Why is everything two thousand dollars?

When I first started thinking about wedding, it occurred to me that everything costs $1000. And that’s ridiculous. Now, as I’m deeper into the planning, I’m finding that everything costs $2000.

It angers me, as a musician, and makes me realize that I’m certainly not charging enough. I understand that photographers have many years of studying and perfecting their art, and that they are getting paid for more than just the six hours they are shooting photos.  It’s also for consultations, and assistants, and spending time touching up the photos later. And they all ask for $2000, it seems.

My band also charges $2000 for a wedding, however, and that’s for a 4-piece band plus a sound technician. And no, it’s not for just the hours of music you actually hear. It’s also for hours of load-in and soundcheck. It’s also for the rehearsals, learning the new songs you requested for your Father-Daughter Dance, and that Natalie Merchant song your sorority dances to at every wedding. It’s also for the twenty-five-plus years of practice and study we’ve had on our instruments, and for dealing with the Maid of Honor when she yells, “You need to play Billie Jean NOW!!!”  Like I said, we are clearly not charging enough.

Or, as David said, “I should have been a photographer.”

I got a good piece of advice this morning: just go to Hawaii and elope. That is sounding like a better idea every minute.

5 Comments on "Why is everything two thousand dollars?"

  1. You need a friend in the photography business. When I was doing lots of weddings, I felt that $1800 – $2000 was just about right. Been a pro since 1983. Been passionate about photography since the age of 14. But I often make adjustments for friends, more casual weddings, or barters. We should talk. I also think that musicians should be paid more, rather than paying photographers less… 🙂

  2. We feel your pain. When my wife and I were married last year we wanted a photo booth at our reception. Guess what, $1000. We started our own company,(showtime photobooth)and charge around $400. We now have 6 photo booths and are doing great! We actually have had people in the busuness tell us we should charge more so we wouldnt have to work as much. HUH?

  3. Definitely elope to Hawaii – or Rivera Maya or somewhere cool like that.

    If you don’t do that, then pay a pro for just a few shots of you all dressed up, and use a little of the money you save to buy a bunch of disposable digital cameras and a few cheap video cameras (think Big Lots) and hand them out to a few folks as they enter the ceremony and then the reception.

    They won’t be professional, but you’ll get some really great shots — especially as the crowd gets loosened up. Then post them all online somewhere. If you do this, the chances are much better that you and your guests will actually look at these photos over the years, rather than letting an album collect dust forever.

  4. IMHO you’ve got the right anwesr!

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