The Wedding Tax - is it really a thing?

The Wedding Tax is a phrase that get’s thrown around a lot and tends to annoy a lot of people; whether it’s the couples who feel they are being charged at a premium for mentioning the ‘w’ word, or suppliers who find themselves constantly defending their pricing when they are just trying to run a small business.

There are a few factors to explore in this, so let’s start with Education.

For couples, it’s a real challenge.  They have just got engaged, are excited to start organising their big day, and instantly start searching for suppliers who understand their style.  They have had a conversation about how much they are willing to spend, but more often than not, there is a substantial difference between what they are willing to pay and what things actually cost.  Having never planned a large event before, these quotes can come as a huge reality check.

Without Education, these couples have no way to set a realistic budget or benchmark quotes to see what is reasonable.  They’re not necessarily looking for the cheapest suppliers, but they do want to ensure they are not paying an inflated price for the service.

So, where do they find this information?  Well, often they are requesting quotes from five different suppliers to figure out an average, asking friends, sense checking in Facebook Groups, or spending hours on Google.  It’s not easy, is it?  You are wasting your time, the suppliers’ time, and often making really important decisions based on highly varied responses from couples planning completely different types of weddings!

Next, let’s think about Assumptions.

For suppliers, they don’t look at these couples and immediately assume they are on a budget.  For many, they are presented with incredible Pinterest photos, and assume that the couple understands that this will literally cost thousands to achieve.  So they go away and carefully consider all the requirements to make it happen. Then, when they actually send their quote, they are often met with shock, disappointment, or even worse, the client just doesn’t respond.

So why does this happen? Well, whilst most of us reading this are on a budget, there are certainly couples that aren’t.  So, if they don’t have any up front conversation about cost, how will the suppliers know that they are not willing to spend $10K on flowers for example?  Both couples and suppliers need to be transparent from the beginning, otherwise they will all waste a significant amount of time exploring dead ends.

Finally, let’s think about our Suppliers.

While there are loads of businesses out there that are huge, established, well known brands; there are the vast majority of suppliers who run a small business from home.

These suppliers have often studied for years to learn their trade, potentially worked as a low paid apprentice to gain experience, have purchased all their equipment, and have specialised skills and services to offer.

For these suppliers in particular, the majority have genuinely priced themselves at a reasonable level. They want your business, but they also need to support their families, so they have priced themselves at a level they feel is fair.  When preparing your quote they have taken into consideration the materials required, the time it takes to plan and ensure all runs smoothly, physical preparation, travel to the venue, bump in, as well as covering their running costs for a small business.

The tough part for these genuine suppliers is that they are pricing themselves at the lowest possible amount to balance both yours and their needs, but because of the ‘wedding tax’, they often find themselves defending their pricing and decisions.

So riddle me this.

For couples, imagine if there was a place where you could go to check how much things should cost.  It might not always necessarily be a set price – it could be a price range, it could be packages, or sample quotes.

Imagine if you could access specialists talking to you about their prices, educating you on how they differ; empowering you with information.  Imagine if you were able to access this before having the money conversation with your partner, then using it as a tool to educate them on how much things cost.

And as a supplier, imagine if you didn’t spend all of your spare time preparing quotes that only eventuated 25% of the time, or constantly providing justification of your pricing. Imagine what you could be doing with that time, and how that would change the day to day running of your business.

Well, this is where I am taking Own Your Day Weddings.  I want my Directory to become the go to place for genuine suppliers wanting to list their services, and gorgeous couples wanting to book their suppliers, knowing they are not being taken advantage of.   I want couples to come to my Directory to educate themselves, connect with specialists, and empower themselves with all the information required to make considered decisions.

It may be early days, but I’m so very excited to start empowering you all to have these honest conversations about pricing, and connect you with suppliers who genuinely care about making your day amazing!

We are launching very soon so stay tuned – be sure to sign up to my mailing list for updates.

Laura x