Finding the ideal venue is where the journey begins for most newly engaged couples, so when friends of ours recently became engaged, they had lots of wedding and venue related questions. The first thing we told them was to start researching venues and create a short list of five venues to go visit in the Kitchener Waterloo area. The second piece of advice we gave them was to list the five things that matter most to them with regards to the wedding and venue. Almost immediately, they decided food was the highest priority followed by having a ceremony location, a close location for pictures, and not leaving the guests stranded for an extended period after the ceremony. Interestingly food was not only mentioned first, but they also described it in great detail including their likes and dislikes.
After researching and then visiting five venues they decided against three of them. The two remaining venues were good candidates, but for different reasons. So, before discussing the merits of each we asked again what they were looking for and what mattered most. Their list remained unchanged, however, they did disclose something new, the second venue was 30% more than the other. They did not understand why this large variance in the price existed. The price variance had created a favourable bias towards the lower cost venue which is what it was designed to do. I realized their current means of comparison was now giving greater importance to price than all other aspects of their wedding combined, but prior to knowing the price food was highly valued. I decided to asked them a question a simple question, how was the taste test? They paused for a brief moment and responded with we did not have one.
The influence that price was having was similar to what we sometimes face as a DJ company when couples believe price is good way to compare services. Because the product is a service that is being provided and who is providing it should factor in significantly. If food was indeed a key factor in determining the venue, then understanding the food quality, who prepares it, and service needs to be a prerequisite before reaching a conclusion. This was one key area where both venues differed a lot, one has AAA grade ingredients, a professionally trained chef and plated food out to all the guests within 10 minutes. While the other venue did not offer AAA grade ingredients, they had a cook, and the service to guests takes roughly 10 -15 minutes longer. These were some of the reasons that would account for why there was a price difference.
On the surface the two venues shared many similarities and each offered value for their own individual reasons. However, given the priority of food they realized having a professional chef with top quality ingredients, as well as high levels of service will command a premium price. How much this matters is at the discretion of the couple, but there is a difference. After discussing this with the bride and groom, they had a new perspective and no longer evaluated these two venues as equals, because food was their top priority. With the current environment, couples are relying heavily on information they’re presented with and pricing. If the price between two vendors is noticeably different, whether it’s a venue or a DJ, try to understand why this difference exists before reaching your decision. The couple told us they appreciated having more insight, because it related to what mattered to them for their wedding. If something is really important to you then a little extra research is worth it for your wedding day.
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