After writing a post about why weddings cost “so much“, it brought something to my attention- that there are a few myths that continue to be perpetuated about wedding costs. When I say “wedding costs”, in a nutshell I mean budget and/or pricing. And now I would like to attempt to dispel these myths. Why? It’s what I do. ;) And I want you all to know the truth- because I didn’t know when I was planning my wedding!
So what exactly ARE these myths that have to do with budget/pricing?
Wedding cost myth #1: You should barter and/or ask wedding vendors for discounts.
I’ve SEEN this said on blogs and forums before. The only way that a barter miiiiight work is if you own a company that the vendor could SERIOUSLY benefit from. (Like if you’re a floral wholesaler and you barter with a florist, or if you own a camera company and you barter with your photographer.) My question for you is this: do you straight-up ask your server at a restaurant or your doctor for a discount? Or tell them you’ll give them (insert-your-product/job/hobby/whatever-here) in exchange for food or a blood test?
[Personal wedding experience side note: The funny thing about this is that in looking back on planning my own wedding, I seriously asked my dad (who is a dentist) if he would barter veneers with my event decor company. The event decor company of course said no, because nice teeth don’t translate into anything beneficial for flowers or rentals. OMG, so embarrassed. I totally forgot about this!]
Wedding cost myth #2: Things are marked up just because they have the word “wedding” in them.
Ah, I was a believer in this one. Wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, wedding cake, etc etc etc. And I also have seen this one- plus a viral video or two- perpetuated among brides. The truth is, it is what it is- and it’s also what you’re asking for. A venue is perhaps cheaper to rent for a meeting because that meeting is occurring on a Wednesday, not on a Friday or Saturday. And that said meeting isn’t consuming as much food and beverages as a wedding does. Or a wedding cake- it might not be the same price as the cake on the shelf at a bakery, but that’s because that cake is literally just cake and icing and a single sheet. Chances are that wedding cake you’re wanting is probably a few tiers, has all sorts of designs, and requires hours of work. I could go on and on with this one… perhaps I need to just do a whole separate post just for this myth?
Wedding cost myth #3: It’s cheaper if you do it all yourself.
Okay, SOME things are cheaper- but keep in mind that you’re also paying someone to do it FOR you, thus paying them for your time. That’s why it’s cheaper to do it yourself. Just ask yourself how much of your own time you actually want to take up doing things yourself to save a few bucks. (Note: I’m not hating on DIY, just stating something.)
[Personal wedding experience side note: I wanted to make my own menus. Because I was clueless and ordered run-of-the-mill invitations from a big giant book and didn’t have someone custom design paper products for me. And I did make my own menus- until about 3 am the night before my wedding. When I had to wake up at 7 am to start getting ready. Missing out on those hours of sleep during my 18 hour wedding day? Um totally would have PAID someone to do them.]
And here are a few more myths that fellow wedding professionals shared with me via my lovely friend Twitter… (names have been withheld juuuuust in case…)
“That you can save a ton of money by having Uncle Charlie photograph the wedding with his new Canon 7D!”
“Spectacular weddings for 150 or more being $5000. Total.”
“You need to spend tons of money on the venue! If you are creative & stick to your wedding style you can have a gorgeous wedding in a reasonably priced venue!”
“(MYTH) Catering over $50/person is a rip off – I can go to Outback for $50/person!”
“You can get a good wedding videographer for $500”
“That invitations should be $1 (myth) yet you pay $4 for a crap card from Hallmark.”
“Rent a linen for $50? I can buy one for that!”
“That beautiful flowers for ceremony and reception are only $1500 ….”
These are all myths, being spread wrongly by inexperienced people. Don’t believe them! They could be true in some cases, but that chance is very slim. Slim meaning that if we’re talking percentage, it’s a single digit. And I will have you know that I myself thought of and/or said every SINGLE one of these things when I was planning my wedding. Now you know, and it’ll save you a lot of heartache, pain, blood, sweat, tears, hemming, hawing, etc etc! If you have any other things that you’ve heard that you might think are myths, put it in the comments! I’ll let you know! :)
Editor’s note: A version of this post was published in March 2011. It has since been updated and revamped.