You may accuse me of cynicism, but I am convinced that some suppliers put their prices up as soon as they see an engaged couple on the horizon. They know it’s the couple’s first time (or likely to be), so they assume the pair aren’t very savvy in this area.
On the other hand, a lot of specialist knowledge, experience and ability is required, and they, deservedly come at a price.
Of course, what is “expensive” to one couple may be “reasonable” to another, so I am not going to put figures in this blog. I assume you will do your due diligence and compare suppliers in the various fields.
So what are you paying for?
Different suppliers may need different skills. Your photographer may come singly, or be inexperienced. In such a case, I’d look elsewhere, because the photographer has a lot to do and can’t afford slip-ups. Your caterer must surely be prepared to offer alternative menus (eg vegan or gluten-free). Your wedding planner will have to be available all day and absolutely know what they are doing and talking about.
As I’m a celebrant, I’m aware that a good one needs a lot of skills (some which are not commonly combined). These include being a good questioner-cum-listener, being a good writer and being a good presenter. Naturally, I have committed time and money to training and development, belong to professional associations that insist on high ethics and standards. Most of all, I have experience, as well as the personality that many find highly suitable for the job.
Consequently, I feel that I have a lot to offer my couples (and others too!) and it’s right that I should be remunerated for what I offer.
The same (or similar) applies to other suppliers. They may need other skills, but they are professionals. Many are experts in their field and can guarantee an excellent job.
So, although not all suppliers may be worth it, the vast majority are. Make sure you are clear on what you are expecting from them and read their Ts and Cs to ensure you understand what they will, and will not, offer.
Two mini-tips, if you want to save a bit of money: avoid extravagance (so don’t buy flowers out of season, for example) and think about the date of your wedding. It will cost more, if it’s on a special day like Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Day, and if you hold it in the morning, say, you should have some bargaining power.
Come what may, work out your budget first, speak to lots of suppliers and settle on the team you want to have around you. If that costs a bit more (and you can still afford it), then go with them.
Peace of mind will be (almost!) assured, then!