Career Magazine

Wedding Planner Q&A – “How Much Should I Charge for My Wedding Planning Services?”

By Sharonhill @sharonhill

Determine Rates for Your Wedding Planning Services

Are you having trouble deciding how much to charge for your wedding planning services?

Here are tips for determining your rates and avoiding the biggest mistake wedding planners make when deciding what to charge.

Question

I’m not really sure what to charge. Should I call other wedding planners, get their rates, and then base my rates off that?

Answer

There aren’t many wedding planners who would be willing to tell you how much they charge. And don’t even think about contacting them pretending to be a bride to find out their rates. It’s dishonest and, besides, most planners know when another wedding planner is calling.

You don’t decide your rates by just copying what others charge. You’re unique. The services you provide, your level of customer care, your work style, your skills and your experience planning weddings aren’t exactly the same as another wedding planner’s.

You also need to take into consideration the amount of time you put into planning a wedding. This is where many new, and even experienced, wedding planners make their biggest mistake. They don’t realize the amount of time they spend on all of the details of planning a wedding and don’t charge enough.

In order to determine your rates, you need to add up all of the time you spend working on a wedding. This includes phone calls, emails and meetings with the client and all the vendors involved, along with your drive-time to and from meetings. Then there are the hours spent running the rehearsal and, on the wedding day, all the time you spend working before, during and after the ceremony and reception. And, don’t forget to charge enough to cover the assistants you have working with you, even if they’re your friends and relatives.

You don’t need to be specific about the fact that you’re including things like drive-time in your fees but you may want to be specific about the number of face-to-face meetings you’ll include with your services. You can allow brides to pay additional fees if they want more time with you. Also, be sure you stipulate that last minute changes can mean an increase in charges. Changes not only increase the amount of time you spend, but your vendors may have rush charges and you don’t want to be the one who has to make up the difference if you quoted their rates in your contract.

Remember, you’re a professional businessperson who needs to have a profitable wedding planning business. If you don’t charge adequately for your time and costs, you may find that you’re earning a lot less than minimum wage and you won’t be able to stay in business as a wedding planner.

And if you have a pressing question about starting or running your wedding planning business, you can send me an email at [email protected] I’ll answer them on this blog or in my ezine, “Wedding Planner Tips,” which you can subscribe to here.

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