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St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | More Lies: “Ssshhhh….Don’t Tell Them It’s A Wedding!”
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More Lies: “Ssshhhh….Don’t Tell Them It’s A Wedding!”

Somebody’s going to be mad.

I’ve heard it all at this point.  There are a lot of “arrognorant” (the lethal mix of arrogance and ignorance plaguing the world) advice going around now that it is wedding season.  Once again, I feel it is prevalent because of the horrible economic tides we are trying to tame as well as the overall lack of public trust in any practically any business (Thanks, AIG, Freddie, Fannie, Madoff and countless others!  You’re a swell bunch).

What’s (the lie) going around now is that it’s smarter to tell your vendors that you are planning a “big party!”  rather than a wedding, because everyone knows that entertainment/event vendors are out to rip everyone off the minute they say “The W word”.  So to combat that, and to make sure you protect what’s left of your 401K, you decide to lie to everyone.

It’s like going to the doctor, tell the staff that you have a terrible stomach ache.  Once you’ve been whisked back into the doctor’s examining room, you reveal “Just kidding. I’m really pregnant and in labor right now. I know when you guys hear the word ‘maternity’,  the prices double”.

Great way to start a relationship. (That was sarcasm)

Trust is a two way street.   Your wedding vendors are trusting that you will pay them on time.  So that, in turn, they can pay their staff, mortgages and gas and electric bills on time. They are also trusting that you will keep your date and follow-through with an actual event.  More likely than not,they have turned down other events so that they could show you exemplary client service and attention.  When you lie to them from the beginning (because they will find out that it’s an actual wedding, and not some “big party”), they have no incentive to trust you, let alone like you.  It will make your vendor feel as if you questioned their integrity without communicating any concerns, and decided to deceive them for your own benefit (a little pot calling the kettle black, eh?).

In case this piece of info isn’t printed in anyone’s wedding magazine or allowed to run rampant on a wedding message board, I’ll say it here:  wedding vendors are a tight community. If you feel the need to try to get over on any of your wedding vendors with lies and deception, you had better believe that other wedding vendors will hear about it, too.  It could  make it a lot harder for you to find other vendors that will want to work with you once they have heard about your antics.   A wedding is not just a big party.  It’s your wedding. Don’t take anything away from that by calling it something that it isn’t. If it were really just “one big party”, then why not go to the courthouse and rock out at Chuck E. Cheese?  There very well may be some unscrupulous vendors out there who mark their prices up because it’s a wedding, and some may feel warranted in doing so due to the expectations and other details they will have to deal with.   For the rest of us that run our businesses honestly, we have set our prices for the amount of work we do.  As a wedding planner, it is my job to make sure that brides and grooms get what they are looking for and that any wedding day related charges are services are legitimate.  If you run into several mark ups with venues or vendors that you have dreamt of using, it may be time to find vendors you can actually afford to use. If you find someone who is less than honest about their fees—do not book them!

But remember, a stomach ache is not the same thing as being in labor 😉

I’m sure my other wedding planner and vendor friends will be able to offer so much more insight, so let’s keep the conversation going.

:: Photo ~ Bjorn de Leeuw ::

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  • I must admit, this is the first time I’ve heard something so misleading. But we all know lies spread like the plague and therefore people are easily infected especially in the economic downturn. In reality the people that are telling these lies are the main culprits for putting such fear and distrust out there. Vendors and clients forge relationships through the planning process and what’s a relationship without trust. Clients should be able to completely trust their vendors and vise versa.
    My 2 Cents

    May 18, 2009 at 9:18 am
  • I can’t believe anyone would actually do this. But beyond that, a vendor is going to prepare differently for a wedding verses a party, the bride & groom would be doing themselves a disservice by “surprising” the vendor on the actual day of the wedding. And I love “But remember, a stomach ache is not the same thing as being in labor.”

    May 18, 2009 at 10:58 am
  • People suggested I do this at the beginning of my planning. As a customer who deals with other kinds of vendors in my daily job, I knew that lying about my event would be detrimental to all. I did do some “test” cold-calls to a few venues to see if there was a difference in prices between a wedding for 100 versus a “family reunion” for 100. Only one location was seriously off-base, by about 30%. However, that location was also very vague about every aspect of what was offered on both accounts.
    That being said, I have found that my best vendors are the ones who I have the best relationships with. We didn’t hire them unless we clicked. 🙂

    May 18, 2009 at 11:30 am
  • You know, comparing wedding planning to party planning is like comparing apples to oranges.

    I realize that people don’t always see it, but the two events are typically quite different when it comes to the scope of work, resources of staff and materials.

    With that being said, prices are typically going to be different for the two events.

    I would venture to guess that 99% of your wedding vendors are not trying to charge you more simply because you said the word, “Wedding.” They are making their price projections based on the fact that they have managed numerous wedding and events annually and they what is required of them for each event.

    Love & Soul Always, Kay

    May 18, 2009 at 6:29 pm
  • Hey, if you want to lie to me….no problem. But instead of flowers, favors, one-of-a-kind wedding cake … you may end up with a pinata, glo sticks and ring pops.

    Oh. This isn’t a kid birthday party?

    May 18, 2009 at 7:03 pm
  • You know, when I was getting married, I thought it was unfair that weddings cost more. But after I went through a year and a half of planning and the event itself, I realized it was a *lot* more work for my vendors than a corporate party would have been. Dealing with my mother was a *very* different experience than dealing with a professional event planner or PR exec, I’m sure. Weddings require so much hand-holding and personal service, and such precise attention to detail. If vendors charge a premium for that, it’s not gouging – it reflects the true cost of services rendered.

    May 18, 2009 at 8:22 pm
  • I’ve heard of this, but not experienced it myself. I hired a wedding planner for my wedding, although I had planned corporate events for years. Why? Because I had no idea what to do for a wedding. Completely different animal from a corporate meeting.

    The vendors I work with charge what they charge. I haven’t seen any changes based on event or client…I wouldn’t use them if I had. I’m not sure how I’d handle this issue, but I don’t think I’d be comfortable. Maybe my contract needs a new clause for “surprises”!

    May 18, 2009 at 10:00 pm
  • I’m guessing a lot more people are trying to pull this trick with the economy in the dumps.

    May 20, 2009 at 7:10 pm
  • Right on Friend! Hahahahaha

    May 21, 2009 at 12:18 am
  • Message boards and wedding forums are a double edged sword! There is so much good to be found, but so much really awful too! Why would anyone start such a rumor? Wedding vendors are not terrible people and we are doing a job, just like accountants and grocery store clerks. Somehow, we have gotten to be money- grubbing liars. I have read similar things on other sites and I just don’t get it. Give us all a break and let us do what we are supposed to do- make dreams come true.

    May 21, 2009 at 8:15 am
  • That’s awful. To think the very first thing someone asks you might be a lie. It’s never happened to me, but then you don’t get many professional photographers employed at “large parties”.

    July 15, 2009 at 3:14 pm
  • Oh, Amen, Terrica, Amen. It’s amazing the difference between the time I spend with my corporate clients and my brides–2, 3, 4x the amount of time. My time is valuable and thus I charge more to plan a wedding than a Christmas party. Preach on!

    September 3, 2009 at 2:01 pm
  • Lily


    Well, here’s my 2cents worth. I’ve run across some articles that say “don’t tell them its a wedding when trying to get price estimates because they’ll jack it up.” OK, but you have to eventually tell them that it’s a wedding so point taken. Planning a wedding does take a much more time than any other event I’ve had to plan. But what about other wedding-related services like a live band? We were searching for a live band to perform and one band posted a blog on their website that left a bad taste in my mouth. They were giving advice to other bands (who are just starting out) about what to charge for their services. They specifically said that if it’s a wedding, they can charge up to $20 per person (for example) as opposed to a birthday party where they can charge $8 per person “because people having a wedding are willing to spend more.” I really cannot image what a band has to do differently at a wedding. Both events (wedding vs. birthday party) will probably want to suggest some must-play songs. Both will have people dancing to their music. What kind of service will they provide at a wedding that they won’t at a birthday? This is why part of me sees the rationale of “don’t tell them its a wedding” when getting price quotes.

    September 22, 2009 at 8:37 pm

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