It’s no secret that weddings can be expensive.

And we’ve all heard the little myth about “wedding tax” and how wedding vendors just charge you more because they can… Goodness knows it can feel that way at times… And most likely, even if you don’t believe it, you’ve probably entertained the idea at least briefly.

So here I am, small business owner and wedding planner, letting you know that that’s absolutely not the case (promise!).

Actually – most of us little old wedding vendors have trouble bringing ourselves to charge you the full rate we believe our product or service is worth! There are soooo many situations of vendors not charging enough and barely managing to keep their businesses up and running. Not because we don’t know the value of our service or product, but simply because we want nothing more than to do everything in our power to help you have the wedding day you’ve always dreamed of. Plus, many of us have been there ourselves and we absolutely know just how much all those costs can start to add up…

Us wedding vendors chose this industry because we love, well – LOVE. We’re nothing short of passionate about the industry, the love, and you – our couples!

Unfortunately though, love won’t pay our bills…

So here’s a little breakdown, to help you understand why we’re charging what seems like a lot, where that money goes, and a note to say: we get it! and we’re here to help.

Two men sit all suited up and cuddling on the grass as they lean on a vineyard fence post, wine glasses in each hand, smiles from ear to ear and eyes that scream "just married".
Photo credit: Chrysostomos Galathris (via Pexels)


Weddings aren’t like any other event. There’s an extra level of involvement, of service that you just won’t get when you book someone to help out with your birthday party. It’s not to say we’re not as invested in a birthday party – but rather – chances are it just doesn’t have quite so much emotion, connection and overwhelming love surrounding it. When you book for a wedding you’re booking the platinum package, the emotional and passion driven connection. These vendors are about to get just as invested in your day as you are! They’ll be up late at night thinking about it, they’ll be onsite at all hours making plans and preparations and they’ll truly go above and beyond to make your wedding day/s as perfectly special as they can manage.

Wedding vendors pride themselves on their attention to detail and ability to consider every. single. aspect. Big or small, your vendors have thought of it and they’re there making it everything you’ve dreamed of (and more!). There are elements in other events that might be okay to be slightly less than perfect, but with a wedding we want every single little detail to be considered, it’s a ‘no stone unturned’ kind of vibe. That extra level of service and attention to detail means vendors are spending more time and money on your wedding, in the process, taking on less clients than they would if they were booking for other kinds of events instead.


Crazy long hours. Not many events last as long as a wedding. Nor do others tend to involve set-ups and pack-downs that can last hours and hours, if not days. Then there’s the months (or even year/s) of communications and back and forth emails and calls that are involved with preparing for a wedding. Plus, for many of the vendors involved, those long hours on the days before, of and after your wedding are full day shifts – you have their undivided attention and energy for days on end. And these aren’t the kind of low energy shifts where you get to switch off and zone out while still getting paid… this work can be tough, it’s physically and mentally draining and so very full of emotion and, dare I say it, stress. Your vendors love and thrive in this situation, but while they love what they do – they can’t just do it for love…


Customisations. When it comes to weddings it’s not often that you just pick from a set few options and go with what’s already on offer, no questions asked, no changes made. Most of your bookings whether service or product will involve some level of customisation. If this is the case, then not only is there time and effort involved with delivering that bespoke service or product, there’s also huge amounts of time and sometimes direct costs that go into your vendor brainstorming, creating and designing that custom product or service for you. When it comes to bespoke packages there are no shortcuts or timesaver hacks either, it’s all down to hard work and time invested on your vendors part.


Experience and skill. Never underestimate the number of hours, or the amount of money your vendors have sunk into learning, practicing and perfecting their art. They didn’t learn to provide their service or build their product overnight. Perhaps they’ve got education debts they need to pay off, or maybe they’re out there every single weekend practicing, practicing, practicing. Whatever it is that they’re providing you – it takes a lot to get it to where it is today and that learning and growing – it never ever stops.


And last but not least – these, often very small, boutique businesses have their own overheads. They’re committing to your wedding often up to (or over) a year in advance and putting aside their own lives, families and potential commitments to ensure they can be there for you on your day. Their websites cost money, their advertising costs money… their insurance, their power bills, the equipment they use and the continued education they pursue.

Just like any business, they’ve got so many other costs that aren’t necessarily obvious or visible to outsiders, and when it comes to weddings they definitely don’t want to be taking any shortcuts!

Two newly weds dressed in flowing off-white attire stand beneath a barren looking wintery tree. They're standing atop a mountain looking out across the vast views toward the sunset, glowing pastel pink in the distance.
Photo credit: Jonathan Borba (via Pexels)

Wedding vendors are creatives. When you pay for their service or product you’re not just paying for that physical thing, but rather, you’re paying for all of the hours, money and energy they’ve invested previously into getting as good as they are. You’re paying for commitment, for skill, for that extra platinum level of service that goes above and beyond your expectations. You’re providing for their families and you’re keeping their business going so that they can afford to do so, well into the future. You’ve probably seen the meme where a small business owner does a happy dance every time someone makes a purchase from them? – that’s your wedding vendors. Absolutely loving what they do and getting oh-so-much joy from bringing you the wedding day of your dreams.

Creating for an event is one thing. Creating for a wedding is on a whole different level.

Trust me, while I know it may sound like an awful lot, that quote you’re holding is worth every single cent.

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Emerald and Ebony – Planning Eco-friendly weddings in Taranaki and beyond.

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