Module 5: Pricing
Creating your price point will be one of the hardest things you’ll master. There is a fine balance between how much you should charge and how much work you will perform. Creating your fee for wedding event management is a lot harder than just finding what sticks and what clients will pay. There are many different aspects to consider, and a really big one is how much experience you have. Other factors include what task you’re doing, how long those tasks take to do, and the value you give to your clients. You will be very tempted to lowball yourself in the beginning and maybe even do a little undercutting. Be careful with this. This is your brand—do you want to be known as the cheap wedding company or the company that offers the best value? There is a difference.
It is very important that you understand time management when setting your fees. Your basic wedding event management package should take roughly 21 hours. That’s it. You should be able to complete all the wedding event management tasks in 21 hours. Obviously, the more experience you gain, the less time these tasks should take. For example, it takes me about 15 minutes to create a Ceremony Details page; as a new consultant, it might take you a little longer.
Keeping Track of Your Hours
Do not guess at how many hours you’re spending on a client. Actually keep track. Keeping track will help you see where you might need to improve your time management. If you’re spending too much time explaining something to a client, create a blog post and send them to your blog. Understanding how many hours you can allot for the service they bought will help maintain clear boundaries between you and your client. If they are asking you to call vendors or make a floor plan, that’s an added service with additional hours. By keeping track of your hours, you’ll be able to tell how much you’re making hourly. For example, if you charge $1,200 for wedding event management, then you simply divide $1,200/21 = $57.14/hr.
Most invoicing platforms include a time tracker. You should consider purchasing an invoice platform that has time tracking and accepts credit card payments. You’ll get faster booking if clients are able to pay by credit card. This can be very helpful if a client wants to add a service to your wedding event management package. Invoicing will also be very helpful during tax time. This is how our service looks when invoiced:
Wedding Event Management – $1,200
- Planning Starts 30 Days Before Wedding
- Site Visit
- Rehearsal Management
- Day-of Management
- Weekly Phone Meetings
- Master Timeline
- Vendor Organization
- Personal Items Setup/Breakdown
The Price Balance
You are ultimately responsible for setting your own prices, but there are things to keep in mind when a bride comes to you with a lower budget. Think about what time of year she’s getting married. If it’s during next year’s wedding season, maybe she’s not a good fit for you right now. However, if she’s getting married in the fall and it’s currently summer, you might want to be flexible with your pricing—especially if you have a slow few months.
Getting your feet wet with lots and lots of practice is important. When you first start out you’ll want to undercut the competition to get some weddings under your belt. I recommend not undercutting by too much, though. Your reputation is on the line. A fair price for a consultant who is just starting out doing wedding event management is $800. Anything less and you’ll hate yourself by the end of the wedding. With the information inside this course, you’ll be prepared to hit the ground running.
Inside this Wedding Planner Pricing Workbook, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of finding a competitive price for your services. One of the most common issues new wedding planners seem to face is how to price their packages. In this workbook, you’ll be guided through activities to help you increase your self worth and learn what you should be charging for your services. Pricing is time and time again one of the hardest things to nail down as a business owner. If you price too low, you aren’t able to make ends meet, but you price too high and you run the risk of scaring potential clients away. Find the perfect balance inside this easy to use workbook.
Officiants will usually show up 30 minutes to an hour before the ceremony. Make sure they have enough time to do a mic check.
The florist may or may not decorate the church; it will depend on the service the couple agreed to. If they are decorating, they will need to get in as soon as possible since they will most likely hit the ceremony site before heading to the reception. Depending on the photos, they may need to deliver all the personal flowers to where the bride/groom are getting ready. Otherwise they sometimes leave them in the church for when the bridal party arrives.
The time the cake will arrive depends on a few factors. If the reception is outdoors, how long will the cake be sitting outside? Cakes don’t do well in the hot sun, so a baker might wait until the last minute to drop it off. What does their delivery run look like on the day of the wedding? They could be delivering 4-6 other cakes beside your couple’s. They may need to drop it off early. Just make sure the cake table is ready when the cake arrives. You don’t want to be responsible for moving the cake later.
The ceremony music usually arrives about an hour before the ceremony starts. The wedding planner will discuss the timeline and music cues. Live music might show up at the rehearsal, but this isn’t a common practice for DJs.
Reception music usually gets there about one hour before the cocktail hour, unless they are also doing the ceremony music. If that is the case, they will show up a little earlier to set up both systems. A DJ will need less time to set up than a band. A band could take several hours to set up. If they are doing any special lighting or visuals, they might show up even earlier.
Rental arrival times will depend on what the client has ordered and for which site or both. They usually like to get there as early as possible, which is good because you can’t set up until they arrive.
Photographer + Videographer
Depending on the photography package your client goes with, their hours will vary. The ideal photography package includes all-day coverage. This means they will be there from hair/makeup to send-off. The planner should always be communicating with the photographer about when the next wedding event is going to start.
When it comes to caterers, there are a few factors that will determine what time they will be showing up: the number of people, if the facility has a kitchen, if they set up tables and chairs, if the meal is plated or buffet-style. Sometimes they get there 2-3 hours before the reception.
Transportation is usually really great about being on time. However, if a bride and groom are using a classic car for a getaway, keep in mind that they are old and therefore unpredictable. They can quit working at any time for no reason. Have a Plan B just in case. Transportation will usually show up 15-30 minutes before pickup.
Hair + Makeup
Hairstylists have to be on time. If the hairstylist gets stuck in traffic or the bridal party shows up late, this could have a disastrous effect on the whole wedding. It can be a good idea to text your bride in the morning to make sure everything is running smoothly and on schedule. Makeup artists usually show up when hairstylists do.
A client could use a bar company or the caterer will supply the alcohol. If they are well organized, an hour is all they need to set up before cocktail hour starts.
Expanding Your Knowledge Base