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If you’re engaged, you probably don’t have to imagine the following scenario. You’ve had the best time telling all your friends and family the great news. You’ve already put together a Pinterest board with all your dream wedding ideas saved to it. Then one evening, you sit down with your fiancé to start researching wedding vendors. You start seeing the average prices for wedding services, and your heart starts to sink. Now you’re left wondering, why are wedding vendors so expensive?
We often hear from couples, “why are wedding vendors so expensive?!”. Pricing can feel downright scary or discouraging at times! Sometimes it feels like vendors charge a “wedding tax” that doesn’t apply to other events to bring in more revenue. That’s rarely the whole story!
This post won’t give you budget-saving tips, but we hope it helps you form a solid understanding of the industry. Then you can feel more peace as you make decisions regarding your budget, vendor team, and overall wedding plans!
There’s a trend on social media where vendors break down their costs so clients can understand why they charge what they charge. We think it’s helpful for clients to understand the value of what they pay for! The cost of doing business in this industry is high. In addition, there’s so much more going on behind the scenes than you realize.
Those are some things a lot of couples don’t realize vendors have to do or pay for. That list is just scratching the surface of it all!
And for the sake of transparency, we’ll give a general breakdown of our own costs!
Almost half of the price of our coordination package goes toward labor and payroll tax for each wedding alone. Our monthly expenses are around $800/month for rent, insurance, payroll, accounting services, and other subscriptions we need to run efficiently. This is the cost it takes for us to do our job well.
We can currently only do about 40-45 weddings a year without being tipped over the edge. If we did 45, that puts our income BEFORE all our other one-off expenses and tax at $55,650. There are a lot of other expenses, and taxes are no joke. This is why we charge more than the $600 we charged 1.5 years ago– Jessica and her husband funded the business out of their other jobs for a long time.
Now, there are instances you’ll see vendors charge more for a wedding than for a similar-sized event!
While we can’t speak for every vendor, let us offer this perspective:
Corporate clients or large parties tend to be a lot easier to manage and less time intensive. There are also services that are expected for weddings but not for other events. A catering company is accommodating tighter timelines, cake cutting, or complimentary delivered lunches for the bridal party. This means they need extra servers, bussers, and other on-site staff for the event.
The biggest point we think people miss? If you’re hiring someone to bring the biggest day of your life to fruition, you want to have easy communication with them and to have them be nearly as dedicated to your day as you are. We’ve included our best tips for communicating with vendors here to help you!
It’s totally okay if certain prices aren’t in your budget, but you have to understand that you make a trade off when you pay someone a lower price for their service.
Also, burnout is a real and pervasive issue in the event industry, and there’s a limit to how many events a vendor can work before they can’t go on any more.
Think of it like this… how many weddings would a photographer have to shoot in a year to make a living income if they only charge $1,000 per wedding? The answer is too many! This is another main reason why wedding vendors are so expensive.
We’re so thankful that our clients appreciate all the hard work their vendors do. We truly want to serve you the best we can! However that means having the financial flexibility that allows our businesses to support us and not become a burden!
So while no vendor should ever budget-shame you or make you feel bad if you can’t afford their service, we hope this helps you understand why prices for wedding vendors are so expensive!
Let us leave you with one last note. If vendor prices are causing you to feel stressed about your wedding budget, remember that money is not required to have a beautiful wedding day. You may have to make some creative decisions, prioritize what’s important to you, or do extra research to find vendors who are just starting off and willing to charge less, but everyone can have their perfect day.
No matter how big your wedding budget is, the most important thing you can do while planning is to stay focused on what really matters—your marriage—and not get caught up in details that will pass away with time!
The Radiantly Curated Weddings Team