by: Lauren

We’ve been talking about wedding costs lately, and today we’re all about wedding myths- cost saving wedding myths to be exact! I’ve heard way too many of these lately, and quite honestly, I have NO idea where they came from. So it’s time to get rid of these myths once and for all! Let’s begin, shall we?

Cost Saving Wedding Myths via

Myth: Things cost more just because they have the word “wedding” in them. 

Truth: This may be the case when you’re looking at things from the outside, but it’s not because the word “wedding” is involved.

I can tell you that if there is a different price tag associated with something for a “party” versus a “wedding”, you’re wrong. Weddings are *different* than parties. A party has the opportunity to happen more than once. A wedding presumably does not.

As a result, you put more of an emphasis on your wedding day. You want it to be amazing and memorable. It’s why you spend more money on a wedding than you would a birthday party (unless it’s the norm for you to have extravagant birthday parties), right? So why WOULDN’T you expect things to cost differently?

A product or service associated with a wedding typically is more demanding than that of a simple party. A wedding requires more emails. More calls. More planning. More logistics. It. Is. Different. And I’m pretty sure there would be a lot of upset couples if they weren’t receiving the level of service and additional communication that is expected with a wedding. A wedding requires a higher level of service, and as a result, might come with a higher price tag.

[Read this: Is The Wedding Industry Scamming You?]

Note: Now sure, there are indeed people who don’t change their level of service, yet still increase their prices just because the word wedding is in them. But this is NOT the norm. To avoid running into this issue, be sure to ask what is included for the price you’re paying.

Myth: It’s cheaper if you have your wedding on a day other than Saturday.

Truth: For the most part, this is oh-so-wrong. It’s now pretty common for a wedding to take place on a day such as a Friday or Sunday. Now a weekday, that’s a different story. This myth does have different aspects though, so let’s discuss:

Vendors: A wedding vendor is going to work just as hard if your wedding is on a Friday or a Sunday. They’re not going to put in less hours of work just because it’s not a Saturday. Plus, it’s actually becoming REALLY common for Friday and Sunday weddings- even Thursdays too! Besides, do you really want to ask your vendors to half-ass it on your wedding day? (Not saying that they actually would) Yeah, I didn’t think so. Some vendors who aren’t already booked fully for that weekend may offer a discount. But don’t expect to get cheaper prices if your wedding is on a day other than Saturday. Myth DEBUNKED when dealing with most service vendors.

Venues: Some venues offer food & beverage services and some don’t. So right there we have a difference that determines pricing. Some venues may offer a discounted rate for days other than Saturday. I think this is going to be more likely when the venue is not offering food or beverage- just the rental of the space. Myth NOT debunked when dealing with venues.

For both of the “categories” that we’re looking at, some are looking at the days as “weekend” days, which to me is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Now Thursday or Tuesday (or Monday or Wednesday), is a different story, and I have definitely seen discounts offered for weekday weddings.

Myth: Doing it all ourselves will save us money (aka DIY and with the help of family and friends).

Truth: This of course can pertain to several different aspects of a wedding. But most of the time, for the retail price of buying something, you can pay a professional to do it for you, whether it’s buying wholesale or you renting it from them. It’s a funny thing how many people who are DIYing their weddings always end up spending more money than they thought they would. It just doesn’t look like it because it’s in small increments here and there. I’ve over-purchased for plenty of DIY projects myself. (If you want to DIY to include friends and family in your wedding, DIY things that can easily be DIY’d. And definitely know exactly how much of everything you need!) If you stick to the pros for things, chances are really good that you’ll end up saving your money. Myth DEBUNKED.


Myth: Haggle, barter, or low-ball with vendors to get a lower price.

Truth: O.M.G. I have no idea where this one started, but it needs to end! Haggling with vendors on their prices is crazy- they’ve set their prices because that’s what they need to do the work they do. Bartering, now this depends on what you’re bartering with, but the things that I’ve heard so far haven’t been ideal for wedding vendors. If you have a business that you can barter with that they can truly get a benefit from, then by all means I’m sure someone will bite. However, if you’re trying to barter with something that a vendor really can’t benefit from, then that’s a big fat no. And then finally we have low-balling vendor prices. I’ve heard of this happening a lot lately too. Saying that you really can only afford the bare minimum but want them to provide more and trying to make them feel guilty? Yikes, not cool. In a nutshell: Don’t try to mess with vendor pricing. It is what it is, and it’s usually already at the lowest point it can be because people in the wedding industry aren’t doing it to make a fortune- they’re doing it because they love weddings! :) Myth DEBUNKED.


Myth: Buffets are cheaper than plated dinners.

Truth: I’m not experienced in catering/food in any way, but I do know this: buffets sometimes require MORE food than plated meals do, and so they can end up being more expensive, depending on the number of guests you have and types of food being served. Buffets are an option that entail less serving staff, so they are less expensive in that manner. Of course all of this is dependent on how many guests you have! Myth sometimes DEBUNKED.

Myth: Cocktail style receptions are less expensive because you need “less food” than a sit down dinner.

Truth: Another food-related one, but I can help with this too. Yes, cocktail receptions don’t have a full-out meal. They do, however, have a lot more appetizers and small bites, which could add up to just as much food as if you were having meals served. And then, since it’s “cocktail-style”, guests are definitely going to be drinking more. Cocktail-style receptions do require serving staff like sit down dinners do, so you will still be paying for the service. And again, this comes back around being dependent on how many guests you have! Myth sometimes DEBUNKED.

Myth: “I have a friend/family member that can do ___, so we won’t be needing to hire anyone for that”.

Truth: Ah, but of course! Everyone always knows someone who can do photography, planning, DJ, food, etc. BUT it always turns out that they forget that they want to be guests and end up a) slacking on what they’re supposed to be doing or b) backing out altogether, leaving you to have to pay someone. Trust me and tell the friend/family members that you want them to enjoy the wedding. Neither you or them will regret it. Myth DEBUNKED.


Myth: “My mother (or aunt or friend, etc) is going to do the flowers in silk to save money.”

Truth: OMG silk flowers cost so much! And they always LOOK silk- I don’t care how good you are at arranging flowers, those plastic “veins” on the flowers are a dead giveaway. Bottom line for this one- silk flowers are NOT going to save you money. Myth DEBUNKED.

Myth: Destination weddings cost less.

Truth: Usually not, but it depends. If it’s you and your fiance eloping, then yes, it’s going to be less than a wedding. If you’re inviting family members, there are more events that have to be held and more things that need to be taken of. Transportation, rooms, welcome dinners, rehearsal dinners, wedding dinner, breakfasts. Not to mention what it costs for your guests to get there. Get my drift? If you want to do a destination wedding, know that it’s not going to be less than what a wedding would be in your own town. (Again dependent on numbers and many other factors. I will be having a destination wedding PRO do a post on this in the future!) Myth DEBUNKED.


Alright, I think these are enough myths to debunk for one day, what do you say?

Remember- everyone has their own situations, and these are based on “normal” situations. Everything for weddings is almost always dependent on the number of guests and individual choices. There is no way to determine any one perfect situation. :)

[Editor’s note: Please know that I polled my followers to find out what “myths” they often hear about from their clients. Most of those who responded were wedding professionals with extensive experience (AKA I didn’t pull these “myths” out of thin air). Please remember that the “debunking” of these myths are based on my experiences and opinions. There are always different situations that can determine different outcomes for pricing, how things end up, etc. All of this is based on extremely general circumstances. I have elaborated on some aspects of this post since it’s original posting, and I will go into further detail with other posts on these matters in the future. I welcome other opinions and experiences, so please feel free to share your own in the comments- just please do it nicely and with a smile! :) ]

A version of this post was originally posted in June 2011.

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Cost Saving Wedding Myths via


Founder & Editor at Every Last Detail
Lauren Grove is the editor and owner of Every Last Detail. A clueless bride-turned-wedding planner, Lauren uses her experiences and knowledge to educate and inspire brides all over the world.

35 responses to Cost Saving Wedding Myths

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  1. JBZ

    While I started to read this with great hopes! I found this to be terrible advice. That is my opinion. I know for fact many vendors/venues that offer discounts for days other than saturday. since saturday is the most popular day. they are looking to increase their business not do a half a**ed job on the day that you choose. Also if you think everyone in the wedding business is not in it to make money you are crazy!! While I agree people need to realize what is fair before negotiating. you never know until you ask. sorry we don’t see eye to eye but this really just struck a chord with me

    • Lauren Grove

      @ JBZ- Lol there ARE some of those people who do just into the wedding industry to make money. Those people are no fun. ;) In response to the other than Saturday discounts, see my editor’s update in the post. :) Thank you for your comment and your view!

  2. Kristin @ Bona Fide Bride

    Oh my gosh. AMEN. These are all so true! I deal with these statements on a daily basis as a wedding planner. Now I can just refer them here! :)

  3. Bride2BE

    Actually our venue does have a reduced rate for weddings on “off-days” and we were able to save about $2500 by having a friday wedding as opposed to the traditional saturday wedding.

    • Lauren Grove

      @Bride2BE- That is awesome! I honestly think Friday weddings are so much better, especially if guests are coming from out of town- because then they can spend the whole weekend visiting! :)

    • Lauren Grove

      @ Bride2BE- That is awesome! I honestly think Friday weddings are so much better, especially if guests are coming from out of town- because then they can spend the whole weekend visiting! :)

  4. Christie O. {Hindsight Bride}

    True enough! Especially with the vendor haggling. I have a florist friend who was asked if she could arrange Costco flowers for a discounted rate. The florist’s response: “Would you go into a restaurant with a steak you bought from the super market and ask if they could cook it for a discounted rate?” What a pithy response! And could totally see where the florist was coming from.

    Still as a bride who paid cash for her own wedding and who was on a ridiculously tight budget, I regularly was shocked by how much everything costs. In fact, I didn’t call the professional photographer I wanted because I was so embarrassed by my budget. I cut corners with a student photographer who ruined our wedding pictures. I was devastated and regretful for a very long time.

    In hindsight, I’ve come to the conclusion that brides should find the very best vendors they can afford. Unfortunately, many vendors don’t publish their prices on their sites, forcing brides to call and ask if they could work within tight budgets.

    Still, While I never tried to “negotiate” or “haggle,” in hindsight, I wish I had said something along the lines of, “I love your work, but I only have this much money. Do you offer any packages or reduced services in that price range? If not, can you recommend someone to me?” This seems to respect the vendor’s pricing while allowing the bride to have an honest conversation about where she’s at. This is not haggling so much as asking what the brides options are.

    I seriously and wholeheartedly agree with you about haggling, but the truth of the matter is many brides remain on tight budgets. Is there any middle ground?

    How would you respond to a girl like me calling with a request like that?

    • Lauren Grove

      @ Christie- I was the same, not calling vendors that I wanted because I was afraid they would be out of my budget. Thank goodness for email! I was talking to someone the other day about how now it’s so much easier to get pricing info because of email, whereas when I was planning, you kind of had to call because even a few years ago email wasn’t as embedded into business practices!
      As for the “I love your work…” request, I think it would be important to ask if there is anything they have within your budget. Brides who say “I love your work, but I can’t afford the 10 hour package that I need you for. Can’t you just do the price of your 5 hour package for the 10 hours?”, now that is a big no. But definitely seeing if there is any way that a compromise can be made, like going with the cheaper package that you can afford and structuring your timeline around that. :)

    • Lauren Grove

      @Christie- I was the same, not calling vendors that I wanted because I was afraid they would be out of my budget. Thank goodness for email! I was talking to someone the other day about how now it’s so much easier to get pricing info because of email, whereas when I was planning, you kind of had to call because even a few years ago email wasn’t as embedded into business practices!
      As for the “I love your work…” request, I think it would be important to ask if there is anything they have within your budget. Brides who say “I love your work, but I can’t afford the 10 hour package that I need you for. Can’t you just do the price of your 5 hour package for the 10 hours?”, now that is a big no. But definitely seeing if there is any way that a compromise can be made, like going with the cheaper package that you can afford and structuring your timeline around that. :)

  5. Kristine G.

    Although I do agree with the debunked myths, I am still finding that most venues offer discounted prices for Friday or Sunday affairs. Are you finding that this is becoming less common as Friday/Sunday weddings become more popular?

    • Lauren Grove

      @Kristine- I have found that discounts for Friday or Sunday are becoming more rare as weddings on these days become more common. It’s becoming of a “weekend” rate instead of Saturday. However, I definitely still see weekday discounts!

  6. Meg

    Good points about the two food myths – I’ve definitely heard quite a few of my bride friends opting for those two options because they think it’s cheaper.

    I’m not entirely sure I agree with the first “debunking” – while vendors are going to charge the same price regardless of day, I think quite a few venues charge different prices based on the day and/or time. This is the experience I had when helping my friend pick her venue. The museum where she was hosting her wedding would have cost less to rent on a Thursday compared to Saturday. Since venues can be quite a large chunk of the wedding budget, hosting your wedding on a different day could, potentially, affect the overall cost.

  7. Samantha Darr, Soireebliss! Events

    This is all so painfully true. There have been so many times a hopeful bride comes to me with ideas of how she will have her dream wedding by incorporating many of the above items. It”s so saddening to have to break the news to her. I think in many cases they get these ideas from the wedding magazines and message boards.

  8. Max Haus

    Man, some of these comments are way off base. As it turns out, for the cost difference between making silk flowers and having a florist prepare bouquets completely justifies the fact that they look silk.

    Haggling with Vendors is part of the system, hands down. The first quote from any vendor undoubtedly includes a ton of bells and whistles that a bride on a budget does not need.

    And as for buffets, if you think that the cost of food is the only (or even the most major) part of the catering bill, you’ve missed the mark. Plated dinners take servers. Stations take chefs. In every budget I’ve seen for catering, a buffet option tends to cut costs down by about 1/3.

    In fact, across the board this post seems to focus less on money-saving-myths, and more on how a bride will inevitably be disappointed in her choice to save money. Unfortunately, some don’t have the choice!

  9. Jenna @ Heartcarry Press

    I love the idea of “myths debunked” – great post Lauren! The haggling point is always going to be a sticky one. Education and grace are so key on both ends- let’s negotiate, not haggle :)

  10. April

    Let me first say that these myths are a great starting point! I do have a few responses for the comments. I get calls every day, as well as emails that are price shoppers alone. I dont mind the inquiry but I cant tell you how much until i know what you are looking for. My packages as a planner/coordinator are custom built. You may not need us for the whole day………. I have “lost” brides because of price (and wouldnt you know, that planner left the bride high and dry! The bride hired me because she then understood the value! You want cheap, I can give you a list. You want quality, give me a call.
    Flowers, you can honestly say that silk flowers cost less? Well maybe if you go to the dollar store. Good quality silks cost just as much. If you want to save $, look at different options (vases with floating candles are a great example….. and rose petals/single roses floating is a vase is another). Don’t use silk just to save money as many really do look tacky!
    Buffets cost money for servers as well. Maybe a few less, but here they have a full staff whether you do plated or buffet.
    These myths are spot on (albeit #1 is debatable.

  11. Wrapped couture

    I thought the tips were great. I especially liked the one about family or friends being asked to do things that professionals are normally hired to do. They want to be guests to and forget that they have a job to do, which doesn’t come out the way you’d like it to come out or they would just rather not do it at all.. so you end up having to hire a professional to save the day and it will cost just as much, if not more. don’t skimp on your wedding day, just to save a few dollars; especially where memories are concerned (photography and video). Aside from being a wedding planner, I’m also a wedding vendor and I see both sides of the coin….We truly want the brides to have the day they’ve been dreaming of but prices are set as they are. Leave it as that….Lastly, DIY projects are great and I love your tip. People forget that the time involved in actuaully doing the project. It looks simple on paper but they are often time consuming. Brides often run out of time and most times, it’s just easier to pay a proessional to just do it.

  12. Emilie

    Most of these Myths debunked are true. My comment is in regard to Plated vs. buffet. Buffets do end up being cheaper because what you are paying for with a plated dinner is the service. You need to pay for many more service people to provide a plated meal rather than working the buffet station. That is where the big bucks come in for the plated. Whenever you are talking about adding more service people it equals big money. However, I always advise clients to hire as many service pros as they can afford because it greatly affects the flow and overall service and feel of your wedding reception.
    Anyway – great post!

  13. Claudia, A Day To Remember

    Lauren…thank you so much for posting this, you’ve nailed it right on the head on this post! we are constantly educating our brides on this, especially the “family friend” and “DIY” portion. Hindsight is 20/20 and most brides I’ve talked to come to us because they had a friend who got married and if they could do it again, they would do things differently.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for posting this!

  14. erica

    I have to say I’m a little disappointed with this post. I love the idea of debunking the myths but I’d have to agree with Max, some of these are way off base and definitely gives brides incorrect information. I’ve worked in catering for the past five years and I never understand where brides get some of their information from. While I appreciate your effort to assist and inform brides about these issues, maybe you should enlist the help of someone in the catering field to answer those questions.

    • Lauren Grove

      @Erica- I will be having catering pros contribute to Thursday Tips in the future and will definitely outline the ins and outs. This is why I stated that I don’t have much experience with food. :) I’ve updated the post to indicate that other factors often have an effect on the outcome pricing of buffets, plated, cocktail-style and sometimes the cases stated above can be true. If you’d like to contribute a post, I would love your expertise! :)

  15. Renee

    I agree w/all of these (especially cocktails and destinations!) except bartering. I work in PR and was able to get some good discounts/trades for my services. While it might not work for everyone, I don’t think there’s harm in asking.

  16. Jasmine - This Moment Events

    Right on Lauren! Of course some of these vary depending on vendor (venues are likely to give Sunday/Friday discounts) but over all, great tips! As a planner, one of my most important tasks is to keep my clients on budget. I love suggesting money-saving tips and it always amuses me that so many people buy into the myths- especially the one about destination weddings! I’ve had a few potential clients ask if they could pull off a Caribbean destination wedding for 150 guests at a major resort for under $10K. They were shocked to learn of the extra charges (international taxes, fees, etc) that added to their costs! Keep debunking myths!

  17. Kelly McWilliams

    I’m torn with this post. I find significant issues with almost each of your “Debunks”. My thought is that its mostly because of what you mentioned; that its just your experiences, which may or may not be limited. For instance, destination weddings- which is my niche. They often are a HUGE cost savings. Most clients that I have planned for would have been hosting a wedding for +300 people in their hometowns, and if thats a metropolitan area, that is a large dollar figure. Trim that to 60-90, which is a decent average guest count for a destination wedding, and even with 4 planned events, instead of 2- the savings is there. However- this does not hold true for every destination wedding. So for that reason, I do not think that its appropriate to state that this a myth that can be debunked. Lauren, nobody hates you- I think this is a great post worthy of great feedback. You still have my respect! Chin up lady!

  18. Kristen

    Bravo! I have to say that all of these are pretty much true in my experience. I’ve been in the event industry for over 15 years and depending on the budget, the couple, etc. I have experienced all of these at some point or another, especially as of late. For those that are a bit on the negative, keep in mind that Lauren understands there are some variables with regard to debunking theses myths and that she is talking about overall myths and she knows these don’t apply in every case.

  19. Perfectly Placed

    For the most part each of these are true….just not in every case. This is more of an overall point of view. I have been in this industry a long time and things have changed so much in the past 5 years.
    I only barter with friends or people I work with. I do not discount my rates for a different day of the week. I am happy for a bride to diy somethings, but i always tell her that time is valuable so make sure to consider the time it will take to accomplish the project.

  20. Julie

    I think the only myth i agree with is the destination wedding. We saved money by having a buffet, not because there was less food but because buffets are usually cheaper as they’re not as “formal” and venues know they can charge more for plated (plus they have to pay their people to serve = higher costs) We also saved a TON with our DIY projects. We used a lot of lace that our family already owned and believe it or not, trips to michaels ARE cheaper than wedding stores/websites. Many of my family members who are helping with things are happy to do so, it makes them feel included in the day, that they’re more involved than just any old guest, so saying people don’t want to help is a sweeping generalization. I think you lost sight of who your audience was with this post. You’re a wedding planner who is supposed to help brides find good alternatives to fit their budget, not dismiss any possibilities and encourage them to fork up without researching alternatives.

    • Lauren Grove

      To everyone who has commented: I’ve updated the post since Thursday’s posting to reflect the variety of views that each “myth” can have. The reality is that every situation is different and it’s impossible to pinpoint the “correct” one. Everything in this post is indeed a generalization of situations. My main goal in writing this post was to educate and make brides aware of the truth and reality of things. Not everything is the same for everyone, but it’s always good to know and be aware. Please remember that I write everything from the position of “what I know now that I wish I had known when planning my wedding” to prevent others from being as clueless as I was. :)
      @Julie: Yes, I am a wedding planner, and I always find my brides the best options that fit their style and budget. If anything I give them too many options. :)

  21. Wesley Leytham

    Great post Lauren. While I always appreciate a bride who wants to use me as a vendor, sometimes price negotiating just isn’t possible. How would brides feel if they went to their job and their boss negotiated their salary every week? it wouldn’t be pleasant. we set our prices on what it takes to stay in business. If I gave everyone a discount, i would put myself out of a job. i’m always glad to refer brides to someone trustworthy in their budget if I cannot help them. I do not want someone going into debt to hire me.

  22. Sweet Pea Events

    Thank you for posting this! Staying realistic and savvy when budgeting is so important for brides!

  23. Innocept Studio

    Truly agree with LaurFN GROVE ….Love to share with others

  24. Ashley (a Vendor)

    Amen!! It drives me nuts when people ask for discounts since their wedding is not on a Saturday. I even have had a bride ask for a discount for a Saturday morning wedding.

  25. James (a Vendor)

    Great post Lauren :)

    Venues are more likely (and able) to offer weekday discounts.

    wedding photographers, however, still do the same amount of work, regardless of the day you hold your wedding. Another thing to consider is that the quality of the photographer’s work may suffer if they shoot your 12hr wedding on a sunday, preceding another 12+ hour wedding the day before where they got home way past midnight.

    Venues can get away with this because they’re not living, breathing entities that require sleep to perform at their best; photographers and other ‘on-location’ vendors are.

    As far as negotiating, I”m totally open to brides explaining their budgets to me, and I seek transparency and clarity as much as possible in regards to my client’s needs and budgets. I don’t offer ‘fixed’ packages b/c I like to give the client flexibility in choosing the services they need.

    I don’t want brides to be afraid to tell me that I’m out of their budget because: a) it saves my time to be straightforward, and b) there’s always a chance I may be able to offer reduced coverage/services to meet their budget.

    The reason photographers don’t list their prices in detail on their websites is because we want to talk to you first and understand your needs; If you truly value our work, then you’ll take the time to pick up the phone or, at the very least, send us an email and make us aware that you exist. Think of us like planners in this regard: while we might be out of your budget, we may also be able to: 1) help you come to a better understanding of the services you really need (vs. what The Knot told you to get), and 2) we can always refer you to someone else (of good quality) that may be more willing/able to meet your budget.

    The problem that typically arises when someone tries to negotiate with me is that they try to engage me in a price-matching competition between another photographer. %99 of the time, we’re not talking apples to apples, but rather, they try to price match me to a novice or someone with a very limited skillset and a very unrefined photographic style (i.e. craigslist-ographer).

    If my direct competition is offering their services for markedly less, of course this will make me consider the viability of my prices.

    But if a student or low-quality novice is offering their services for less, and a bride tries to get me to match their prices, that’s just downright insulting.

    Haggling with creative vendors shouldn’t be part of the system. Do you haggle with you accountant? Your attorney? Your dentist?

    When Lauren said that most wedding vendors aren’t in it for the money, she was spot on. There are a plethora of other careers that require far less hours worked per week, far less stress, little, if any creativity, and that START OUT paying base salaries that many of us TAKE YEARS to build our business up to.

    I’m a wedding photographer b/c I love the act of creating beautiful photos, and I love the freedom that running my own business provides–even with that meaning I may not make as much as someone with a more traditional career path.

  26. Amanda - Amanda Douglas Events (a Vendor)

    Oh gosh, I love every bit of this post! It’s crazy how many times I help people get out of their budget problems because they believed one of these myths.

  27. Steve (just curious)

    Good article. I will disagree about not negotiating. Here’s an example… say a couple wants to hire a particular videographer who does great work. If that couple is having an off-season, Friday wedding, it’s unlikely that vidoegrapher is going to get booked that day. So instead of charging $3000, they may be willing to accept $2,500; or maybe they compromise and provide everything digitally instead of on disc saving them some effort on the back end. It’s supply and demand. Sure, they may have normally set rates but it never hurts to ask, in a respectful way, if they can work within a specific budget. To a certain degree, the value of peoples time is relative to how busy they are and how much they value time off.