Would you Lie to Your Wedding Vendors?

I was interviewed by the Globe & Mail for Saturday’s article I do, but Shhh: Bargain Hunting Brides Keep Mum to Cut Their Costs. The reporter asked how I feel about brides telling vendors that they are having a party instead of a wedding, to avoid higher costs. Read my answer here.

How do you feel about lying to wedding vendors?

BTW, The Globe & Mail also ran an article on the top trends in 2010. No surprise that smaller guests lists made the list.

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  1. Posted by Lizzie on June 7th, 2010 at 9:11am

    What a GREAT article. My fiance and I tried the "It's not for a wedding" schpeal with the first vendor that we loved...and when they came out a few weeks later to ask "Is...this for a wedding?" (125 people...a few keywords she'd been trained to look for...) She was upset when she found out, she didn't say anything, but it was really awkward...and I don't blame her. Thanks for sharing this part of the planning! I loved hearing it from you.
  2. Posted by Michelle on June 7th, 2010 at 10:31am

    As a wedding cake decorator, I would be upset if someone lied to me and would probably cancel their order. I do charge extra for my wedding cakes, but only because there is a lot of extra time that goes into making them perfect, not because of the occasion. A 2 tiered birthday cake may take 2 hours, and the same sized wedding cake can take 3-4 (plus delivery and set up)depending on what the bride wants. My time is worth something too. I sympathize with brides who have to put up with dishonest vendors who only see a big fat check coming, but there are those of us who are in the business to take care of our customers the right way too. I agree that honesty is the best policy.
  3. Posted by Dana on June 7th, 2010 at 11:49am

    A lie is a lie is a lie. As a wedding photographer, my partner and I work hard to build great relationships and trust with our couples. A lie like this would undo that trust and destroy the relationship. We spend hours preparing for each wedding, and learn as much as we can about important people and events at the wedding, which helps us give better service. If a bride misrepresents her wedding as a party, she is not only shortchanging herself, she is also ensuring she will never work with her chosen vendors again, not to mention starting her marriage with a lie.
  4. Posted by Christine on June 7th, 2010 at 11:51am

    I decided a few years ago to make my life easier and charge the same hourly rate no matter what the event. That way, couples don't feel like I'm charging more just because it is a wedding.

    When you're working with your wedding vendors - especially your photographer, who you are trusting to document your day - I think honesty really is the best policy. You want them to do their job well, so why start the relationship off with a lie?
  5. Posted by The Thirty-Something bride on June 7th, 2010 at 1:31pm

    I experimented with this "it's cheaper if you don't say wedding" nonsense when pricing out our reception venues. I called during week one and asked about a family reunion that would be about 75 people, sit down dinner, DJ/dancing, etc. I had my fiance call back week two and ask the same question with the same parameters. The three places we called all quoted the same price both times.
    That being said, it really doesn't matter. The bride will be doing herself AND the vendor a huge disservice with the lie.
  6. Posted by Rachel on June 7th, 2010 at 11:26pm

    I can understand both sides of the issue. But I think its different for each vendor. The photographer NEEDS to know its a wedding. And so does the venue. But the caterer, cake maker, florist? Not so much. The commenter above said that she charges more for wedding cakes because she puts more time and effort into decorating wedding cakes...but if a couple is fine with a simple, unadorned cake that the baker would make for a birthday party, why should they have to pay more just because its for their wedding? No need to cancel their order, just put birthday-level effort into it instead of wedding-level effort.
  7. Posted by Moz on June 8th, 2010 at 3:08am

    I agree with Rachel. There are some vendors who need to know and others who don't.

    If a bride says to her hairdresser that she wants a simple up-do, then the bride will get what she asked for at the right price. A bride having a simple event may just want a simple up-do and no 'oh my gosh, it's your wedding' drama and up-selling. On the big day, simple and normal might just be what she's after. Same with makeup - you want something that looks good and photographs well. And for the cake - they might just want regular cakes with no fuss.

    I agree that the photographer needs to be told and that this is a case of honesty is best, but I'd also like to add that a fair hack of photographers are positively extortionist when it comes to pricing.

    I might add that I work in the wedding industry so I have some experience with this.
  8. Posted by Dream Wedding Italy on June 8th, 2010 at 10:57am

    It's a tough one, and I think that in most cases it is best to be honest. It's a shame that some unscrupulous vendors who just see $$$ when they hear the word "wedding" have brought it to this.
  9. Posted by Amy on August 19th, 2010 at 10:36pm

    Flip it around. How you feel if your wedding vendors lied to you? If you can't be honest with them, then why should you expect them to be honest with you?
  10. Posted by Clair on September 16th, 2010 at 12:16pm

    I agree that some vendors need to know and others don't. For my daughter's wedding, for the cake we went with a 7" cake plus two different flavored cupcakes. Both were something they standardly do, and the bakery in question is one that is tried and true. The total? $70 plus tax. One bakery we investigated apparantly saw dollar signs when we mentioned the "w" word, and wanted $80 to RENT a plastic cupcake/ cake stand. Our answer? We bought a much nicer looking one on Etsy for $35. For the shower, we simply said it was a group of friends getting together, which, incidentally, is NOT a lie. Since it was planned for a weekday evening, there was no charge for the room, and only the price of food and drinks. With the wedding/ reception site, located in a restaurant, prices were negotiated and then they were told. The photographer was absolutely told from the beginning, as was a guitarist playing the wedding music. Since the photographer would be taking photos at the salon, we made the appointment for bridal, and paid the according extra expense, figuring it would be an exciting time that we would want to share, and for their trouble with dealing with the photographer.

    I asked a friend that is a musician recently WHY they charge more for weddings. Now this may not be true of all types of vendors, but I bet it's true more often than we suspect. His answer? You're paying for the stress of perfection. A wedding is much more likely to intimidate a musician than a party would be. Makes a lot of sense, and helped to guide me in who we decided to let into the loop.

    Lastly, I did NOT find this technique to be my best wedding funds-saver. The best one I located? ETSY. We had a custom guest book hand made, beautiful invitations, programs, placecards and favor boxes, the cake stand and earrings and got FAR better quality for the price. I've learned my lesson, and am already looking at Etsy for an upcoming baby shower for another daughter.
  11. Posted by Christina on September 17th, 2010 at 9:45am

    Clair, thanks so much for your input. So true that what you are paying for is 'the stress of making things perfect!' I LOVE Etsy too! So much talent and you can really get some great prices.
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