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.