What Do Brides-to-Be Think of Fibbing to Save?

They call it the Wedding Tax – admit your flower, cake, or dress order is for a ceremony and reception, and there’s a chance that the cost will rise. Plus, let it slip that you’re a bride and, uh oh, suddenly everyone you’re dealing with is convinced that you’re going to morph into a witch with a B. Now we know, of course, that not every vendor charges double for “wedding ______” and that nice chicks are nice brides, but that doesn’t stop some brides-to-be from hedging their bets by shopping for their nuptials without ever once mentioning the word wedding.

An article about bride’s keeping mum has me thinking about it. Are wedding vendors cashing in on the fact that brides and grooms are emotionally invested in this particular type of party? Or do vendors have to routinely go above and beyond when they’re working weddings, so really they’re justified in charging more? Full disclosure: For my mom’s wedding, we said the flowers were just for a party, but at the same time, we weren’t getting anything outlandish and it was a pick-up order, so no delivery or set-up was involved.

What do you think? The article makes it seem like it’s one of those things that everyone is doing or should be doing, at least sometimes. Is it okay to tell vendors you’re shopping for plain old party supplies, or should brides-to-be always be up front about what it is they’re really planning?

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6 Responses to “What Do Brides-to-Be Think of Fibbing to Save?”

  1. La Petite Acadienne says:

    I think it depends on the situation. It’s probably not fair to keep mum about it being a wedding, order something elaborate or labour-intensive from a vendor, and then if there are snags, start wailing, “But it’s for my wedding!”

    If it’s something small, then why not? I didn’t mention the “W” word when ordering my wedding bouquet, mainly because it wasn’t a bouquet. I just ordered a dozen rust-coloured roses and some hypericum berries to our hotel room, and assembled it into a bouquet myself the night before the wedding. I did the lion’s share of the work, so why pay more just because the flowers were for a wedding?

  2. Toni says:

    I think it depends on the vendor. As a (casual) photographer, I would be upset if I was hired to photograph a “party” and then found out it was a wedding. Not that I wouldn’t always bring my ‘A’ game to a paid gig, but for a wedding I might rent/borrow an extra camera, make sure I have way more memory cards than I think I need, spend extra prep time remembering lists of suggested photos, and do other extra things to get ready. Four hours of taking photos for a “party” is just not the same as a wedding where there are a million specific things to remember.

    That said, I can think of other events (50th anniversary, perhaps?) that would fall into the “party” category that would require the same amount of forethought that a wedding would, and I would charge similarly.

    Basically, if I really am getting an equal amount of service, I simply wouldn’t want to work with a vendor that’s going to charge an extra fee just for the word “wedding.” Unless you’re someone who regularly throws lavish events, most of us don’t realize all the behind-the-scenes details that go into such a large event, and I’d want to make sure my vendors have all the necessary information.

    For the record, when I went wedding dress shopping, when I expressed concern over my budget, the saleslady happily steered me towards the clearance aisle, and also suggested the more affordable quinceanera dress that ended up being perfect for me, and at $400, for my wallet. She could have made a fuss about “it’s a wedding” and that I “needed” something more “appropriate” for the occasion, but instead she actually offered up the info that the quinceanera dresses were basically same as the wedding ones, just without a train (easier to dance in!), and at a lower price point.

    Ok, enough rambling for now. 🙂

  3. Emi!y says:

    @Toni – I understand as a vendor wanting to be prepared for whatever event your hired, but if someone is booking you as a party photographer and you end up at a wedding, why wouldn’t you just shoot it as a party? I’ve seen this argument before, but I think if I were to ever do the same thing, I’d be asking for a party photographer – ie: I’d expect more casual photos than the standard wedding packages contain. I agree with Christa that the problem would be if the bride then complains that you’re ruining “Her Day.”

    I honestly don’t understand the practice of the wedding tax. I work for a florist, and if you order a hand-tied bouquet, it’s going to cost the same whether it’s for your wedding or if it’s going on a vase on your mantle, but I’ve seen photographers have completely different websites and pricing guides for weddings and, say, family reunions/babies/parties/kids.

  4. Toni says:

    I think I may have misstated my position. I completely agree that a vendor shouldn’t charge more for a “wedding” than for another event similar in size and scope. A bride shouldn’t be denied the optiom of having “just” a party photographer, or assembling her own bouquet, or wearing a “non-wedding” dress if she wants. But why can’t she just state that honestly? Why the need for deception?

    And yes, it’s because some vendors DO impose a “wedding tax” which is also a shame. Dunno, there is no easy solution. I just know that I like to be as prepared as possible for events, and might be thrown at a surprise “wedding” discovery.

  5. SarahDances says:

    I assume we’ve all seen this sketch before. It’s all I could think of when a saw this post! And there’s more like it, too.


  6. Jane says:

    i would keep it quiet. ppl go overboard with their prices and they take advantage of you.