Post # 1
Hi Bees. FI and I are about to start the nitty-gritty part of wedding planning by talking to vendors such as finding a reception location and caterer. I read that most places will inflate prices for the same services just because a couple mentions they are planning a wedding. So we are thinking about calling it a ‘family reunion.” Has anyone done this, and has it worked for you? Do you feel you got a better deal by leaving the W word out? I’m not sure how to go about it. Will FI and I not be able to scope out a venue together to try not to tip anyone off? Will I have to take off my engagement ring? And then when do you let them know you’re really planning a wedding? Let me know your stories!
Post # 3
I think you could save money that way, but beware. If it is a vendor that is going to be there the day of (photographer, makeup artist, caterer, ect), than they will know that you lied and that might effect their service.
Post # 4
i did both – would cold call vendors and ask for a “function quote” for like a church function or party – then would call back for a wedding quote. this only works with vendors that dont need to know its a wedding – like transportation and sometimes venue site (reception).
i saved about $400 with transportation.
Post # 5
My mother suggested doing this but I refused. I didn’t feel right about deceiving the vendors who I am relying on to make my event perfect. If you have a contract for a “family reunion” but they find out its actually for a wedding, they could potentially screw you. Not worth it, if you ask me.
Post # 6
I did this with a few vendors for quotes.
limo company #1 quoted us $1350 for a wedding and $750 for prom. Same amount of hours and everything. The only thing different about the wedding quote was they provide a red carpet and a bottle of wine. Lame.
We got quoted different prices for chairs too. A back yard garden party was $1.50 less than the same chairs for a wedding. Lame.
I wouldn’t let a vendor believe it’s a different function, but I did call out the limo company and they would give us the limo for the same price as a prom (minus the cheesy red carpet and bottle of wine)
Post # 7
Don’t be surprised if you get an upcharge bill after the fact. By telling them you’re one event when you’re actually another could be considered breach of contract. A limo company is going to know you’re not a prom when they show up.
Post # 8
Most of our vendors needed to know it was wedding (photog, video, florist) but for transportation we didn’t tell them it was wedding. Don’t know if we saved any. We also tried that with the caterer but without meeting with them you can’t really get a quote.
Post # 9
What’s the difference between a prom and wedding? Again, I called out that limo company and basically made them tell me why a prom with a five hour min was $750 and a wedding with a five hour min was $1350. Doesn’t that seem a bit crazy?
I’m not afraid to call vendors out. Brides need to know what companies do because of the wedding industry complex. Some brides are just willing to pay whatever because it’s a wedding and that’s why these vendors get away with charging more because “it’s a wedding.”
Post # 10
I heard this can save a ton thru a book i read called budget weddings but I am with CaitMarae that I myself could not do it either. I would feel bad and deceiving but misstattoo called them out on it so they knew that she was talking about a wedding and just wanted to know why and I am not at all against calling them out. I have done that too but never received any good answers or reasons for why they do this…I just know they do it because they know that everywhere pushes up the price for weddings because they believe a bride will spend anything on a wedding to be happy. Well that is what they think!
Post # 11
We got transportation quotes from a couple companies without telling them it was a wedding, but it didn’t make any difference unless we got a package with things like wine and other perks.
We had a hotel for our reception and catering. They have their banquet menus online and our hotel, along with almost all the hotels we considered, had higher prices for wedding dinners. We spoke with them about it and they gave us the regular banquet price.
I would never lie to the vendor, but I would make sure to cover your bases by getting both quotes when in the vendor consideration process to ensure you’re getting a fair price.
Post # 13
@Miss Tattoo: Re. the difference between a wedding and a prom. I didn’t say there was a difference. My point was that if you say it’s for a prom they’re going to know you lied when they show up and discover a bride and bunch of bridesmaids which will end up in an upcharge for breach of contract.
Post # 14
Definitely be careful to make sure that the services you require aren’t different because it is a wedding. For example, we had no trouble doing this with the luncheon after the ceremony, which was just a lunch in the private dining room of a restaurant. However, a photographer at a wedding does a lot more than a photographer at a family reunion. (There are a lot of shots like the kiss that have to be done at a specific time, or they are missed forever, which is not typically true at a family reunion.) Even for the venue, if you want a dance floor, space for a DJ or band, opportunity to bring in cake from elsewhere, etc., you are asking for much more than would be required for a normal family function.
I think a reasonable middle ground is to call and ask about nonwedding prices, and then call back and ask about wedding prices. That way, if the estimates are very different, you can ask what extra is included with a wedding, and see if you can’t negotiate away the “extras” to get a lower price.
Post # 15
I had a lot of vendors straight up ask me, “is this for a wedding?” which made it tough.
Post # 16
@Miss Tattoo I agree, the wedding industry is a rip off business when you compare apples to apples services for a wedding vs. party. Calling people out on the price difference is a good bargaining idea. I even had one dress sales person say the wedding industry is ridiculous, and she’s in it!
@BanditGirl I’m not planning on waiting for the day of the wedding, letting the vendor show up, and then say “sike, it’s a wedding, fooled you!” Lol. Yes, I agree that wouldn’t go over so well. When I asked how to go around tipping them off I meant more along the lines of initial price shopping anonymously, before signing a contract. Like how spaganya mentioned about cold calling.
Now of course there are certain vendors that we pay specifically for their wedding specialties such as photographers and cake decorators. Vendors who I think would be price gouging are tent renters, linen suppliers, florists, and so on.