Don’t ask, don’t tell

You’re only meant to get married once, right?

So who is going to know?

The slight omission of one word can save you a fortune (so you can afford that pink Hummer and have a kick-ass hen’s night and knock yourself out with all the penis-themed trimmings and Juicy Couture-style velour trackies emblazoned with ‘Mrs such-n-such’ as you like).

With the omission of this word, you need a thick skin and you’ll also be at the peril of breaking your moral compass in two, clean pieces.

But hey, it’s only money right?

The magic word is ‘wedding’.

This clip from ‘Man Stroke Woman’ explains perfectly –

There are both sides to this that make me feel icky. Mainly as I’m not the hugest fan of lying, but there are some arguments…

Let’s say Jane has a wedding coming up in a couple of weeks.  Her and her partner are really feeling the pinch.

Jane is with a friend who is buying a new lipstick from one of the makeup counters in Myer. Jane notices a young woman perched on a tall stool getting her makeup applied.  One of the free services makeup counters do to rope you into a sale.

While Jane’s friend pays for her purchase, a wild thought crosses her mind.  What if she also got a ‘free makeover’ – done on her wedding day?  That way, her makeup and the application by a makeup artist was entirely free.

A tantilising thought.

She could also head to her hairdresser on the day and say to them that she was going to the races and needed an up-do. Omitting the fact that it was actually for her wedding that afternoon.

Then, to save some more coin, what if she told her local patisserie that the two-tiered red velvet cake meant for her wedding cake was for her mother’s 65th birthday instead?

When can you be ‘economical with the truth’ and flat-out lie to avoid a financial slap in the face?

Lie about this

If you’re buying a whole lot of stubby cubbies, napkins, disposable cameras or hiring portable loos, you shouldn’t have to feel obligated to say anything if you don’t want to. I mean, these things could be bought or hired for ANY occasion. And especially if you’re buying online and if they ask, I would just say it was for a family reunion. Well, it is, isn’t it?

Pretty much anything ordered online that doesn’t say ‘wedding’.

If you’re like me and never have your nails/eyelashes professionally done, getting them done for your wedding without spilling the beans I reckon is totally acceptable. When they ask ‘so what are you up to for the weekend?’ don’t say ‘getting married’, say ‘Oh, it’s my sister’s 21st’. If I had a decent relationship with them, they would know that I don’t have sisters.

Cupcakes. If you’re having them in lieu of a cake, say they’re for something else. It’s advised to pick them up from the patisserie yourself so you don’t let the cat out of the bag. I’ve seen them advertised at $5 each for weddings, and for the same one for a corporate event, $2.20 each.

What to not lie about

A good rule of thumb is to think, ‘OK, if this vendor found out I lied to them, could they sabotage anything they have provided?’
Some vendors that are cheeky enough to mark-up indiscriminately at the mere mention of the word ‘wedding’ without explaining exactly what the mark-up goes to… well… maybe they don’t deserve your custom.
In my opinion, you never lie to your reception venue people or your photographer. And in most cases, your hairdresser.
Could you imagine what mess you might find yourself in if these vendors find out you’ve lied? You might be up for more than just a red-faced apology.
You might be in breach of contract, you might get blacklisted or you might get your photos back that look decidedly tinged with contempt.
I don’t want someone angry taking my photos. Or doing my hair. Or serving food to my guests.
Also, your tightarsery could push a vendor over the edge and just walk out.
The grey area

Again, if you’re hiring stuff like chairs, candlesticks, jukeboxes (do people still hire these? I hope so!) or linens for the reception and as long as you pick them up from the hire place yourself so you don’t tip yourself off.

I also feel the same about photobooths. I think that hiring one specifically for a wedding shouldn’t be differently priced if you were hiring it for another kind of event.

The cake. Only lie to a baker if it’s a cake without all the fancy sugar-flowers and more than two tiers etc. If you want that schmancy stuff, do the right thing, eh?

Order your non-fussy (read: smart looking) cake with loads of time up your sleeve and confidently say it’s for your Nan’s 80th, no writing please. Pick it up yourself. Decorate with fresh flowers instead. Pop your cake topper on the cake yourself.

A note about flowers

This is a tough one. I reckon florists have got this weird sixth sense. They know. I mean, it’s obvious when you think about it. A main bouquet, matching smaller bouquets, matching buttonholes etc.. you’ll get sprung. Im not using a florist, my mum is pretty handy with those sorts of things and we’re going to the flower market that morning to pick out what’s there on the day that aren’t gerberas.

Of course, it’s hard to ascertain why some markups are the way they are… I mean, those vultures are just trying to cash in, right? The Wall Street Journal had an article on this in 2008.

In a nutshell, florists always buy more than they use. They need to hedge against smaller blooms or ones that aren’t quite perfect enough. As a result, brides pay at least 10-15 per cent more than they would for a regular arrangement. The markup also includes the added time it takes to wire or sew the bouquet together.

“In the time it takes me to put together one $150 bridal bouquet, I could have made $300 worth of retail arrangements,” says says Tara Simone, owner of Barbara’s Flowers in New York.

I really don’t know how you get around the bouquet stuff. Maybe if you were having a couple of giant arrangements or some rustic-looking centrepieces… I would pull the 21st card again.

Tricky tricks
Make a list of all your various vendors. Call them inquiring about a cake, venue hire, flowers, DJ hire and say it’s for a birthday, family reunion. Get a quote.
Call them again three or four days later and inquire about the exact same thing you except it’s for a wedding.
Are the quotes wildly different? Ask them to explain why. If they can’t, use the first quote as a springboard to start negotiations. But don’t get cocky. Think of the possible sabotage.
Shopping for a dress? Do your goddam homework. When you find the dress you lurrrrve, try it on in real life. Then get on the internetz. Get all the possible prices you can find on that dress, go back to vendor and haggle. Better yet, do it in the shop instantly with your smart(ypants)phone.
Another trick, have your wedding in winter, on a Friday or Sunday. Totally cheaper in the low-season. And your guests, with enough time, can book a day off work. Long weekend!
If you’re relying on a professional, whatever professional, to make something bespoke or do something specialised for you. Good grief, pay them.
Mind you, if they can’t justify the markup, a polite ‘yeah, nah’ before hitting the pavement is totally up to you.
Be careful. Although you might get out of paying a mark-up, you might pay in other ways.