Why Are Weddings So Damn Expensive?

– By Evan –

In my opinion, they're not. 

Don't get me wrong, I still think $35,329 is a lot of money. Heck, $5000 is a lot of money! But the whole idea that weddings are expensive and overpriced is something I can't fully agree with, though I get why people think so.

COUPLES DON'T TRUST VENDORS

With stories of wedding scammers taking advantage of brides in Winnipeg, to recent investigations by CBC Marketplace, to the hidden charges that pop up a month before a wedding, it can quickly start to sound like a grim marketplace! All these stories are more or less hinting at the same thing: the rising price of weddings is due to an industry of greedy vendors! But is it really?

I don't know of another source that says this as strongly as Adam Conover from the TruTV show 'Adam Ruins Everything'.

 

 
"The wedding industry systematically overcharges young couples just because they can... It's called the 'Wedding Tax'" – Adam Conover

(Click here if you want to watch the whole thing.)

And though Adam's point is based on statistics, I don't think he's sharing the whole story. Take away the scammers, greedy vendors, and rising prices, this simple truth remains...

The BIGGER THE PARTY, The BIGGER THE COST

Parties cost money, wedding or not. Think back to some of the best parties you've been to. What made them great? Lots of friends you know and care about, food to sustain you late into the night, booze a-plenty to keep things loose, good music, etc. All of these things cost either money or time.

A big thing we probably take for granted is the atmosphere. That doesn't just happen. When you have a party at your home you have the luxury of owning the venue, a space that you have been decorating and making your own for years. But can your home host a sit down dinner for 150 guests? 

If it's a party you want for the books you'll definitely want a photographer there to immortalize the memories. Maybe a videographer if you want to relive the experience in it's truest form. Then there are the special factors of a wedding: family traditions, ceremonial requirements, the first look. All these things add up quick, and you can't do it all on your own. That's why we hire vendors. 

VENDORS ARE PEOPLE

And people aren't easily scaleable. When hiring a vendor to bring your vision to life, you can't just pick your product out of a vending machine and consider it delivered. Most wedding vendors, at least the ones we've had the pleasure of working with, are talented and creative people who love their craft and love doing what's best for couples. 

When we were planning our own wedding, we were lucky to work with some amazing vendors who went above and beyond our expectations. Like when our wedding planner Amanda Douglas drove an hour out of town on a weekday to run the rehearsal. Not to mention the emotional planning meetings. Pretty sure she's a couple's therapist by day... 

Or when our florist, Dominika Dratwa from Verde Plant Design, brought Tedi's Pinterest board of floral designs to life.

 Photo by Josh Dookhie

Photo by Josh Dookhie

What does expensive mean to you?

For some couples, they've been saving for years to throw a grandiose party with all their family and friends. Other couples just can't wait to marry and plan a dream party in just a few months. Regardless of where you and your lover fall on the spectrum, try to keep things in perspective. You're committing your life to the one you love while you're surrounding yourself with the best people in the world. Like all parties, it's going to cost money. But plan within your limits, don't be afraid to ask for help, and most importantly: take a breath and enjoy it.

Here is a video I thought was pretty well balanced.  

Evan Bergen