I’ve seen multiple articles stating that the wedding industry rips people off, or prices weddings much higher than other events. While it’s true that wedding vendors are more expensive, it’s also true that weddings are very high risk for us. We are constantly running the risk of being sued because something wasn’t perfect or missing an important moment.
Weddings are WORK, and a lot of it. I’ve held multiple jobs since graduating high school, and I can honestly tell you that being a wedding photographer and running my own business is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. It’s an extremely high stress job at times, and is completely nerve racking if you don’t feel your work is up to par. Which is why it’s frustrating seeing people say that we up our prices for weddings (looking at you Today Show).
What most people don’t take into consideration is that everything to do with weddings is essentially a luxury item. You don’t have to spend $3-4k on a photographer. You don’t have to spend 5-10k on a venue. You don’t have to buy that custom couture gown that costs more than a car. You don’t have to out do your best friend’s cousin who had a ridiculously fancy wedding. And you definitely do not have to spend thousands of dollars on a wedding UNLESS YOU WANT TO. Having a wedding is a “want” not a “need”. You can just as easily go to the courthouse and spend $75 with the same outcome.
If you want to spend thousands on a wedding, that’s great! That means that I have job security. If you don’t, then don’t shame the vendors for not dropping prices and definitely don’t shame those that want to do it big.
And another thing, stop comparing weddings to other events like a birthday party. If I shot a birthday party (which I won’t) I’d likely be there an hour or two tops. I might have to do a couple of family portraits, or just walk around and take candid photos of kids playing or people talking. It would literally take me an hour to edit a birthday party, and I would likely never have to meet with the client or email more than a confirmation that I would show up. Compare that to being at a wedding 10-15 hours the day of, consultation times, emailing back and forth all the details, unloading my cards and backing up photos (which takes several hours), culling 3-6k photos, editing 400-800 photos, and then having to worry if I missed something. So yeah, comparing a wedding to a birthday party or other event is invalid and dumb.
I obviously can’t speak for all the vendors involved in putting together a wedding, but I imagine they have the same feelings. Stop devaluing what we all do because you don’t want to pay us what we’re worth, or because you’re mad you can’t have a fancy wedding for literally pennies.