Why Does Everything Wedding Cost So Much?

I have been trying to work on this post and explain why people perceive why everything wedding costs so much. And every time I sit down and write, I always seem to sound angry, which I am not, I promise, but at the same time, the money conversation is a touchy one. Basically, I have come to the conclusion that no matter what I say, I am going to end up offending someone or be misunderstood and someone is going to say that I am angry.

So here goes nothing, or maybe something. Weddings cost a lot because they are a lot of work. That is the truth in plain, simple terms. Even what we do as officiants is a lot more work than it looks like. What most people see is us standing up and speaking some pretty words, pronouncing the happy couple married, and maybe saying a prayer at dinner. In truth, we spend time emailing ideas and examples to couples, speaking to them about how their ceremony gets put together, writing it, trying to edit it (we aren’t perfect, a few typos sometimes escape us), practicing it, printing up a pretty copy to give to you, plus teaching couples how to get their marriage license and how to get their certified copies the easy way. Truth be told, on each wedding we perform we are spending a minimum of 10 to 12 hours on it, and that doesn’t include rehearsal time and planning for that. Most weddings are even more hours and some can even be essentially a week of working for most people, 40 hours. It all depends on the couple and what they request.

Other wedding professionals cost even more than we do, usually your officiant is one of the lowest costs of your wedding. Florist, photographers, caterers, and many others have a physical product they offer, so not only is working with a couple to create their dreams an investment in time, but also in inventory. Let’s just use the florist for an example. Your florist not only orders flowers, but spends many hours putting them together in a beautiful creation. So you are paying not only for flowers but for their creative expertise. Same goes for photos. Not only are you paying for the pictures themselves, but for the creative eye and editing expertise of your photographer.

What must also be considered into the equation is the cost of running a business. Most wedding professionals are small independent businesses which means that they also have to cover operating costs in addition to make the money we all need to live on to pay rent or mortgage, eat, keep the lights and heat on, and of course the phone bill. Plus they have to pay for advertising and spreading the word about their business so that you know that person is available. Some of you may say that some of these are business expenses and are tax deductible. Yes, operating costs are tax deductible, but they still must be paid for. That means that products and services are going to incorporate those costs; every business out there does it, including that discount warehouse that we just won’t mention by name.

Now that we have covered costs in the physical sense, there is another consideration to take on. Experience. If you are an employer, you are going to feel better with a person that has experience on their side and not someone who has never done that particular job before. Experienced people cost a bit more than someone who is just starting out. And let’s face it, most brides do not want someone who is not experienced working on their wedding day. A lack of experience means that if something goes wrong, that inexperienced person may not know what to do or how to fix it. An experienced person can take that something wrong and  turn it into a blessing in disguise.

Plus, prices can sometimes determine if you are dealing with a professional or a hobbyist. Someone who works on weddings every day is more likely to do a great job compared to a person who does the job as “something to do”. A professional knows that pleasing clients is the only way to grow and expand into a great wedding professional.

Yes, weddings do cost a lot, but really, all any wedding professional is trying to do is to make a decent living like any other hard working person out there. While the money may seem like a lot when you hire your professional, it is worth it for the simple fact that not only do you have someone in your corner to help you, answer your questions, and give you the wedding of your dreams.

What are your thoughts? Please leave us a comment below.


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