Today’s Episode of Myth Busters: the ‘W’ Tax

As a cool, hip, young, fun wedding planner, I consider it my duty to guide couples through their wedding planning journey in the simplest way possible.

And one of the ways I like to do this is by busting the crap out of common misconceptions in the wedding industry. Whether that’s sticking up for a couple who’ve chosen to have a Pokemon-themed wedding and another potential supplier laughs at them (true story and their wedding is going to be EPIC), or telling the truth behind why things cost money. At the supermarket, you pay for your groceries; when you order a coffee, you pay first; and when you plan a wedding, you pay money.

There is this term that’s been floating around as long as I can remember – it’s called “The W Tax” and I’m here to tell you it is BS.

Haven’t heard of it? Allow me to explain.

The ‘W’ stands for ‘wedding’ and the term ‘W tax’ is a mythical amount that some people believe is added to a wedding cost simply because it’s a wedding and therefore couples will pay extra for it. But this is true. The W Tax is something someone outside of the wedding world made up and it’s stuck.

To explain why it is not true, please allow me to give you an example… you go into a cake shop to purchase a birthday cake for little Jonny. It’s a delicious chocolate mud cake with bright blue icing and sprinkles. This cake costs you $100.

You thought the cake was yummy and looked great too, so you go back to the same cake shop to discuss your wedding cake.

After a quick discussion about what it is for, you’re quoted $800.

Some people will immediately tell you it’s because the cake designer heard the word ‘wedding’ and added the mythical W Tax, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

The fact of the matter is that to make a birthday cake for Jonny, the baker was required to make a single-tier cake with blue icing and sprinkles on it to feed 40 people.

We love little Jonny but he’s probably going to have more birthdays. So whilst this cake is special, delicious and beautiful, the baker has probably made 15 of these this week and can do it with their eyes closed.

Plus, Jonny’s just happy it’s chocolate mud!

To get the cake to the party, you probably drove to the shop to pick it up, brought it home to store it in your fridge, and then pulled it out at the right time to light some candles and make a wish, before chopping into 40-ish pieces.

Consider this alongside your wedding cake.

For starters, you probably don’t want blue icing and sprinkles (no judgement if you do, but I’m guessing your preferences lie elsewhere).

Your wedding cake will probably need to serve more than 40 people, maybe double, and will therefore be bigger in size, especially if you’re serving it for dessert. You might have found a picture of a beautiful cake design as inspiration and it might not be a design that this baker creates every week. So there will be additional time in making extra pieces and crafting decorative elements, waiting for the icing to set so other parts can be added, and so on.

Then you have the physical construction of the cake which usually happens when the cake arrives onsite at your wedding, so this requires delivery to the venue and hands-on time when the designer arrives.

On top of that, the wedding cake is usually the most photographed element at a wedding reception (apart from the couple, obviously).

Add onto the fact that, unlike Jonny’s many future birthdays, this is going to be your one and only wedding. The stakes are high and that cake has to look as good as it tastes.

The point of going into all this detail about cakes is because I love cake, and also because your wedding is going to cost money #sorrynotsorry

Multiply this cake example by all of your wedding services: a cute little family photo shoot on the beach versus your entire wedding day; purchasing a bouquet of flowers for a friend versus making a bouquet that has to last outside of water all day and be swung around over someone’s head (this is 100% accurate of every bridesmaid at every wedding).

Your wedding is a special day for you and the best suppliers know this.

They understand how important it is to make everything perfect and the good ones will go above and beyond to make that happen.

They get one chance to get your cake right, one opportunity to create your floral dream, and one chance to capture your first kiss.

All this is to say that if you are committed to having a wedding, it is going to cost money and I say this with love, please don’t be surprised when the best suppliers send you a quote that’s more than you thought it would be.

On another note, I’d like you to consider that whatever you choose to spend is an investment in beginning your married life together. I’m also going to politely recommend that you ignore anyone else’s opinion on the matter, including if they’re a financial contributor, and remember that this wedding is about you two and you alone.

Yours in wedding-ranty-ness,

Kerstyn x


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