There are a lot of tasks that wedding planners take on as a part of their services. As we work closely with our clients, we often take on additional responsibilities to make sure that their wedding day is perfection.
There are tasks that we should never take on for legal reasons and there are tasks we could take on, but we should be charging extra for. In this blog post for wedding planners, we are sharing a list of jobs you should never do and a list of jobs that you should be charging extra for (if you decide to offer them as a service).
At any point that you are handling food at an event, you should have food handler permits and insurance that covers you for food prep and service.
Again, if you are not covered with insurance for food handling, you should not be cutting or serving the wedding cake. If someone gets food poisoning at the wedding and you even handled the food, it brings you into the circle of liability.
This blog post gives you the low-down on everything you need to know about wedding cakes.
Alcohol service is another area that must be covered by insurance, licenses, and any additional certifications your state or country may require. Bartenders are trained to serve responsibly and follow all state laws. Unless your company has licensed bartenders on staff, do not serve any alcohol at events.
Some couples think they can save money by plugging in a phone to a speaker system for music instead of hiring a professional DJ or band. When they realize they still need someone to emcee, the couple may ask their wedding planner. The answer from you should always be no!
There is no way you can do your job as a planner and emcee the reception. If they are set on DIY’ing their music, suggest they find a friend to serve as an emcee, but make sure that you, as the event planner, has nothing to do with it.
Transporting gifts from the reception opens the wedding planner up to liability for anything lost or damaged. You are likely moving a lot of expensive gifts and cards full of cash, so it is unadvisable to take this task on. If you do help with gift transport, make sure it is with someone from the wedding such as a parent of the couple. That way you can confirm that the job is done, and they can sign off that everything is accounted for before you leave.
This is just a headache waiting to happen. The couple and their immediate family may know who you are and be willing to give you their address but imagine calling 100+ people who have no idea who you are and asking for their personal information. This is a job for the couple and their families.
This is one that is debatable among wedding planners, but my opinion is that the wedding planner should not take responsibility for mailing the marriage license.
After it is signed, you are still super busy with the rest of the wedding details. During the reception, there is ample time for the marriage license to be misplaced. In my area, most of the officiants will mail the license. If the officiant does not do this, have your couple designate the best man or maid of honor for this task.
At the end of the wedding, there may be extra food and cake that needs to go somewhere. If you take responsibility for these items, you have to make sure they are stored following proper food storage guidelines. Since there are a lot of variables to making sure food is safe to eat after moving it, it is not recommended that the wedding planner takes on this job.
*If your company has the appropriate licenses and/or insurance you could add this on to your services for an additional charge.
Extra set-up means more time and more staff. So, if you take on this task, make sure to charge accordingly for the extra team members and time needed. If a venue requires set-up, they might require everything to be put away, so account for that in your quote as well.
Many planners offer this service at an additional charge. The response cards are returned to the planner and the planner maintains the running total. Many couples enjoy receiving the response cards in the mail so I prefer to offer this as an add-on service.
Again, contacting guests who have not RSVP’d falls under RSVP management. It is a great add-on service to a wedding planning package.
There are two steps to creating a seating chart for a wedding. First, assigning people to tables and then actually creating the physical chart. Assigning people to tables is something that needs to be done with the clients, as they know their guests and who they should sit with. After assignments have been finalized you can certainly create the seating chart, escort cards, and place cards for an additional charge.
If the couples choose to assign each seat at the tables, they will need to make those decisions but the planner can create place cards for an additional fee or work with the stationery designer to create the place cards for each place setting.
This blog post explains the types of guest seating for weddings.
Some couples forgo hiring full-service caterers in favor of food trucks, or caterers who drop off food and leave. Often, that means there is no one to bus tables and clean up trash. If staffing is needed to serve food, there may be additional insurance required and possibly food safety training.
If you choose to offer this service as an add-on, take the time to calculate exactly how much extra staff you will need and what those costs will be. Bussing tables, end-of-night cleanup, and removing trash can be very time-consuming.
There are some wedding errands that you will take on as a wedding planner as a part of your wedding planning package but there are some that are above and beyond.
If you are picking up and returning tuxes, transporting the wedding gown, and transporting or returning florals or rentals, you should be charging more for these services. Not only is it extra work, but you are taking on more responsibility for key wedding items.
Many venues have clean up requirements in the rental agreement. Often, a full-service catering company would typically complete those requirements after an event. If the catering company does not provide this service or if there isn’t a full-service caterer, you may choose to offer this service for an additional charge to your clients. You will need additional staff to complete these tasks.
When rental companies are hired, there are usually varying levels of service. If your clients choose a level of service that requires someone besides the rental company to place chair covers and sashes, you need to charge an additional fee to provide that service. It seems simple but based on the number of chairs, it is a time-consuming process and you have to make sure you have enough people to get it done in the set-up time you have.
Brides love to start projects, but when the wedding is looming, they are often short on time and find it hard to complete the projects. If you take on the task of finishing these projects that are outside of your contracted services, you will need to charge more for your time.
It can be so easy to say yes to the requests our clients make because we want to make them happy. Make sure that when you are saying yes that you have all the appropriate licenses and that you are not eating into your profits to please them. At the end of the day, you can make your clients happy and still make a profit.
This blog post gives you ready-to-use responses to help guide you through conversations with clients about adding on services and charges.
It’s also incredibly important to make sure your wedding planning services contract clearly states what you do and don’t do.
This is a guest post from Amber Peterson. Amber is the owner of Cheers Consulting Group and Cheers Wedding Planning & Design in western Washington. She has a Masters Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and consults with wedding professionals about their marketing and business challenges. Amber is also the co-founder of the Skagit Wedding Society.
Pricing With Confidence: Secrets to Profitable Pricing & Services for Professional Wedding Planners is a comprehensive guide with templates and worksheets that give you the tools and information needed to confidently offer profitable and sustainable wedding planning packages and pricing.
This guide is ideal for both new and experienced wedding planners who want to understand pricing methods and techniques. This guidebook is also perfect for wedding planners who want to save time by having ready-to-use templates for planning packages, examples of website wording, and a professional spreadsheet to rely on for calculating prices for weddings and events.