Money

Is the 'wedding markup' real? See costs compared on hidden camera

Weddings can be expensive: You know that going in. But experts say vendors often charge more for a wedding than any other kind of celebration. They call it the wedding markup. But does this really happen?

To see, TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen visited an event venue, a photographer and a DJ on hidden camera to get prices, telling each he was planning a birthday party for 150 guests.

Rossen's producer, Lindsey Bomnin, made the same calls and appointments for the same services with the same number of guests on the same date, with only one difference: Instead of a birthday, she said she was planning a wedding.

When they were both done, they compared prices, and the results were revealing.

The DJ company later told NBC News: "Weddings require much more attention to detail ... The talent ... must go through a lengthy training process ... and backup equipment is also taken. Birthday parties have less formalities and planning time is at nearly a minimum."

RELATED: Jeff Rossen reveals 3 shopping secrets that could save you big bucks

If you're planning a wedding, you can do the same thing without the hidden cameras. Get the price, then have a friend call the same vendors to get prices for a birthday party on the same date with the same services. Most venues will give you a price over the phone.

To suggest a topic for an upcoming investigation, visit the Rossen Reports Facebook page.

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