! You just have to stand your ground!

  5. There has definitely been sticker shock along the way! Some quotes and prices you hear about are just out of this world! Taking the time to shop around can definitely be beneficial in tracking down good deals to fit your budget

  6. I just hate when people quote you more for the same thing once the wedding word is thrown in. Makes me so mad.