I was alerted to this story by multiple readers – thanks, y’all! – recently, and I thought it could definitely inspire some discussion here. We wedding bloggers often push a that-look-for-less mentality because, hey, why shouldn’t a bride without a huge wedding budget get to look and feel gorgeous on her wedding day? Truthfully, there are plenty of wedding dresses, accessories, floral arrangements, etc. that can indeed be had for less. There are also those that can’t – but I could see how wedding vendors could feel pressured to undercharge because so many more brides, empowered by us wedding bloggers, are insisting upon getting the biggest possible bang for their bucks.
Paul Pannone touched on this topic in a post at E Wed News:
The effects of information being provided to consumers by so-called experts is felt to be impacting business owner’s ability– or inability– to keep up with rising cost of operation. Struggling consumers are being empowered by information that placates them from voiced opinions of perceived authorities, confirming that somehow merchants should not be allowed to make a profit for their hard work and efforts.
Some are said to be up in arms over statements and comparisons made by a representative from The Knot. Anja Winikka, Editor of TheKnot.com, appeared on the popular TODAY show and compared several wedding items including wedding dresses ranging from $5,000 dollars to $600. But it was her statement that a less expensive center piece with the same color pallet could be had for “less than a hundred bucks”.
Is The Knot or are the wedding bloggers empowering brides to a deleterious degree? While wedding vendors don’t have to do what they do at a discount, the consumer can impact the perceived value of goods and services. At the same time, if a bride comes to a wedding vendor with unrealistic expectations, isn’t it up to that vendor to educate that bride? I don’t think it’s that surprising that brides don’t know how much certain flowers or fabrics cost or how much time is worth to a wedding professional.
Jenny Scala of the Society of American Florists did just that, writing to Anja Winikka in the wake of the gaff.
We thought you would want to know we have heard from member florists who are concerned the segment gives brides an unrealistic expectation of the price of flowers. In fact, several florists from various parts of the country priced what they saw in the arrangements and came up with a retail price that was twice what was quoted on the show. Some even speculated whether the costs were possibly at wholesale prices vs. retail, which includes all supplies used in the bouquet, plus labor, delivery and installation.
Seems pretty straightforward to me. I’ve always advised brides to ask for whatever kinds of discounts they think they can get, but I’m also quick to caution that wedding vendors are free to say no. Thoughts?