Wedding Planning 101

Are You Giving Away Your Work?

  1. Chandra Keel

    April 12th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Amen

  2. Debbie

    April 12th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Love your comment Chandra. Thank you for making me laugh!

  3. Brit Tucker Stewart

    April 12th, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Could not agree more. Such a share-worthy post!

  4. Debbie

    April 12th, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Thank you Brit!

  5. Jeannine Kennedy

    April 12th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Truer words have never been spoke, Debbie! I wanted to add 2 quick things for planners to consider:

    1) Gas costs are predicted to rise up to $4.50 – $5.00 this summer. If you live in a sprawling metro area like Atlanta, your venues can easily be 60 – 75 miles away and still be considered the same city or area. Don’t even get me started about traffic in Atlanta, my commute time to a venue for a Friday night rehearsal can be as much as 2 – 2.5 hours – one way! So that 1.5 hours you mentioned for rehearsal time can easily turn into 4 – 4.5 hours – and a half a tank of gas. Cha-ching!

    2) I have found consistently over the years that (with the exception of close family/friends) when I have discounted my services for a client, they do not truly value my services or my opinion and are more interested in having a “girl Friday” to take care of the small, insignificant things for them. Interestingly enough, I have never received a gratuity or gift from a client whose services I generously discounted, and only on a few occasions have I received a handwritten thank you card from them. I also have not typically made a real connection in the past with clients when I have provided a discount. I don’t receive referrals from clients I have given discounts to, nor do they keep in touch after their wedding. There is no worse feeling in the world than working really hard for someone knowing that they do not respect you. Guests, parents and wedding party members tend to pick up on how the bride and groom treat you and follow suit. Give a cheap service, get ready to be treated like you’re on a cheap date.

    To summarize: a) We have to know our costs of doing business so we can know how to price our services, and b) we have to confidently know our value in order to know how to price our services.

    Stepping down off of soap box now…(ha ha!)

  6. Debbie

    April 12th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Woohoo Jeannine! These are fantastic additions and such very good points. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Rachael

    August 11th, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    You go girl! I’m in the kitchen design business now and am transitioning to Wedding Planning as something I’m much more passionate about. I see this happen with our clients in kitchen design, too. But the people that don’t ask for discounts tend to be much more reasonable all-around. So I never give discounts. And if they don’t buy from me because of it, I consider myself lucky. I wonder if it’s the customer service related industry. It seems some people have been feeling more and more entitled in the last few years.

  8. Planner's Lounge - Debbie

    August 12th, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks for commenting Rachael!

  9. It’s Friday + My Grandmother, a Bride! ::

    April 13th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    […] vendor’s, the Planner’s Lounge shared a great post with some good advice! Have a great weekend! Check back on Monday for an […]

  10. Samantha

    April 13th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Love this post! I’ve been in biz for a little over 2 years. I’ve just recently added wedding management to my services. I’ve been struggling with my pricing. I’d love feedback on it. Thanks! http://luxurychildrensparties.com/wedding-management-services/

  11. Debbie

    April 13th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Thank you for joining the community Samantha!

  12. Nicole

    April 16th, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Wow! I really needed this article. I’m just starting my business but have been planning for a long time and my first event(under my business name) I really undercut myself A LOT! I guess this goes to show you that you have to set a serious bar on the clients you will accept. Thank you for this!

  13. Debbie

    April 16th, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    You are welcome Nicole! We all have to start somewhere but the key is to keep growing and raise your prices so that you can make a living doing what you love. Thank you for taking time to comment.

  14. Geri

    August 8th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    This is too funny BUT soo true. I love it!

  15. Debbie

    August 8th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you Geri!

  16. Michele

    October 9th, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I thought this was all written just for me. I have been under- selling myself for years. I know it’s time to either bill for my work or stop doing the job for nothing…

  17. Planner's Lounge - Debbie

    October 10th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    So true Michele. Thank you for taking time to comment.

  18. Julie Hermam

    October 11th, 2013 at 4:43 am

    I am in the planning stages of launching my business in January. I am struggling with pricing packages so this article is certainly helpful!

  19. Planner's Lounge - Debbie

    October 11th, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Good luck with the launch of your business!

  20. Claire

    January 27th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Hi there, I have an events company in South Africa and I stumbled upon your site because I need to step up my networking and strategic partnerships for the bigger clients now and your advice has really been helpful. I appreciate all the tips and guidance.

    Keep up the great posts!
    Regards, Claire

  21. Planner's Lounge - Debbie

    January 27th, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks Claire! Welcome!

  22. Gemma

    April 6th, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Hi Debbie
    I have stumbled across your site while l was looking for something else, what a stroke of luck for me!! I am in the process of setting up my Wedding & Events Business in Scotland (UK) & all your advise has been second to none, you have really given me a lot to think about & put things into perspective for me, l,e cost , office hours & pitfalls.
    Thank you so much for your invaluable advise.

    Best wishes
    Gemma

  23. Planner's Lounge - Debbie

    April 7th, 2014 at 7:59 am

    So glad you found us Gemma! Welcome.

  24. Interview with Lisa Smith from Gabbi Grace Events

    April 9th, 2014 at 5:49 am

    […] underbid and price your services so low to get the job that you don’t make any money. Let me be the first to tell you that charging $250 for day-of service is ridiculous. You will […]

  25. Malinda

    September 15th, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Great article!! Very helpful.

  26. Planner's Lounge - Debbie

    September 21st, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Thanks Malinda!

  27. Dee

    October 29th, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Wow! I really needed this article even though it was posted years ago-it’s still relevant today! After reading this I will now sit down and price my rates accordingly. These guidelines are a life saver to my business!
    Thank you! And by the way, I LOVE this website! You are a God-send! The timing of me your website is amazing! Thank you for all that you do, and sharing your wisdom and knowledge.

  28. Planner's Lounge - Debbie

    October 31st, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Thanks Dee!

  29. Do You Know Your Cash Flow?

    December 11th, 2015 at 11:42 am

    […] wedding and event planners charge too little for their services. We love what we do as event planners, but we are still in business to make […]

  30. Do You Know Your Cash Flow?

    December 11th, 2015 at 11:42 am

    […] wedding and event planners charge too little for their services. We love what we do as event planners, but we are still in business to make […]

  31. Planning $10k Weddings Versus $100k Weddings

    December 27th, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    […] If they do hire a wedding planner to help with actual planning, they are often interested in wedding planners who can find the best deals from vendors. Or they are interested in wedding planners who are just getting started and who are very affordable. […]

  32. Planning $10k Weddings Versus $100k Weddings

    December 27th, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    […] If they do hire a wedding planner to help with actual planning, they are often interested in wedding planners who can find the best deals from vendors. Or they are interested in wedding planners who are just getting started and who are very affordable. […]

  33. 3 Marketing Mistakes You May Be Making

    January 11th, 2016 at 10:28 am

    […] whether or not they can afford what you charge. This happens when you haven’t fully embraced the incredible value that your planning services provide. When you finally understand the worth of your work as a professional event planner, you’ll be […]

  34. Kathy Kepler

    January 25th, 2016 at 11:14 am

    The first wedding I ever did, I didn’t charge my client, it was 100% FREE of Charge, Then my second wedding, I charged for my services, but very little. Now, each time I do a wedding, I increase my rates. I still am not where I believe my services are worth; however, I want to work in this field and in order to do that, I have to negotiate with the brides or they won’t hire me. Each wedding I learn something, I gain experience, and I gain confidence to charge more for the next wedding. I have also been very fortunate, and have received a very nice gratuity from each of my brides, and great reviews/testimonials, which is only going to help me build my business!! I have also made contacts with some very reputable vendors and venues. Little-by-little, I will get to where I want to be charging for my services! I am just grateful to have the opportunity to work as a Wedding Planner!!

  35. Planner's Lounge - Debbie

    January 25th, 2016 at 11:32 am

    That is a good way to build your business Kathy. Keep raising your rates and you will get to the point where you are charging what you are worth. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  36. 5 Business Rules Made To Be Broken

    April 19th, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    […] Making enough money to cover my desired salary, business expenses, and savings. […]

  37. The Myth of “Day-Of Coordination”

    June 21st, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    […] I was calling my coordination services “Day-Of”, it was a very hard sell to convince someone to pay me $2,000 for what I was calling ONE DAY of work. Of course, then I would go into the song and dance of […]

  38. The Myth of “Day-Of Coordination”

    June 21st, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    […] I was calling my coordination services “Day-Of”, it was a very hard sell to convince someone to pay me $2,000 for what I was calling ONE DAY of work. Of course, then I would go into the song and dance of […]

  39. kasey

    October 16th, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    How many hours would you say you spend on partial planning and full service planning?

    I would love to think about the break downs of those services as well!

  40. Planner's Lounge - Debbie

    October 19th, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for your comment Kasey. It depends on how you structure those packages or proposals and what you include. Full planning could be anywhere from 50-150 hours depending on the type of wedding, logistics, budget, and what you include in your services.

share this post on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

featured product
featured product
featured product
collection 4
collection 3
collection 2
collection 1

category 2