Study Confirms Mentioning Weddings Will Ensure You Pay More

Study Confirms Mentioning Weddings Will Ensure You Pay More

A shadow shopping study by CHOICE has confirmed what anyone ever involved in planning a wedding has long suspected: merely mention the word “wedding” and the price will go up.

Wedding reception picture from Shutterstock

To investigate if the “wedding premium” was real, CHOICE contacted 36 businesses in Sydney and Melbourne to seek quotes. Each business was contacted twice with an identical request — one mentioning a wedding, and one trying to book a party.

Of the six venues contacted, three charged more when told a wedding was involved, even though the specifications for the event were identical. In many cases, once the wedding was mentioned minimum times went up: a photographer insisted on a five-hour booking, while a hire car company insisted on a three-hour booking for a bride, but was happy with one hour otherwise. One other interesting development? Follow-up calls were far more likely for the wedding request than for the party.

The lesson? Shop around, and don’t mention the wedding when you’re looking for prices for venues or services if you can possibly avoid it. The typical Australian wedding costs over $36,000, so it’s worth trying to trim the expenses.



  • I’m sure an Onion article will follow that states that nearly half of businesses are “sick of giggly groups of women walking into a store and boasting loudly about how expensive their wedding is going to be”.

  • It is a bit misleading – because weddings DO essentially require more attention/time. I’m sure you’ll be less picky with Birthday photos as oppose to wedding photos? Potentially may need more than 1 person at a wedding than at a birthday.. You don essentially go out to special places with special requirements for a birthday photo (i.e 2 people posing at the opera house with moody lighting)

    • This is very true there are some products or services that might require more attention to detail for a wedding as its a once in a lifetime (argueable) event. Weddings are considered a big deal. However if your looking to save money, obviously the wedding tax may be avoidable like above.

      • Ever seen some of the crazy kid’s parties nowadays??

        But totally agree with CY, weddings do require quite a bit more than most events and is why they should be able to have a “wedding tax”

  • Most function centers are actually quite open about how much they are gouging you for a wedding. You’ll be able to look up on there website and see a bunch of food and drink packages, with the only difference being one is $50 more with wedding in the title.

    I wanted to book my wedding as “a function for 200 people, with a few speeches and some dancing” but the rest of the family wouldn’t go with it…. would have saved $50 a head…

  • CY is right. The photographer at our wedding initially wanted a longer block of time, because that was what she needed to take the usual array of photos. We discussed what we wanted and what she would be happy to do, and we agreed on a shorter time, and a reasonable fee. So don’t lie to providers, but make it clear what you want and listen to what they can provide.

  • We had quite the opposite happen to us

    We were booked into a Brisbane high rise the night of our wedding, then off the next day to our honeymoon. we mentioned it was our wedding night and they gave us the top floor for nothing extra.

  • It’s somewhat sad that Lifehacker gets suckered by Choice, yet again, when they run these spurious “articles”. I always hope that LH will be smarter than this.

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