Wedding Planning 101

Are You Giving Away Your Work?

  1. kasey says:

    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!

    • 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.

  2. […] 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 […]

  3. […] 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 […]

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

  5. Kathy Kepler says:

    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!!

  6. […] 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 […]

  7. […] 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. […]

  8. […] 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. […]

  9. […] 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 […]

  10. […] 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 […]

  11. Dee says:

    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.

  12. Malinda says:

    Great article!! Very helpful.

  13. […] 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 […]

  14. Gemma says:

    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

  15. Claire says:

    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

  16. Julie Hermam says:

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

  17. Michele says:

    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…

  18. Geri says:

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

  19. Nicole says:

    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!

    • Debbie says:

      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.

  20. Samantha says:

    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/

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

  22. 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!)

    • Debbie says:

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

    • Rachael says:

      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.

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

  24. Chandra Keel says:

    Amen

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