Something happened to me about 2 years ago. I started to get bitter. I got bitter at how many people took advantage of creatives, how they never valued our time, and how much our costs were always questioned. That feeling can easily eat away at your soul and your business. Guess who is in control of changing that? BUSINESS OWNERS! The only way for clients to know your worth, is for you to know it. Let me myth bust a few things in the wedding industry for brides that are planning their wedding:
1.) STOP DOING YOUR OWN FLORAL! It is literally more expensive. Add up all of those Hobby Lobby trips over a year then your bulk floral order and tell me the number. You would be amazed that I could send you to a florist in your budget to get more than what you paid for. You just need the right florist. Plus, spending 6 plus hours on making bouquets and centerpieces, come on. You really want to be doing this the night before you get married? I promise one of your bridesmaids will be drunk and your stress level will not have a price tag on it.
2.) An IPod system is never ok for music: Nope, not even ceremony music. People who do not DJ or play in a band professionally do not know how to properly change over songs, pay attention to cues for different bridal party members, and do not know how to properly announce ANYTHING! Plus, let’s not talk about that one time. Someone called my bride and she didn’t turn her phone on silent. Yup, her ringtone was what she walked down the aisle to. Even if you have a planner, they are timing out the bridal party and ensuring you are stress-free. They cannot be focused on switching music.
3.) Yes, those makeup stands at the mall scared you: I won’t even get into how my natural look brides are terrified once they leave the MAC counter. Just hire a professional wedding makeup artist! They answer emails and everything! Plus you need to be airbrushed for your wedding, don’t let anyone tell you any different.
4.) Be careful with your caterer: When booking your food for your wedding you need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. In the catering industry, this is what causes the biggest uproar with brides. Why is this person $60.00 per head and this restaurant is so cheap? I found one who can do it for $18.00! Let’s break this down:
-The restaurant quoted you chicken but you asked the catering company for filet mignon.
-The restaurant doesn’t include staffing, silverware, china, cleanup, pre-bussing, water service, nothing.
Again, china is a minimum of $4 per person
Staff is a minimum of $150.00 per staff member
5.) Why do these venues cost so much? What does your venue include? Stop with the sticker shock already. Couples getting married today are the most highly educated group to date but we are still trying to figure out why a venue that includes nothing is less than a venue that includes catering, bar services, linens, and chairs.
Ask these questions:
Does your venue have staff to oversee the site if something goes wrong? Do you have a point of contact person? Does it include anything? Do they have parking? Is that parking free? Think of all of these things because EVERYTHING has a price tag attached to it when you pick a venue where you need to outsource.
6.) Yes, your photographer is going to be more expensive than you originally planned.
It is just how it goes. The amount of money that professionals spend in equipment could send my sons to college. They are there to make a living, their costs should document a profit at the end of the year. I can tell you first hand the dramatic difference in dealing with a photographer that has their stuff together and one that just decided they loved weddings yesterday. They are with you ALLLLLLLLL day. I mean if I had to spend hours in the getting ready suite, I would pull my hair out. That’s why I stick to the event, that’s my forte. How they interact with you, how they command attention, how they move, how the edit, and the hours they spend. Stop putting a price tag on these things. Not every bride can afford some vendors and that is okay. This is to educate the “I want all day coverage for less than $5.00 an hour” thinkers.
7.) Then there is me. The wedding coordinator or planner or how ever you want to spin it. One of the most saturated crafts in the game. Ever since Pinterest came out, now anyone that likes to DIY or make things pretty is a planner. So here are some things a professional spends money on:
>Emergency kit for wedding day (replenished quarterly, at a minimum)- $200 every 3 months.
>Buy headsets to keep in touch with other assistant(s) during the day – $250.00
>Continued Education (you know, so I know how get and be better) – $1,000 +
>Annual Business Insurance – $600.00
>Networking fees – $300
>Taxes – 30-60% per event
>Business collateral (cards, thank you notes, welcome packets) – $500.00+
>Staffing (assistants, set ups crew) each year- $15,000.00+
This doesn’t include my re-branding, website, wedding wire, the knot, email hours, phone calls, gas, office space rent, and the list goes on.
During the wedding day:
-Set up ceremony and reception
By time you walk down the aisle, three fires have already been put our that you have no clue of
Gather bridal party to start ceremony, then cocktail hour, the reception
Keep eyes on the dance floor and guests at all times to make sure someone did spill a drink, that bride and groom don’t need something, etc.
Box everything up at the end of the night as well
Your aunt that likes decorating cannot do that. Your friend that just got married and loved it will not watch your entire night like a hawk without a drink!
I love what I do, like really love it. What has happened is that after the recession there was this great need to get people to spend money on weddings again. We needed to take what we could get to feed our kids or pay our bills. Well, we got taken advantage of. Our worth got lost and now possible clients have been groomed to tell us our worth. That will not change until we are willing to hear the word no or take the time to educate.
I generally will not come down on a price once it’s quoted. I am worth what I am worth for a reason. I promise you won’t find me setting up your wedding in booty shorts and drinking at the bar halfway through your reception either. That’s the perk of hiring someone who knows what they are doing 🙂