Wedding Planner Education | Responsible Pricing for Wedding Planners

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Ooh this is a touchy subject, well why wouldn’t it be - finances can get anyone a little riled up now and then. When you find a new path like starting a new wedding planning business you may be tempted to simply go out and offer wedding planning services to the first taker at the lowest price in your area. If you this sounds like you, please keep reading!

If I could give new planners any advice it would be these four points:

  1. Start with education

  2. Network with local wedding professionals

  3. Price sustainably

  4. Continue investing in education!

{1 Start with education }
Knowing the general principles of what makes a solid timeline, how to communicate with vendors, managing rentals and decor details and learning key risk management points to protect your business and your personal assets is so worth your investment. Education will give you a great foundation to build upon, and set you up for a successful new career.

{2 Network with local wedding professionals}
A wedding planner is only as good as their communication with the event partners they are working with. The relationships that we build comes from understanding each vendors craft and what we can do on our end to make sure they are set-up for success at each event that we work together. At the end of the day we are an advocate for our clients, but remember that during any given wedding season you could work with these vendors multiple times so start off on the right foot by introducing yourself and building your network.

{Price Sustainably}
Even if you are a new planner you need to understand the general price point at which you can operate a sustainable business. Even with the lower overhead for those who work from home and don’t pay for a space, you should still be accounting for the time you spend on each event and factor in tax, general liability insurance, paying for an assistant (if needed) and savings.
So let’s take the scenario of a wedding management (also referred to as day-of) client whom you quoted for a cool $500.

Right off the bat, let’s assume you are needing to save 20% for taxes.
So now, we are at $400 and if you account for about 30 hours of work from the initial consultation, site walk and planning sessions. At $13/hour you’re already barely above minimum wage (at least in California) once you have factored in traveling to and from the event and paying an assistant.

Being aware of how much time an event will require, and how many assistants you need for the scope of work that you are being contracted for is important because you don’t want to get into a situation of over promising and under-delivering. Should you charge based on what others are charging in your area? Should you throw out random numbers until something sticks? No, but instead look at the numbers that make sense in order to be profitable based on how many events you want to book and your cost of doing business. I highly recommend Kristin Kaplan’s pricing workbook, or that you check out some of the podcasts I mention in this blog post for more tips on pricing!

{4 Continue investing in education}
I know, I know..we already talked about education in the first place but no matter how many years you have in the industry - things change. New technology comes out, trends change, laws change in the sense of business practices and you want to stay in the know with these important topics. Investing in education from industry leaders as well as a solid contract for your services will help to ensure you have a long & profitable future ahead of you!

I recently completed a Wedding Planner Intensive Course with Mary Swaffield and even after being in business for 7+ years I walked away with valuable information about efficient systems and processes that I can carry into my business moving forward.

If you are a new planner still working to build your portfolio, and not sure about the next steps please stay tuned for next week’s blog post all about establishing a solid gallery of work & references to attract your target clients.