Understanding the costs behind wedding supplier quotes

As a wedding planner, I feel it's important for my clients to understand the costs associated with their wedding day. Weddings are special occasions, we love splurging on them (and why not!) but without a clear understanding of those costs, we often conclude that weddings are overpriced, which isn’t the case when you break it down.

This blog aims to shine some much needed light on the ‘pricing corner’ of the wedding industry. I’ve also put together a useful wedding budget guide to give couples an idea of what their budget could be when working with a wedding planner.

Due to the amount couples generally invest into their celebration, I like to explain the costs involved with each supplier and why they charge what they do. Why? This will manage your expectations, and help you to understand, and ultimately embrace, the cost of your wedding day.

The first, and obvious factor, is time.

As a wedding planner and stylist, I’ll spend somewhere between 250 – 300 hours planning your wedding. Much of that time is spent researching your options, creating and refining designs you’ll love, and preparing endless logistical details to ensure a flawless result on the day itself. This applies to most suppliers in the industry, though exactly when that time is spent varies from service to service.

For example, florists are extremely hands-on in the days leading up to wedding, ordering and receiving flower deliveries, preparing and cleaning stems, ensuring each flower opens on time, and starting early on the morning of the wedding to be set up on time.

For photographers and videographers, the beforehand prep is less than other suppliers. Though on the wedding day, your photographer and videographer will be on their feet for most of day, capturing each special and fleeting moment while still expertly giving you space to enjoy yourselves and celebrate. After the wedding day, hours upon hours are spent culling and editing images and footage, sourcing soundtracks, and curating wedding albums.

Aside from time, you’re also paying for a supplier’s experience and expertise, specifically in weddings.

All the suppliers I know and am friends with have taken different routes to reach where they are today, be that attending paid workshops or courses, investing money into editorials to improve their portfolios or simply accumulating years upon years of valuable industry experience.

Weddings are different to standard events, they’re so much more special and intimate. As wedding suppliers, we care deeply for our couples and that the outcome of their wedding day is everything they hope for. But we also recognise and understand the emotions and dynamics that come into play with weddings and can adapt accordingly. This is where an experienced supplier can be so important to the success and enjoyment of your wedding day.

This experience and expertise also allow suppliers to have a more exclusive approach to booking weddings.

For many suppliers, achieving a work life balance means limiting the number of weddings we take on each year and charging premium fees for premium services. I would say this is where people’s thoughts on weddings being overpriced come from.

It's important to remember that the quality of your wedding suppliers will directly correlate with the quality of your wedding planning experience and the day itself.

The time spent on your wedding, our experience and expertise, as well as limited availability with some suppliers are all factors in the expense of a wedding.

But sometimes the cost is actually due to the guestlist.

All my couples know their biggest cost is their per head cost (the number of people you need to seat and cater for). The per head cost for catering and beverages may not seem like a lot until you’ve multiplied it by 120 and suddenly this amount along with the rest of the wedding costs feels like much more than you originally anticipated. The number of guests you choose to invite to the seated dinner plays a defining role in your budgeting.

The cost price of your materials is another important factor in the final price.

Luxurious cardstock is expensive, as are out-of-season flowers or quality hair and beauty products.

Recapping today’s read, factors contributing to the cost of your wedding quotes can be:

  • The amount of time we spend planning and preparing for your wedding

  • The level of expertise and invaluable experience we bring to your wedding day

  • Our limited capacity for weddings each year

  • The number of people you’re inviting to the wedding

  • And the cost price of the items you’ve selected

Bearing all these points in mind when receiving your first quotes from suppliers will help you to be much more understanding of their prices.

And as promised: a breakdown of a general wedding budget in the UK, based on couples working with a wedding planner. It’s important to remember that every budget is individual and customised to the client’s priorities – there is no one size fits all when it comes to weddings.

UK Wedding Budget guide estimation

Planning a wedding in the UK or Europe? Contact me to find out more about how I support couples through the wedding planning and styling process - I'd love to hear from you!