Despite what some people may say…
Size. Does. Matter.
Are you planning your wedding for 350-450 people and can’t believe how expensive the quotes your getting are? Especially for items like wedding decor, cupcakes, catering, and bar service?
I’ve seen and heard several reactions but most come in the form of- “that is bullsh*t”, “she’s just up charging because it’s a wedding- didn’t you see that story on the news about that”, “it will be so much cheaper if I do it myself, I don’t need a professional for that”.
HINT: The quote you got is not completely over-priced and irrational. The individual who gave it to you isn’t just trying to make a whole bunch of money off of your wedding, NO ONE goes into the wedding industry because they will get rich. No, they did not price it higher because it is a wedding. AND NO, it will not be cheaper if you do it yourself.
Most industry pros, base their prices very carefully on cost of materials, wages paid to employees that will be working on your event, and they also carefully scrutinize the pricing of their competition to make sure they are still coming in at competitive pricing for THEIR MARKET.
In fact I haven’t seen any quotes from vendors that are outside of the normal per person/per table rate that you would find anywhere in a comparable market. The difference here in this midwest market-
the SIZE of the wedding.
We are so used to giant weddings that we don’t even think about not whipping out a pen once that sparkle is on that finger and listing every human we’ve known since birth on that guest list. We get a guest list together as a couple, and get the guest list from his side and her side. Combine them together and WHAM we are inviting over 400-600+ people to our wedding. It’s not even something we bat an eyelash at, it’s just how it’s done everywhere, right?
Here is where things get tricky, on one hand, yes, it’s done that way everywhere, however, here in Minnesota we tend to count wayyy too many people in the “must haves” on that list. A childhood daycare provider that you haven’t spoken too in 10 years, mom and dad’s co-workers from a job they aren’t at anymore, parents of your brother’s basketball teammates, your dad’s old beer league softball team, you see where I’m going with this…
Quite often couples are contributing to their own wedding just as much as their parents and soon to be in-laws are. While analyzing your guest lists it is absolutely OK to go through with a fine tooth comb and weed out some of the people on that list, with approval and understanding from the party who invited that guest. It isn’t that they weren’t important to you or your parents at one time or another but the fact of the matter is, they may not be so important to you now in the lives you are leading and the journey you are about to begin.
Friends, I think it’s time that we Minnesotans take a hard look at our wedding guest lists. Especially in the age of Pinterest and larger than life expectations.
The average wedding guest count for Meaningful Moments is 370 people.
I knew that this was large compared to some markets, but I wanted to get a better idea of if our weddings were were ACTUALLY larger, or if it was all my perception of them being larger….
So I polled several planners from all over the United States on their average guest count, and here is what I got…
200 – Virginia Beach, VA
150 – New Orleans, LA
110 – Savannah, GA
150 – Idaho
100 – Washington State
200 – Arkansas
175 – Northern Wisconsin
150 – Los Angeles, CA
200 – South Carolina
150 – Maryland
That’s a pretty staggering difference, friends.
SO WHY AM I TELLING YOU THIS?! WOULDN’T I WANT TO MAKE MORE MONEY OFF OF DESIGNING FOR LARGER WEDDINGS?!
No. Because that’s not why I do what I do.
I felt that it would be important to share this information because it is my job as a planner to make sure that my clients know all of the ways to make their dream wedding happen, and often, having the guest count conversation early in the planning process helps them to achieve the wedding of their dreams and not stress out over sticker shock later in the game once we are working on catering and bar service choices and other planning aspects where head count matters.
So while it might be a little tough love, and I’ve debating over posting this blog for weeks, I felt you should know. Because I love you. And I want you to have the best day ever. Like, ever ever.