I recently overheard one engaged woman say to another, "When you start reaching out, don't say it's a wedding. Everyone charges more just because it's a wedding."
As crazy as it sounds, this isn't the first time I've heard someone say this.
I know she's not the first or last person to come to the realization: weddings are expensive. However, the average person is very unaware of just how much work goes into making a wedding happen.
Consider these stats:
The average size of a wedding tends to be around 125 -175 guests
A typical wedding takes anywhere from 10 - 18 months to plan
100's of emails are exchanged when coordinating a wedding
Weddings involve all sorts of time-sensitive formalities: the ceremony, entrances/introductions, seated dinner service, toasts, dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss, exits and more
The average wedding ceremony + reception duration is 5 - 6 hours. Many vendors spend 12 + hours that day to prepare, travel there, setup, work, pack up, and travel back
Most couples hire at least 6 wedding vendors for their day, sometimes ones who have never met or worked together, and all have to synchronize on your day
The typical wedding pro probably spends anywhere from 20 - 50 + additional hours working on your wedding, separate from the wedding day. For wedding planners, more like 100's of hours.
What other personal events match this scope? Birthday? Graduation? Anniversary?
When talking about a 50th birthday celebration, you don't ever hear, "This is the biggest day of her life. Everything needs to be absolutely perfect. She's been dreaming of this day ever since she was a little girl."
Weddings carry this price tag because they are that much work. Brides, grooms, and their families have high expectations for their wedding day. As vendors, we need exceed those expectations while still running a profitable business.
I could charge a couple 50% of the price to plan and coordinate their wedding day. But they would receive 50% of the service in return, and I guarantee they wouldn't be pleased with what that translates to when it comes time to work together. The level of service, resources, time, and energy that go into a wedding simply do not compare to that of other social events.
Another reason why smart and experienced event professionals charge what they charge? Because when a problem arises that requires us to go the extra mile, we don't want to say no. When we charge a rate that allows us to thrive in our business, we can go the extra mile for you.
There's a very good reason why the true pros out there often have reviews that read "worth every penny." Because they know their value, but they also deliver on the service promised (and then some).
Don't want to pay the typical wedding price tag? Consider a smaller guest list, a more casual reception, an elopement, an intimate restaurant dinner... just to name a few ideas!