Thursday, February 17, 2011

Is it just me?

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that once the word "wedding" is tacked on to something, the price immediately increases dramatically? When Tom and I first became engaged, a friend of ours jokingly commented that by adding the word "wedding" to something, the price immediately increases 5 times. At first I thought he was being silly, but then I started planning our wedding.

The proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back" occurred when I started researching event rental companies to provide chairs for our ceremony. I called one location in search of 150 chairs. The gentlemen was ready to let me rent economical black folding chairs until I mentioned that they were for a wedding. Suddenly, he was only willing to rent me white "wedding chairs" for twice the price; because, in his words, the other chairs would not be appropriate for a wedding. Ultimately, Tom and I took our business elsewhere; however, this leaves me asking, why does planning a wedding imply that businesses can charge you extra?

The problem is, once you step back and look at things objectively, it is clear that the wedding industry does this all the time. For example, it is not common to find "wedding toasting flutes" on sale for $50 or more; whereas it is possible to buy an entire set of 12 champagne flutes for around $20. A sheet cake for a birthday party generally costs between $20 and $40, but wedding cakes average $5/slice. Then there are all the "personalized keepsakes" that are out there: personalized napkins, coasters, koozies, glasswear, etc. The other day I saw "personalized forks" for the bride and groom's "first bites of cake" for $40. No wonder the average price of a wedding is over $20,000.

To be fair, I will admit that I purchased personalized matches, on sale, to go with the candles that we are giving away for favors. I know some guests do appreciate a keepsake, so I wanted to leave that option. We are also planning to purchase a personalized server set. We happen to have a curio cabinet, and I think it would look lovely on display. At the same time, we are taking careful steps to select wedding accessories that can be used again after the wedding. I am also saving money by purchasing non-wedding specific items and decorating them to match our wedding theme and colors. The point that I'm trying to make is that it is unfair for the wedding industry to immediately increase the price of an item or service because it is labeled "wedding" and by doing this, many brides are lured into spending significantly more for something than necessary.

Have you experienced any price increases because of the word "wedding"?


  1. I understand. One of the rental places I was in contact with would not give me a quote on tables & chairs unless I told them what type of event it was for. I refused to go with that vendor because I knew they were gouging me since it was for a wedding. It shouldn't matter what type of event it is for. The chair is the same no matter what type of event it is!

  2. On remark to the cakes, it also makes a difference where you buy the cake. You could buy a birthday cake for $20-$40 at wal-mart, or buy a wedding cake for $50-$100 at the same place (price reflects twice the amount of cake) but for a wedding, you're not going to buy your cake at wal-mart, you're gonna go to a special bakery which would prob cost you a bunch for anything you get specially made there.

  3. You would be surprised, a common recommendation for brides-on-a-budget is to use the local grocery store or Wal-Mart for a cake. I was going to go this route until I looked into actual cost. The grocery store I talked to said we had our choice of chocolate, yellow, or marble cake with their regular or premium frosting, and wanted to charge nearly $4/slice! The baker we are going to let us pick from a variety of flavors and is only charging us $2.50/slice. I just think it's funny that a store that sells birthday cakes for $20 or so increases the price so much because I said "wedding".