Vendors Charge Too Much, or So People Think

This was a phrase that I saw recently on a forum for engaged couples to talk about their wedding problems and concerns.

While I understand where this bride was coming from, having been married myself, I also understand the other side of the coin as I also film weddings.

I know how it was to be budget-crunched and feeling like your wedding vendors are just out to con you out of an extra thousand dollars just because you are hiring them for a wedding instead of some other, more mundane event.

Everyone is against you when you are strapped for cash while trying to fund the best day of your life.

So believe me when I say I understand where you are coming from, but before you are quick to judge, please take these things into consideration.

Vendors Are Professionals

It takes a lot of knowledge and skill to know what you are doing with flowers, a video camera, a photo camera, DJ equipment, etc.

Vendors have taken the time to invest in themselves and gain the skill and knowledge it takes to work said equipment, and therefore have earned the right to charge a premium.

You don’t want an amateur who doesn’t know what they are doing, or worse, who will mess up and ruin your big day.

One thing that you are paying for in your vendors is the comfort that they know what they are doing and can do it right.

Vendors Need To Pay Rent Too

It may not seem fair that a wedding photographer may charge $2,500 to take pictures of you for 10 hours, but you also have to think of it in terms of how many weddings a vendor can possibly do in a year.

There are 52 weeks in a year. 20 of these weeks are during cold fall and winter months, making it hard if not impossible to book a wedding. That leaves you with 32 weeks a year to POSSIBLY book a wedding. Hardly anyone books every weekend, and weddings on days other than Saturdays are rare, so we can probably say that 25 to 30 weddings can be booked in a year. That means that at $2,500 per wedding, the photographer will make $62,500 – $75,000 per year.

This may not seem like a bad salary, but it is still quite low for someone with a professional skill. Not to mention the self-education, classes, and updating equipment that needs to take place so the vendor can be on top of new technology with the latest knowledge and best equipment to remain competitive in their market.

These expenses along with the cost of advertising, traveling, insurance on equipment, individual health insurance plans not subsidized by an employer, and booking new clients leaves only an average salary left for normal human expenses like food and rent.

When you have fewer chances to make money during a year, your price is going to be higher to compensate for the slow winter months and unbooked weeks.

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They Work More Days Than You Think

Think wedding vendors only work for those 30 wedding Saturdays a year?

Not quite.

Not only do they work a long day on your wedding day, but they have to spend the time and effort finding new clients, meeting with you, booking you, and prepping info and techniques for your wedding.

Vendors like videographers and photographers have to spend time afterwards uploading your photos or video, editing different versions of each image, picking the best image, sending you some samples, making revisions, making final copies, and sending the copies to you.

The winter months are spent coming up with strategies to grow the business for next year, reworking packages offered, reviewing last year’s work and seeing where improvements can be made for future clients, advertising and booking clients for next year, and all the while trying to budget and survive the winter on money earned earlier in the year.

In order to get exposure, vendors usually have to attend bridal fairs which can cost $500+ for a table plus extra for wifi and electricity to be able to show their work.

Bridal fairs are NOT cheap.

Vendors Have Competition

Then, there is the competition to think about.

There are many individuals in your area offering the same exact type of service. This often drives pricing down to remain competitive.

Think about that.

It drives pricing DOWN.

Without other people charging “Way too much” in your area, prices for weddings would be higher, meaning that they are worth more than you are actually paying.

There is also the factor that there is a stigma that vendors need to cost a certain amount to be considered professional. Are you going to hire the $250/day photographer to be in charge of your preserving cherished memories, or the vendor who charges $2,000?

The 2 grand photographer sounds more capable to me, because they have thrived in the business long enough to be able to charge that much.

Vendors Offer A Certain Guarantee & Peace of Mind

And why do vendors charge more for a wedding than they do for the exact same service hours of a different event?

You can do a reshoot for senior pictures.

You cannot do a reshoot for your wedding.

What you are paying for here is peace of mind. You are paying for the professional to bring their A-game and deliver their best performance for your one-off event. There is a lot of pressure to perform on a wedding day, and some otherwise qualified vendors can’t operate under that type of pressure.

Pay a little more for the pros, and you get what you paid for.


We would love to hear your opinion on this.

Am I way off base with these points, or am I even missing some points as to why vendors deserve what they get paid?

Sound off in the comments below!