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09 September 2010

The Hidden Cost of Weddings

This week I decided to define and explain what the WIC means to me in this video here. Everyone knows all too well the obscene average costs quoted by The Wedding Report, but the question remains, how does the WIC get away with charging so much for its services and products?




There have been countless posts on wedding blogs about the wedding upcharge for various event services and products, and for good reason. The insane cost of an average wedding is high not only because we choose to include all those questionably mandatory elements (photographer, flowers, etc.). The cost of the products and services themselves are generally jacked up when associated with a wedding – white pumps become bridal shoes, a vase of flowers becomes a wedding centerpiece, etc. The reasons for the upcharge are supposedly to account for higher quality and attention to detail, the extra work required to adhere to a bride’s vision, and to offer the bride an implied all-day bitch pass.



The elevated costs – while normal by WIC standards – are meant to justify a suggested craftsmanship that the average wedding requires. Meanwhile, plenty of brides have taken to telling little white lies for their big white events in order to get a fairer price. While some vendors feel slighted, I will be the first to wave her big white pom poms in support of these fibs.



Why?



Because they are paying for the level of service they find appropriate for their weddings.



When a hairdresser says, “Oh, well if I’d known this updo was for a wedding, I would’ve done it differently”, I demand to know in what ways they would’ve done it differently. By working harder at it? By paying closer attention to detail? By adding more bells and whistles that they think a bride should have?



The fact that the incognito bride asks for an updo doesn’t change the fact that she wants an updo. No doubt she’s given some direction as to what she wants done, so the word “wedding” shouldn’t change the shape or quality of the updo – that is, unless we’re meant to understand that an ordinary party guest doesn’t deserve the same respect a bride would? And assuming there is some huge difference between a party updo and a wedding updo, the incognito bride has chosen to have a party updo, for all its flaws and plainness. Is it really the responsibility of the hairdresser to make sure the bride adheres to a standard of bridal hair she didn’t ask for?!



True, honesty is generally the best policy, and I am by no means suggesting going to the lengths Jessica Vega did to score her freebies (wherein she didn't limit her scamming to the WIC, but relatives and strangers as well). But in this instance, I say “an eye for an eye”. If the WIC chooses to be dishonest when it comes to their practices, why should brides feel obligated to divulge any more details than they need to get the products and services they want? This isn’t like stealing from a food bank – this is robbing the rich to give to the less rich. We’re talking about a billion-dollar-a-year industry whose decline since the recession has been but mere pocket change and the difference between an affordable celebration and a lifetime of debt for couples trying to start their own lives together. And for my money, I’d rather pay for ordinary party goods with no strings attached than a host of services with the word “wedding” emblazoned on them.

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