I learned something this past weekend in Palm Springs that simultaneously made me very happy and also very sad.
When meeting with my wedding coordinator, she commented, “You lucked out. Your scored on the Ace Hotel. You won’t find those same prices anymore. I hear from other brides that the Ace is charging a minimum of $25,000 to have a wedding there.” I couldn’t believe it. “That’s what I hear.”
When I met with the sales manager at the Ace to review some details, I asked him. “My wedding coordinator says the cost of a wedding here is a lot more than it used to be.”
“Tell me again what you’re contracted for.”
“As it stands, my contract is for a little over $12,000. It depends on how many people show up, of course. But that’s for 120 people.”
He laughed and shook his head. “When I started this job a few months ago, I couldn’t believe how much we were underpriced. It was ridiculous. How much are you paying to rent the facility?”
“Where you’re paying $1,500, I’m charging $5,500 for rental right now. And your coordinator’s right, I’m charging a minimum of $25,000 for a bride to hold her wedding here. That’s standard across the industry. You are one really lucky girl.”
I am really proud of the fact that I figured this out on my own. That I discovered a hidden gem before it became the popular venue that has been written up in all the magazines. That I didn’t become a bridezilla who had to cave in to ridiculous prices. I held true to my conviction that a wedding does not have to be expensive to be fun. But I’m also sad that there are so few options for brides out there. They think that these prices are ok. It’s ok to spend $50,000 on a wedding because that’s what everyone is telling them. Don’t do it. You can figure it out.
Post-wedding I’m going to have so much free time, I’ve flirted with the idea of event or wedding planning on the side. But then I think, there’s no way I can deal with a bridezilla. I want clients who are funky, relaxed, flexible, and open to creative alternatives. Then I laughed, you know, those clients would plan the wedding on their own. Go to it, girls!