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Why are weddings so damn expensive?

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.

100 thoughts on “Why are weddings so damn expensive?

  1. Id rather take me an my girl plus some friends on vacation for 15,000 than waste it on a one day ceremony. Thats just ridiculous

  2. I just want a pretty dress and nice flowers and good food. I want to look back and remember that it was a beautiful day. Don't know if I care for paying 20K to rent a place for two hours or 5K for a cake that people will take two bites of and throw out. Yeah the prices are crazy inflated but contrary to the comments here I don't see why everyone's hating on people wanting to have a nice wedding day.

  3. This is why if I ever do get married I’m doing it at a courthouse and inviting only my closest friends and family and then have the reception in someone’s backyard

  4. Honestly, I’m sure most people are more concerned with how the wedding will be planed that they forget the reason for even GETTING a wedding was to stay with their “lover.” I know it’s ok to make it a very special day, but remember that your doing for you and your lover. AND SOME MEMORIES COULD BE BEST EVEN IF WAS NOT PERFECT!!!! 🙄🎊🎊

  5. I've been to a wedding with 1200+ people before, African weddings are no joke. My cousin had a "small" reception with 250 people.

  6. wedding wire is AMAZING! I reach out to multiple vendors offering the same thing and I am able to compare prices pretty well!! Having a LUXURIOUS wedding for 4,000 for 150 guests

  7. I paid $600 for a wedding reception. That was it. I find spending enough money for a downpayment on a modest house for a single day event to beyond ridiculous. And you will never ever sell me on "she deserves to be a princess for a day,"

    There is just something almost perverse about it. I have to daughters and they know I will not pay an exorbitant amount of money for a wedding. I give the money to elope before I sunk it into an expensive wedding.

  8. We're planning our wedding, and we're presenting it as a family gathering to vendors to get a better price. Also, if you stall or are evasive on pricing, it sounds a loud and clear message to us that your prices are steep, and we move on to the next vendor. This has been especially true for DJs. If any vendor beats around the bush for pricing, we view it as unprofessional, and it makes us feel like they're trying to figure out how much we can afford and milk us for it. We already had a couple vendors at a wedding show try this. The prices we were quoted for DJs, photographers, etc., would have been enough to feed a village in Africa for a year. Or pay for our honeymoon.

    We're getting married for $4k. We are doing as much as we can on our own, we have friends and family who are helping with ushering, catering, and photography. We're planning everything out ourselves, and we're shopping for the best deals. So far, we're coming in way under budget. Destination lakeshore wedding, large venue for the reception, beautiful invites, professional photographer, delicious buffet style catering with a WIDE variety of foods from around the world, open bar WITH a bartender, 80 guests, all under $3k so far.

    The honeymoon is a different story… We're at $4k and counting… XD Caribbean with a Spa Stateroom, 3 ports, excursions at each port, unlimited drinks package, extra days at the beginning/end port for extra stuff, and we intentionally grabbed flights with 8+ hour layovers so we can see two extra cities and spend a day in them. Even with all that, I'm hitting every sale, every deal, and I used a miles credit card to book first class tickets to and from for free. ^_^

    You can get married for under $30k like one couple we know did, under $10k like another we know, or under $5k like we're doing. It is possible. You just have to be willing to hunt down the deals, cut some of the extras, and recruit friends and family to do what they can. In 5 years, your guests are going to remember very little about the specifics of your wedding. The only thing that stands out about any wedding I have been to is one had horrible food, and another I had a lot of fun dancing. Everything else was lost to time. Spend money on what is important, skimp where it doesn't.

  9. Anything that involves women being sold a product will be over priced! Women fall easily into the idea that what they get is special and can't be obtained anywhere else.

  10. We spent under $1000 (including our clothes, rings, licences and everything) to elope at the courthouse in NYC. It was great and we had fun!

  11. In the very early stages of planning my wedding and honestly, if they're going to dodge talking about the price and intentionally stall then they just lost my business. It's disrespectful. You don't value you me and my fiancée, you value our money. Obviously it's a sales game, but if you can't pretend to be interested realistic enough then bye.

  12. I believe in marriage but I don’t believe in weddings. I was a bridesmaid twice last year and it completely turned me off to weddings. If I ever get married and wedding is out of the question. It is a complete waste of money.

  13. Or, if you actually don’t care about all the forever stuff, just tell vendors it’s all for an office party. Then they’ll low-ball all the prices expecting you to come back the following year.

  14. What’s the point of spending £10,000-100,000 on a wedding if your just gonna get a EVEN MORE EXPENSIVE divorce 1-50 years later

  15. More people need to demand fair pricing. I am planning a nice but relatively inexpensive wedding and I am not booking anything unreasonable. If I need to be married in the backyard, so be it.

  16. Just tell the florist it's for a cocktail party. Caterer a cocktail party!, Venue ,a cocktail party! The price is 90%increase for weddings!

  17. Why????? Ummm I don't know
    Maybe because there are like 60 guests, and you gotta have like 5 cakes, then you gotta go to a luxury restaurant, a 4000-dollar dress, the champagne, bla bla bla
    If you only invite your families and don't have a crazy wedding, its not gonna be so exprensive

  18. Spent just under 28k on our wedding. Honestly the tax portion that is put on us was crazy. Taxes are the thing that will get you.

  19. Hate that once in a life time bull they try to sell and brides eat that up. Not marrying you for the wedding. That day is just a symbol for the marriage. My wedding was awesome but it could've be done at a fraction of the cost. Don't waste money (spent 2 years saving for it so at least I had no debt from it)

  20. My wedding is about two weeks away and I do not seem the harm in splurging in a fancy party for you and your family to celebrate. I also look at it through my Catholic faith and see it as allowing god to be a part of your relationship. In many cases the wedding is the only time the families from both sides can meet and I think it is a great way for couples to begin practicing how to budget together. So whether you spend a lot or a little just enjoy yourself and do what you and your partner think is best. I do not regret anything. Plus many couples get the majority of the money back through gifts and checks afterwards anyways.

  21. Simple because we're busy trying please humans instead of God no wonder rate of failure is high. You can simply feed/give some money to poor/less fortunate and start your life besides most people who come to wedding deep down hates you doesn't really care or give any blessings to start with it's more about them if they looked good or the food taste better etc etc

  22. I'm getting married next year. My dad is the pastor so we're using our small church and fellowship hall for the reception; free. My cousin is a professional chef for the Bengals so he's catering; $3k for 100 people including a homemade wedding cake and sweet potato pie. We already have speakers and tech equipmwnt from the church so my brother will MC and 'dj'. I ordered my dress from preownedweddingdresses.com so my dress was $250 – original owner paid nearly $3k. My wedding ring is a 2 carat cushion cut moissanite for $800. We paid cash for our wedding and I feel really good about it.

  23. When we looked at vendors for our wedding, we just quit talking with anyone who refused to give us a quote or a price range.

  24. We spent about 5.000 euros for our wedding in Greece ( for 100 guests ), which was a really good price since most people spend around 20 to 30.000 euros. We got all our money back, since we asked for money as a wedding gift because we didn't need any more stuff to fill the house. We did some diy stuff but not a lot, since the hotel where we had the reception covered the food, the service and the cake. Even if I had a ton of money I wouldn't spend so much money for just a day. We still had a great wedding day and we didn't go broke. Also part of the money we got back from the wedding we will spend to go to Bali for our honeymoon!

  25. What people need to start realizing is no matter how much money you put into your wedding day, it doesn’t equate to a successful long lasting marriage. You’d be shocked how many marriages that had celebrity style weddings don’t last 10 months and how many Las Vegas or Justice of the Peace style weddings – the couples are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary! Invest in the marriage because the wedding ain’t nothing but the celebratory party congratulating you two for making this decision. If you’re going to splurge, put it towards the honeymoon! Take this time to enjoy each other & the world around you. Take that trip to Hawaii, Bora Bora, or Turks & Caicos, because after the kids come into the picture – you’re headed to LEGOLAND.

  26. I had a potluck with friends at my preschools garden. My students made decorations and my wife and I bought all of our getups second hand. I think we might have spent $100 total? And instead of a registry we offered our friends the option of helping us pay down our debt. It was a beautiful event and I'm endlessly grateful for it.

  27. Replace the word “weddings” with any other word and the statement would still be true regarding my financial situation.

  28. (Sorry for the awful grammar in this )
    I’m spending about 300$ on dress alterations I’m wearing my moms dress I would have spent 400 on a new dress and alterations
    I’m doing my own florals my mom is doing a street taco buffet for food which will be no more then 800$ for 200 people
    Planning on about 400$ on my florals
    All of my decorations I’m diy-ing about 600$ my photographer and videographer are 1,700$ our venue is 1,300$ we got it for 2 days we decided on hiring a wedding planner and 5 of her staff for the last 30 dats which is 3,000 our Cale is 275 and we have larger budget 12-20 thousand dollars we have planned everything but I’m definitely planning on not using all of it and putting for into our honeymoon fund

  29. Even as a kid I was determined not to over fantasize my wedding. On my wedding I want to keep it firmly in my mind that it’s a special day, but not the most important day of my life. Brides have so much pressure on them and it’s terrible

  30. I honestly think that vendors have good reason to charge extra for weddings. Weddings are very much a "once-in-a-lifetime" event. The stakes are much higher and as such the margin for error is basically zero.

  31. Numbers and courts are stacked against men. MGTOW and save your cash for early retirement.

    Women initiate 70% of divorces
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-new-resilience/201508/women-initiate-divorce-much-more-men-heres-why

    Women get custody:
    https://www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce/for-men/divorce-for-men-why-women-get-child-custody-over-80-time

    Men pay off women school debt then divorce them:
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/i-paid-off-my-wifes-student-loans-then-she-filed-for-divorce-after-two-years-of-marriage-2018-04-21

    Female breadwinners more likely to divorce:
    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article148558804.html

    Why the he’ll would any man sign up for this?

  32. I find this difficult to accept. People spend tens of thousands of dollars on weddings because…they're inexperienced shoppers? I don't think so. This has more to do with vapid materialism than anything else.

  33. The only thing I would pay a lot of money for would be the cake. I love me some cake and I'm only getting married once, I want some fancy cake they make in shows like cake boss and I'll have different types per tier and cheesecake will be the bottom just for the challenge of it! Oh and tip, get your wedding dress from a charity shop. I was getting my debs dress in Oxfam and their were all these wedding dresses that were so beautiful and they averaged out €80, so worth it.

  34. Here in the Philippines, weddings can be as cheap or as extravagant as you want it to be. Prices here are way cheaper compared with the US. On average, weddings here in the Philippines with 100 guests with quality suppliers (venue, caterer, photo/video, clothes, rings, flowers, etc) start at around $3,000.00. Some brides can even reduce it to $1,000.00. Our wedding cost us at around $8,000.00.

  35. To all people in a world

    I want to tell you something a big thing about human life

    That is

    MARRIAGE IS "USE AND THROW " POLICY, women will erase your life,
    All they need is Just Money , That's why today's women live with Man who has higher income ,
    They will use you and throw you ,and you will just do there work as a atendent

  36. "You deserve to feel like a princess on your wedding day" is such bullshit to get brides to spend more money. If you're with a person that makes you FEEL like a princess EVERY DAY, suddenly the pressure for an expensive wedding goes down

  37. Dude wedding photography’s are a wast and I’m a photographer. I know a photographer who is selling for $5,000 for one night wedding. And he gets like over 50 weddings a year.

  38. * your descendants. Not your ancestors. If you can't even use the right word, why are are you pressuring people about that idea? > <

  39. What if you told the bakery, you didn't want a wedding cake, but a three tiered triathlon Cake, full of healthy protein and nutrients to feed the athletes post race.

  40. I’ll rather go marry in a courtroom, little ceremony with some family and friends, and just enjoy this day in my short life. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  41. I work in the industry. Its the only time musicians get paid what they deserve. If I didn't play weddings I'd be on the street.

  42. Pinterest helped a lot… I've literally found a lot of little things, like our card box, my wedding purse, tiara, engagement dress, wedding ring, etc. on there with direct links to the website to buy them from. So while this video is interesting I thought I should mention it's extremely helpful not just for inspiration for the big things like venue and florals but for actually buying the little things.

  43. Just to slightly lessen the stereotype Vox viewer, you could have chosen something different than an avacado as an example. Any other product would do.

  44. All that money so she can just brag to her friends…then get bored and cheat and basiclly wasting all that time and money

  45. I always thought I will have tiny wedding with closest relatives…. Until now I'm engaged to an Arab. Funny thing, we are broke but his family has money. I don't plan anything, I actually just step in and be surprised what they planned for us, it's all about family show off, it's going to be big and expensive. Really depends where you live. As European most people have really tiny weddings because we don't need to show off.

  46. why not just go to the registry office sign papers and then use the money to travel? You could have a dinner with family and friends if you wanted .

  47. Weddings are expensive becos people are rapacious and greedy…. And other people capitalise on them.

  48. It's all a scam just like the damm diamond ring u proposed to her with..when it's real genuine love..theres noo need for glamorous extravagant expenses..

  49. Best way to save is to get married at court. Literally nobody cares about your wedding and only want the free food.

  50. The average cost of weddings is high because it's probably only affluent people having them. If they have the money to blow that's good for them.

  51. When we got married my wife and I both got quoted different amounts from the same place…same amount of people..same date..crooks ..they closed a few months after

  52. I think weddings are expensive because vendors feel pressured to do their very best for someone’s once-in-a-lifetime moment. They need to give it more attention and care than a “family gathering.”

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