This is a super busy time of year for me. As some of you may know, I founded the Maine Wedding Network and produced my first wedding vendor networking event back in 2013. For those of you who don’t know, as the Maine Wedding Network I gather wedding professionals work in here in Maine together for networking, workshops, discussion groups and social events in the “off-season” (November to April).Read More
How do you know if you need a Day of Wedding Coordinator? Take this little test. If you answer yes to most of the questions below then you need a Day of Wedding Coordinator.
- You enjoy doing DIY projects for your wedding
- You’re wicked organized
- You have already or are going to design the look of your wedding
- You don’t want people bugging you with questions on your wedding day
- You’re on a tight budget
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?!
We Maine wedding professionals field a lot of inquiry emails, especially during “inquiry season” which is Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day. You want your inquiry email to stand out, to have some personality and to catch the attention of the wedding vendor that you're hoping to work with, right? To help your email stand out from the crowd think about using some of the following suggestions.Read More
Maine is full of talented wedding vendors! Maine wedding videographers produce some of the most romantic, timeless, heartfelt films you'll ever see. It doesn't hurt that our state is full of amazing backdrops and venues. Think mountains, lakes, seasides, rocky beaches, mansions, rustic barns, meadows, and boats, don't forget the boats! Seriously, we have it all.Read More
This is one of those topics that couples getting married think about but don't know who to ask. It's awkward asking your vendors, "So, how much should I tip you?" So, let me see if I can help you avoid that awkward conversation about which vendors to tip and how much to tip them.
Let me first say that this is totally based on my experience and not necessarily on any etiquette that's generally accepted. By that I mean, there's this conversation about whether or not to tip business owners or just to tip employees/servers of those business owners. I don't want to get into an argument with anyone but I don't think being a business owner should exclude you from getting a lovely tip or gift from your clients. So, the following list is based on my gut and what I actually did at my wedding.
Caterer: $25 - $50 per person who was actually there on wedding day. I had to ask ahead and get a head count of servers, managers, etc. who would be onsite on my wedding day.
Bartender: $25 - $50 He was hired separately from the caterer and was his own business.
Photographer(s): $50 - $100 per person. We had two photographers at our wedding.
DJ/Musicians: $25 - $50 More if just one, less if more than one.
Hairstylist/Makeup Artist: $25 - $50 Remember to tip more if they have traveled to you rather than you going to the salon.
Planner: $100 - $500 I didn't have a planner so this is based on my research.
Officiant: ?? I've received a few tips over the years but it's always a big surprise!
I'm not sure why but I don't think I tipped my floral designer or my cake baker. That's weird, right? I mean they work just as hard as anyone else. Now I feel bad, sorry you guys! I think people make a distinction between vendors who offer a service on wedding day and those that offer a product. It seems like the common practice is to tip those that offer services.
REMEMBER: The best thing you can do for your wedding vendor is to review their services on WeddingWire or Yelp or other rating website.
my top five favorite wedding directories...in which i'm listed! there are so many great resources out there but these really are some of the best. i most recently joined wed over heels and i think it's just about the coolest community of wedding vendors out there!
wed over heels "love the journey. shape your dream wedding & connect with local pros who can make it come true!"
wedding wire "tools that make wedding planning as easy as 1, 2, 3..."
my wedding "our directory of maine wedding vendors will help you plan the wedding of your dreams!"
we do. "...an inclusionary, progressive, style and information-based online community for same-sex couples who are planning their wedding." they're going live in march 2013!
weddingchicks provides "custom wedding totes and tanks, wedding photographers and vendors, and wedding inspiration" all with a super classy interface.
which are your favorites? share them in the comments below.
i had the absolute pleasure of attending the lovesick expo this past weekend in boston. this is the anti-bridal expo or as they say they "defy the mainstream." there was nothing mainstream about it. there were however bellydancers, burlesque dancers, acrobats, live music, a bar, and 50 or 60 of the coolest, hippest wedding vendors in all of new england. the event took place at the artists for humanity is boston, a venue with concrete floors and an industrial feel. many weddings take place there and i can see why.
here is just a sampling of the goodness that was the lovesick expo boston 2013. i am considering whether or not to spring for a booth at the lovesick expo boston 2014. TBD.