Here comes the bride: and up goes the price

Mention the word “wedding” and events can cost you more

A CHOICE undercover shadow shop has revealed that if you mention the word “wedding” when booking an event more than half of the venues and suppliers will charge more than for an identical birthday event.

CHOICE sought quotes from 60 reception venues, cakes makers, hire car businesses, entertainments, florists and photographers in Sydney and Melbourne. One shopper asked for prices for her wedding and another for her 40th birthday. Both events had the same number of guests and identical requirements in terms of cars, cakes, flowers, photographers, entertainment and venue.

All the venues, bar two, wanted extra for the nuptials with one Melbourne business wanting to charge almost double.

Photographers were told shots were only needed at the reception centre. Of the ten approached five charged a higher rate for the wedding. One asked for $2200 extra. Seven of the ten hire cars businesses quoted more for the wedding. Two Sydney operators upped the ante by 54%. Six of the ten DJs did likewise with one quoting 87% extra for the wedding.

Suppliers said that the demanding nature of weddings and ‘sky-high’ expectations meant higher costs and justified the more expensive quotes.

“Mention it’s a wedding and the price often immediately jumps, which makes it difficult for couples trying to plan their big day on a budget,” said CHOICE spokeswoman Elise Davidson. “CHOICE believes that for services such as a DJ or car hire there should be no difference in the quality of service or the cost. Our survey shows it pays to shop around and haggle.”

The average cost of a wedding in 2008 was $33,349, with Australian couples expected to spend a collective $3.7 billion on their big days in 2009.

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