We don’t think we’ve met a wedding professional who hasn’t lost some sleep over pricing. Whether it’s because they don’t know where they stand in comparison to their competition or the sheer mental exhaustion of being asked to discount their prices for the millionth time, the topic of pricing can be described as nothing short of hot – and nothing less than wildly under discussed.
Couples often have no clue what goes on behind the scenes and, worse yet, may not realize that their vendors businesses are their livelihoods. So, in a month that is all about money, we asked the question, “Why does it cost what it costs?” to our community of wedding professionals. From band leaders and planners to bakers and florists, here is a real explanation of the thought that goes into wedding vendor pricing.
It’s impossible to be the very best and have the cheapest price. I believe vendors have to find, on a sliding scale, where they feel they can deliver a high quality product at a realistic price their ideal clients can afford. The reason we have set our prices as they are is because we want to find a balance between inflated costs that don’t bring extra value and making sure our smallest package still brings quality to someone with a smaller budget. Our goal is to have our clients feel that this is a great investment into the wedding as opposed to being an expense.
David Rothstein Music features a versatile and talented 11-Piece Band (piano, bass, drums, sax, trumpet, trombone, male and 2 female vocalists, and a guitar) as well as a DJ. They can play anything from the hottest top 40 to Sinatra. With over 3,000 songs in our repertoire, this band can play anything. We’re about keeping ALL the guests dancing and that takes talent – which is worth paying for!
When inquiring for floral design services couples are likely to see a HUGE range of pricing. But, the one constant between every florist is the cost of the FLOWERS! Florists have a hard cost of a perishable product – and that needs to be covered, regardless. What can make florists’ pricing differ are the flower types, quantity, and quality a couple wants. For example, a 6″x6″ vase of white hydrangea and greens can cost $20 while the same size vase filled with garden roses can be $150.
The second thing you’re paying for with florists is their expertise and couples really want to make sure they’re finding a florist that has the work experience and design chops to accomplish the vision. Plus, there is so much behind-the-scenes set up that you also want someone who knows how to make sure your day goes off without a hitch. Which leads me to time. Couples are also paying for a florist’s time. Every wedding professional deserves to be compensated for every design meeting, venue walk through, email, contract revision, etc. – for all time spent focusing on the details of a couple’s day.
The final factor in floral design pricing is the labor for any and all assistants needed. From extra hands in the work studio to heavy lifters for the day of events (building structures and coming back at the end of the night to clean up and collect all the glassware and rentals) there are a lot of people involved in getting everything running smoothly and beautifully.
When it comes to our pricing, there is a list of things that help us come up with a final number. First off, we insist on the best ingredients! So, we source eggs from a local farm, look for the best chocolate, and purchase our dairy from Challenge (owned by California farmers) just to name a few. Since what we do is eaten by all of the guests, we feel that investing in the best ingredients lends to the best cakes and desserts.
Since everything is baked from scratch in our bakery, it takes a lot more of our time than just using a mix and adding wet ingredients. We made this choice as a business but we know it makes a better product – and it is sometimes what sets us apart. And, doing things from scratch requires that our staff pay pretty extreme levels of attention to what they are producing. Making perfect products takes time and our staff are very highly skilled and deserve to be compensated for it.
We also work very hard to have the best customer service and spend a lot of time with our customers to make sure they feel like they are getting exactly what they need and want. This includes our deliveries being timed to exactly when the customer needs us there (instead of a several hour window) and we set everything up instead of just delivering boxes of goods.
And, from a business perspective, we have all the correct insurance, licensing and permits, which also takes time and money to achieve. But having gone through the trouble of doing so means that our customers can feel safe and comfortable knowing that their guests are going to have a great experience without any worries!
Planning a wedding is basically a full time job. And, couples are paying for more than just someone to help pick their vendors, go on venue tours, and be there on wedding day. When you hire a planner, you’re paying for an experience, for an assistant, for someone that will be there to help you through the whole process – for someone to do the job of planning their wedding, allowing them to have time to live their life.
I charge what I charge, because I dedicate my all to my clients. I put myself in the position to be there for them, whatever they may need. I like to think that my prices are somewhat modest, considering what’s involved. There’s so much leading up to a wedding day. It’s a process. And, I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding on how much prep time and hours are really required to the plan for it. Part of how I justify my cost is that I am the person that my couples can put total trust into and make sure that every detail is met.