There's this trend in the business world to stop being so secretive about pricing and to boldly display prices on the company's website. I support this trend wholeheartedly! From day one of starting my business, I've always listed my prices. It's my goal to convey who I am through my social media and this blog, and to clearly state the services I offer and what makes me different from other officiants. With all of that clearly stated and with my prices listed, my hope is that potential clients will see the value in what I offer and that they'll want me to be their wedding officiant.
You've probably already noticed that many wedding vendors don't display their prices. It must be so frustrating to be shopping for your wedding vendors and to have no idea how much they cost. What must be even more annoying is when you've totally fallen in love with a vendor without knowing how much they cost and then finding out that they're waaaay out of your budget.
I recently hosted a networking workshop for wedding professionals where we talked about this problem: couples want to know their prices/they don't wan't to display their prices. Here are some of the thoughts that came up:
Thinking Behind Not Displaying Prices
Some vendors feel that if they can get a couple to meet them then the couple will be more likely to hire them. Sort of like, "Once you get to know me, you'll understand what I offer and why I'm special, you'll love me, and you'll pay my price."
Some vendors want the couple to make a small commitment of time with the initial contact (phone call/video chat) to show that they're a serious inquiry before the vendor shares their pricing.
Some vendors, like florists, caterers and planners (to name a few), customize their service so much depending on the client that they find it nearly impossible to list prices.
Some vendors are just worried that a couple will see their price and just never inquire because they think it's too expensive (without really understanding what the vendors offers and why the vendor charges what they do).
You have to admit, these are all pretty concrete reasons and not based on wanting to bait clients or trap them into inquiring. They're trying to do what they think is best, but I think it's time to let go of the fear of scaring away clients. I think it's time to be open and honest about what we cost and why we're awesome.
Thinking Behind Displaying Prices
No offense, but some vendors don't want to spend their time talking to potential clients only to find out the clients were never going to be able to afford them. By displaying prices, vendors find that clients self-select and only contact the vendors they know they can afford.
Because this trend hasn't totally caught on, some vendors realize that by displaying their prices they're setting themselves apart from their "competition." (I always put "competition" in quotes because I really don't believe in this concept. There may be other people out there doing the same type of work but everyone is so different and there's enough work for everyone).
The vendors who display their prices know that that's what their customer wants. These vendors want to help their potential clients, who they know are working off of a budget and need to make a financial decision, not just an emotional one.
So, you see, it's not that wedding vendors are trying to be sneaky or keep important information from you. You should still inquire with them about their pricing, even if they don't display it on their website. But it's also time for all of us to start encouraging wedding vendors to display their prices, or at least give a range or a "starting at" price. It's time for us wedding professionals to trust our clients and know that they understand why we cost what we do. You customers today do your research and understand the value of what we wedding professionals provide.
And it would be a heck of a lot easier for couples if all vendors displayed their prices! Amiright?!