Luxury Weddings – What’s the Difference?
Among the different types of weddings, the term ‘luxury wedding’ stands out for several reasons! Besides sounding very fancy, the term luxury wedding also sounds very expensive. What is a luxury wedding, and who has them? What does it take to plan a luxury wedding? Here are ten quick facts to introduce you to the wonderful world of luxury wedding planning!
1. Luxury weddings are more expensive
In North America, the average marrying couple spends about $28,000 on their wedding. For an event to qualify as a luxury affair in the wedding planning industry, however, the price must be about three times that amount! Some couples having luxury weddings will spend up to $100,000 for the ceremony and decorative items alone, not including guest prices.
2. Guest prices are more expensive too
For a wedding to meet the threshold of ‘luxury’ in North America, the cost per guest is usually about $1000. For comparison, a more average priced wedding will include a guest cost of a few hundred dollars per person.
3. It’s not just about price!
Spending lots of money isn’t the only thing that makes a wedding ‘luxurious’. There’s also a big emphasis on fine detail! Clients who want luxury weddings are usually striving for perfection, and therefore pay strong attention to style. Rather than using place settings provided by the venue, a luxury wedding will feature plates made of fine china and imported silk table cloths. Where other clients might choose to save costs on certain decorative items in favor of prioritizing bigger details like venue size, luxury wedding clients will most often choose to invest money in both.
4. Luxury weddings are more customized
Whereas the average wedding invite might simply feature the marrying couples’ names, an invite to a luxury wedding might be made of a specific paper or material chosen by the couple according to their particular style, theme, or color scheme. Rather than serving a normal bottle of wine at dinner, a luxury wedding might feature one made especially for the couple bearing a label embossed with their names and wedding date. Part of what makes the wedding ‘luxurious’ is the inclusion of details that go above and beyond average to make the day a thorough celebration of that couple.
5. Luxury weddings are a more elaborate series of events
The average wedding in North America consists of a ceremony and a few associated events, such as a rehearsal dinner and a post-ceremony reception. Luxury weddings feature a much more elaborate series of associated events. Some of the most popular events and details that luxury planners will be responsible for organizing include an engagement party, ceremony, rehearsal dinner, post-wedding brunch, entertainment and activities throughout the wedding weekend, and accommodations and food for guests from out of town.
6. The clients’ expectations are higher
Because they are investing a much larger sum of money into their event, luxury wedding clients tend to be much more demanding. They might believe that, because they’re spending more than the average couple for your service, they have more say in how you plan the wedding. This can be beneficial, since you will almost always know exactly what they are expecting, but it can also result in clients being overly demanding and interfering with your planning process. You will have to learn how to balance pleasing the customer and getting your job done to the correct level of detail.
7. The guests’ expectations are higher
Part of the reason your clients are striving for such perfection in their luxury event is to impress their guests! Particularly if your client is of a particular level of prestige in their workplace or community, they might feel pressured to have a very impressive, high quality wedding, and their guests might actually expect it. It will be your job to ensure that your clients’ get the level of luxury they’re looking for, while still getting the wedding details they actually want amongst the ones that are intended to impress the masses.
8. Who are the clients of luxury wedding planners?
When some people think of ‘luxury weddings’, they think of heiresses and celebrities. While this is true, these people probably won’t be your primary clientele, depending on where you live. Many luxury wedding clients are those who have worked hard to move their way up the corporate ladder and are marrying after having established their careers, those whose family members are helping them throw an elaborate event, or couples who have saved together for years. Chances are that your clients won’t be couples who decided to get married very quickly or those who have recently had big career setbacks or financial troubles. Because they’re consistently more expensive, luxury weddings are more often thrown by those with higher incomes or more wealthy family foundations.
9. Luxury weddings and same sex couples
The increased legalization of same sex marriage around the world has boosted the luxury wedding planning industry in recent years. For many gay couples, finally being able to throw a legal public wedding is worth the cost of a luxury event, because it celebrates more than just their own marriage! For others, the cost of a luxury wedding is more than realistic because they are marrying later in their careers and have the financial security to invest good money into a wedding after years of waiting for the opportunity.
10. Your success in the luxury wedding planning industry
Because they are investing so much money into their wedding, many clients will choose planners with previous experience planning luxury weddings. This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s impossible for new planners to break into the luxury planning industry! If you can market yourself as a luxury specialist specifically, and back those claims up with good knowledge and attention to detail, you’ll do better than someone who markets themselves as a ‘Jack or Jill of all trades’ wedding planner. Remember, these clients want top quality products and services, so they’ll be looking for a top quality planner too!