We all understand the desire for clients to save money on their wedding day but it isn't your job to be constantly approaching suppliers to ask if they can do a better 'deal'.
Anyone planning a wedding is on Pinterest searching for those dreamy inspirations for their weddings and often have no idea that floral ceiling installation costs thousands, if not more, and takes two working days to set up.
Firstly let's look at why Clients think it OK to ask for discounts?
I am not sure I can really answer this one yet here are some of my thoughts from years spent working in the wedding industry.
They think theirs is the only wedding and by giving suppliers their business feel they are doing them a favour.
No supplier ever started a business to do favours, they started a business to make money, that is what business is about.
Often it is bandied about as soon as the word 'wedding' is used the prices go up, eye roll!
You may be told they can pick up a bunch of flowers from Waitrose for £35 so why would a wedding bouquet cost £150 or more.
Their mate is a DJ so they will book him instead. The 'mate' has never managed the music for a wedding day in his entire life, he only knows how to bang out house music.
This is going to suck when he realises he needs all the equipment, cordless microphones, ceremony and cocktail music, background dinner music, a timings sheet and to make announcements before he can start banging out his house music which in all probability will make most of the older guests leave.
Their uncle is a photographer, plenty of eye rolls whilst writing this post. I can say one thing in my years of working in weddings I have never seen a successful outcome of clients not using a professional wedding photographer, ever....
The problem lies in the lack of education as to what weddings actually entail and it is the wedding industry who are at fault.
Stop showcasing all the Fluffy Stuff
It is time to educate your audiences and stop this mindset of we can ask for discounts because it is a wedding.
You don't walk into a shop and ask for a discount, if you can't afford you don't buy it. The same principle should apply to weddings.
By all means share the gorgeous end results but also share what goes on behind the scenes.
Talk about the amount of work involved in preparing for a wedding, the hours spent creating the bouquet so it is perfect and won't fall apart during the day.
Share you had to buy packets of flowers for the wedding not just the actual quantity of flowers required.
Share the equipment you have taken to a wedding with back up mics, batteries and the testing of all equipment, the upgrading of equipment to ensure the clients have the best on the day entertainment.
Show your cameras, the lenses, your back up cameras, memory cards and how you get those fabulous shots based on your experience.
The ones the uncle wouldn't have a clue about!
Now you can see where I am heading, as an industry we pull off stunning days, but it comes with a price.
There is no second chance, we all know this and are trained to deliver the best possible service we can, 110%.
So talk about what goes on behind the scenes, we are all running businesses and not just popping up to do one wedding.
Businesses have running costs, premises, internet, electricity, staff, admin....
Stop asking your Suppliers for Discounts
When clients ask you to start negotiating this is a red flag.
If you haven't already got this clause in your contracts add it in, you don't negotiate with suppliers about their prices.
Your relationship with suppliers will suffer, they don't need your work and will become irritated if you have become the 'wedding planner haggler'.
You are devaluing their services, they have priced their businesses accordingly to make a profit, don't expect them to work for less.
Discounted rates will affect the end service as suppliers will have to cut costs, a caterer may have to use cheaper ingredients or a photographer will reduce the editing time.
These compromises will negatively impact the quality of the suppliers work and the overall wedding experience.
How to help couples with their Wedding Budgets
Whilst it is understandable clients are on a wedding budget and don't want it to run away with them here are some tips to help you manage the inevitable 'can we do this cheaper'.
Firstly depending on where you have positioned yourself as a planner will determine the sorts of clients you will attract.
You will know the likely costs of everything required for a wedding day, therefore don't take on weddings who don't have the budget you need to help them.
This is setting up for a very stressful time and most likely disappointed clients.
Only take on weddings you know you can realistically achieve.
If a client needs help to reduce a suppliers quote offer valuable advice. Suggest they remove some of the flowers from the church or opt for a cheaper structure for their ceremony. Suggest they don't need a floral garland for their table seating plan.
Look at alternative options and explain what they could lose without compromising on the overall experience.
It is your job to help clients with their budgets and not the suppliers responsibility to reduce their prices.
Work with Me
If you would love to work with me, I do have my one month 1 to 1 where we take a look at your wedding business and plug those holes.
It maybe you aren't attracting in the right clients.
I take a look at your business, see how we can improve it, take the stress out of it and streamline your processes or marketing.
For more details just pop me over an email at email@example.com
If you would love to spend more time Blogging your work and learning Pinterest you can sign up here to be notified when my next Blogging Brilliance course for Creatives goes live.