At a recent wedding industry event, in a room full of people that are dedicated to creating sweet as pie weddings, a member of said industry was telling me about the “wedding tax” that she had encountered in planning her own wedding. It’s a common discussion I hear people talking about.

So let me help you avoid the wedding tax.

A good way to start avoiding the wedding tax is to be ok with none of your wedding vendors, like your celebrant or photographer, turning up on the actual wedding day. With this in mind you should block out a week for your expected wedding date, and on the invitations let your guests know a date range between 5-10 days. This is to ensure that the humans you book for your wedding today at a really good price have the flexibility to cancel on you as they get better offers or if they get snowed over at their day job. In the event of those vendors not making you their number one priority you have the freedom to book other vendors as the original ones cancel on you.

The second tip is a really helpful one not just for your wedding, but for life, and it’s to lower your expectations. A cake maker today called a wedding planner at midnight to let her know the cake wouldn’t be ready for the wedding today. Luckily for all involved the couple had really low expectations of this cheap cake maker so the cake not being there for the wedding was ok.

The third pro-tip to avoid paying that nasty wedding tax is to save the money today by booking that photographer willing to work for $3.50 an hour when you take into account the engagement shoot, wedding day, edits, revisions and photoshops, and then watch A Current Affair every night to make sure they’ll still be available for your booking or whether they’ll be in the Cayman Islands.

The fourth way to get around paying good money for your wedding creative services is to get a good watch and calendar so you can accurately record the time you’ll be waiting. Your vendor that isn’t charging the wedding tax might be a great bloke but will not reply to emails, phone calls, and Facebook messages for weeks and weeks at a time. Mainly because they’re at their day job earning real cash, or they’re too busy with everyone else’s wedding. If we’re talking about a photographer or videographer then be prepared to wait months after your wedding for your photos and video.

Finally, the best way to avoid the wedding tax is by booking a person to be at your wedding in a professional context for a really low amount of money and just hope that they’ll still be in business in two years when your wedding date comes around. Hope is a known way of ensuring business people don’t go broke between now and then, so don’t worry about if they have solid contracts or take deposits. Just hope and pray that they’ll still exist in two years.

Nothing could possibly go wrong with this at all.

The truth is

The truth is that there’s no wedding tax, just that running a wedding related business requires a different business model to the normal businesses. You’re booking talented and creative people to be wholly available for, excited about, dedicated to, freakingly chipper about the event where you’re becoming husband and wife. And the day that is happening, it’s in months or years, and between now and then we’re committed to building our business so that come your wedding day we’ll be there with bells on, with charged batteries, operating equipment, and it’ll be amazing.

And these creatives, they’re generally only booked for the “doing” part of their job 2-3 days a week, and in the rest of the week they’re looking after administration and accounts and hopefully having a day off at some point, maybe even a holiday, so that when your wedding date arrives they’re happy, healthy, and ready to rock your world!

Avoiding the tax

So don’t try and avoid the wedding tax: just find people that you love, that can provide services you value, that are available for your day, for a price you’re willing to pay. And if you aren’t willing to pay that cost, just don’t have those people. There’s no wedding conspiracy, we’re just a bunch of creatives building businesses that empower us to do what we love full time 🙂