Choice Wedding Report Roundtable

by | Bride, Finance


Last year, Choice Magazine (an independent Consumer based publication in Australia) did a survey on whether vendors really charge more for weddings than other events. We touched on this issue when I interviewed vendors, and wrote about it in February “W Is For Weddings- Behind The Wedding Word Part One & Part Two“. It’s an issue I’ve been incredibly interested in and one I want to keep discussing.



Flowers and cake from Sweet Art, Henry Roth and the Henri Josef website.

With the report providing such hot debate in the industry and amongst brides, Choice decided to take it a step further and hold a ‘Round Table’ discussion at Sydney’s TOKO Restaurant with some of Sydney’s leading wedding professionals to discuss the issue.

Moderating the discussion was Henry Roth. With Anthea Leonard from Sweet Art, Lynleigh McPherson from Belinda Franks Catering, Lorraine Elliot from Not Quite Nigella, Phoebe Gazal from Papier d’Amour, David Mendes from KAREN Magazine, Alicia Richardson from The Knot, Claire Aristedis from Lifegloss, Matt Lee from Infinity Photography, and  Matthew Duchesne from Milk & Honey Photography attending.

Also in attendance was  CHOICE reporter Kate Browne, as well as Fiona Wood, Sian Jenkins, Leigh Golombick and Sean O’Byrne from Mark Communications.



As we touched on with our own discussions in February, trusting your vendor and using vendors you are comfortable with is incredibly important to avoid the ‘wedding price tag’ discomfort.

The ‘Round Table’ agreed that full disclosure by the customer is essential. All suppliers agreed that by talking clients through the added value they’re providing for dealing with a wedding, they would avoid a sticky situation later on – so ask your vendors to explain why they charge what they charge.

Vendors felt that a lot of what they do for weddings is left unsaid (and unseen!) and therefore there are often misunderstandings, leading to a bride feeling she is being “ripped off”. The extra time spent catering to the attention to detail demanded by brides may have been factored in as the ‘standard’ service provided by the vendor for weddings.

The group agreed that customers should come with a budget in mind and tell the vendor upfront. This means the vendor can tailor a package to your budget. The group agreed that vendors and consumers both need to manage their expectations, be clear and upfront and be flexible with each other.

While a ‘regulatory body’ idea was discussed and thought of as a good idea, the vendors failed to see a fair way of implementing it.



The round table in action, sweet treats from Belinda Franks Catering.

The group agreed on a number of points to ensure you, the bride and groom, are comfortable with your vendors and their charges, and that you don’t feel stung by the ‘wedding’ word.

– Research vendors (utilising bridal forums, websites, social media and through word of mouth)
– Come to the vendor meeting with a budget outline
– Ask as many questions as possible of the vendor to ensure you are 100% comfortable with the level of service and the explanation behind the charges
– Be very clear with the vendor about your expectations of the level of service you require
– Be upfront that the event is a wedding so both you and your supplier start the relationship honestly and you both have the same expectation of the event.
– If you’re unsure of set packages, ask about flexibility within these packages
– Set up an initial one on one meeting with the vendor to make sure you get along with them. If you have any doubts, try and resolve them in a frank discussion, or search for another supplier. After all your relationship could span many, many months!

I delayed writing about the round table as I was waiting for an audio recording of the event, unfortunately the audio didn’t turn out, but the Choice team did produce a video which gives a little insight into the discussions that took place!


  • Vermont Wedding says:
    April 20, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    They look good together. I love the cake and dress. The bride looks so stunning with her dress.

  • Ms Paisley says:
    April 20, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Really informative piece, Ms PD. Very helpful.

  • Lyndsay says:
    April 20, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Great to read the follow up to the round table discussion, lots to learn as a vendor and a client!

  • ElleGenY (Elle) says:
    April 20, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Twitter Comment

    @polkadotbride they’re so right about the pressure placed on them as suppliers of wedding services – some of them don’t get paid enough!

    – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • uberVU - social comments says:
    April 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by wedbykeztweet: Polka Dot Bride Choice Wedding Report Roundtable

  • Green and Bloom Flowers says:
    April 20, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Great article. And I agree you can not really compare a birthday with someones wedding. There is so much more planning, dreams and expectations for a wedding. Keeping in mind though, there are many very tallanet wedding providers offering competitive prices for high quality works. A fantastic read and view. Thanks.

  • Dognbird says:
    April 21, 2010 at 12:29 am

    This dress is gorgeous and I love the lilac accents!

  • Natalie says:
    April 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    It seems to me that they’re saying they base their rates on the worst case scenario bride. To cover that person who calls 12 times a day, I wonder though do they offer reductions for the average sane bride? I can’t help but think the situations they are citing are probably the exception and not the norm.

  • Cindy says:
    April 23, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Love the table decorations.Just wondering where can i get those cube votive candles?I have been looking all over for them!


  • Do Vendors Charge More for Weddings than Other Events? | - wedding, marriage and bridal news and reviews says:
    July 19, 2010 at 6:19 am

    […] Want to read more? Check out Choice’s article: Weddings – At What Price via Polka Dot Bride […]

  • Do Vendors Charge More for Weddings than Other Events? – Latest news on bride wedding speech Bride Wedding Speech Guide says:
    July 19, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    […] Want to read more? Check out Choice’s article: Weddings – At What Price via Polka Dot Bride […]

  • hijj says:
    October 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Love all the great details…….Really great.

  • W Is For Weddings - Behind "The Wedding" Word - Polka Dot Bride says:
    March 30, 2019 at 12:09 am

    […] Check back this afternoon to see what else vendors had to say about the issue! Click here for part two.and click here for the Choice wedding roundtable. […]



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