Six Lies the Wedding Industry Tells You (and how to handle them)

by Melissa on January 17, 2012

Lie #1: “We’ll work within your budget!”

The translation: Instead of listing pricing information on my website, I will use that phrase to entice couples to contact me so that I can woo them and convince them my services are essential. And when they resist my pricing, I will show a good faith effort and lower my price 5-10%.

How to handle it: Let me explain what “we will work within your budget” actually means. It means that a caterer might be able to lower their price from $110 per person to $95 per person. Does that help any of you all out? Hells no!  When communicating with vendors, let them know how many guests will attend and what your overall wedding budget is, not just your budget for that particular vendor. That will let that vendor know immediately what they are working with, and whether they’ll be able to actually “work within your budget.” Reality check for brides: Don’t ever expect a $110 per person caterer to lower their price to $20 per person.

Lie #2: A “Budget” wedding dress will cost you at least two grand.

The translation: You are a bride. Therefore I can assume you have seen at least two dozen episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress.” Therefore I can easily convince you that $2000 is considered a budget wedding dress.

How to handle it: A budget wedding dress is not $2000. You can get very inexpensive wedding dresses. I bought my ceremony dress for $175 from Ebay, and my reception dress from Macy’s for $139. You can order dresses from China. You can buy used wedding dresses. You can do a lot of things that do not involve $2000 wedding dresses.

When you try on dresses, tell them that your wedding dress budget, including alterations, is $500 max. Do not waver. Do not apologize. If they can help you out, they will, by offering you sample gowns, or letting you know when their next trunk sale is.

Lie #3: “You need a day of coordinator if your wedding day will run smoothly.”

The translation: I will instill fear and panic by convincing you that EVERYTHING CAN GO WRONG on your wedding day if you don’t hire a day-of-coordinator. I will leave out the parts about how you, your friends, and family can help out.

How to handle it: Okay, okay. We all know that I had my own issues with our day-of-coordinator. And if you’re not an organized person or think you might have trouble executing your vision, then by all means, hire a day-of-coordinator.  But a day-of-coordinator is not a necessity. Instead, enlist the help of a few friends the morning of your wedding and go to the venue and set things up! This is not brain surgery. Have a detailed task list for each person, organize the task list in chronological order (for instance, tablecloths go on tables before centerpieces go on tables) and execute it!

Lie #4 “Oh, your guests will really prefer …

(insert idea here: having transportation from hotel to venue, having hors d’oeuvres before dinner, having a full bar instead of wine and beer).”

The translation: I am a salesperson. I am trying to sell you things. I am trying to make you feel bad by telling you that your guests will think you’re inconsiderate if you don’t buy my services.

How to handle it: Throw this ridiculousness back on them. “Wow, really? My guests are coming to the wedding to celebrate our marriage, not with expectations of [Getting shuttled around, having expensive h’orderves, etc.].  How silly some people must be to think they need those things!”  The end.

Lie #5: You need to book wedding vendors very far in advance

The translation: I am a small business owner. I would really really like to be able to project my cash flow far in advance and have bookings far in advance.

How to handle it: I got married on a very popular wedding date, 11-11-11. So, I was in a huge rush to book vendors like our photographer. But other vendors, such as ceremony musicians and hair stylists, I couldn’t decide on, so I waited probably a bit later than I should. But I couldn’t believe it! Even two months prior to the wedding, I was able to book vendors for a popular wedding date with no problem!  I had no trouble at all getting my preferred choice of vendors. What does this say to me? Brides are serious procrastinators, and the wedding industry just tells you that you have to book everything really far in advance. And brides don’t listen to that advice. So, carry on and don’t panic when a vendor tells you that you have to book them ASAP.

Like #6: Bridal shows are a great way to find and book vendors!

The translation: Vendors have to pay a lot of money on marketing, so this is a great way to let a lot of people know about their business at once.

How to handle it. There’s a lot of debate on whether bridal shows are beneficial. I went to one, and didn’t like it. Vendors spammed me afterwards, and some even sent countless follow up e-mails. But, there were some yummy food and cake samples, and a few fun pieces of schwag, like pens and canvas bags. But I did not, under any circumstances, find a vendor there that looked promising. So, make the decision for yourself. Weigh the cost of the bridal show against the potential benefits (while realizing they might be minimal).