Why are weddings so damn expensive?


>”Hello?” I’m, uh, planning a wedding
for next spring.” “a quick quote for a venue for a family gathering” “between 120 and 130 guests.” “for 125 people” “we’re aiming for April 16th” “the 16th” “That’s going to be a $15,000 food and beverage minimum” “The food and beverage minimum is $17,000.” This 2000 dollar
difference is what’s known as the “wedding mark-up” where some venders charge a higher price
for weddings than for other similar parties so why are weddings so expensive? The wedding website “The Knot”surveyed thousands of its members and found that the average cost of their weddings was thirty-one thousand dollars last year that’s not including honeymoon wedding dresses average at thirteen
hundred dollars and catering comes in its $68 dollars per
person. And those numbers are a lot higher if you live in places like New York
Chicago DC or San Francisco the wedding industry is kinda weird and
it’s an industry that I have quite a bit of experience in my way Isabel and I run a wedding
videography business in Washington DC and here’s my take on my way to so
expensive There’s this economic concept called asymmetric information. With most things you buy you have a pretty good gauge in what you’re getting for what you pay for. you pretty sure that an 8 dollar avocado
is way too much because you’ve bought avocados before.
Familiarity with a market produces balanced information between
buyers and sellers and so they can settle on a fair price This is like economics 101. but most people shopping for wedding
stuff and very little if any experience with what they’re
buying. cake, dress, napkins, catering, venues, flowers. This is something you just don’t buy
very often so you have a very good gauge on what should be paying. This is made a lot harder by the fact
that we wedding vendors have a hard time posting our prices. You usually have to reach out and inquire to get any sort of pricing information. Imagine if you had asked for pricing for
every item in the grocery store. Shopping would be a
lot harder. When I first was starting my business I read on a blogs about marketing to
prospective clients. And overwhelming message that I kept
reading is “steer away from talking about price” Blogger: “we’ve put together a free report that shows you how to answer “price question” with those email leads
in a way that steers them away from price quickly so you can get them on the phone or to a
meeting where you can book them!” And then there’s Pinterest. Planning: “Pinterest can
be really useful I think using it as a starting point” It’s an
amazing tool for wedding inspiration or if you have an experience wedding
planner by your side, but usually doesn’t help with the price question. “…and you see all these like amazing dresses and you can click on it to like get more information. you’re going to get a lot more pictures , but you’re not gonna find any pricing information. And of course
there’s always the option to “repin” it if you’d liked. If you
are like a normal person with a budget like you’re setting
yourself up to be let down. Another thing that makes
wedding so expensive is the once in a lifetime mentality. The classic line for brides shopping for
a wedding dress is: Designer: “It’s the dress of your life , and if there’s ever one picture will have of you, it’s the one in your wedding dress wedding dress.” That’s wedding dress designer and artist
talking on Planet Money. I’m as guilty as anyone at this: Here’s were very first ads. it’s all
about that once in a lifetime feel. It’s just really hard not to splurge
when you put so much weight into one day. So, it’s easy to look at this and think
there’s no doubt that wedding vendors are ripping off their clients. But there’s another side to the story
that i think is important to mention. Planner: “Corporate flowers for example all
there’s probably going to be direction but maybe there’s a little bit
more flexibility where as a bride had dreamt up a certain flowers and she in want to talk to the florist multiple times
about the bouquet and the ribbon treatment and the fact that her
grandmother’s broaches gonna be on that Bouquet. It’s a lot of time and energy spent
on those flowers and that’s gonna be reflected in the price.” The upshot of this is that the emotional
weight of weddings usually means more work for vendors, and thus higher prices. And the most
demanding clients are the ones that set the prices for
everyone. So the best thing you can do to avoid being swindled is to demand the price range before
hearing a sales pitch. we vendors might hate it but it’s the
fair thing to do.

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