Crystal from Distinct Occasions, a brilliant wedding planner in Canada, wrote this article. With her permission I like to share it with you.
Thank you Crystal
When planning your wedding you likely will go to many vendors and part of that process is receiving quotes for chosen products and services. Why is there so much variation in pricepoints? There are a million answers for that but I’ll try and breakdown the most common of them…
Would you work at your job for free? No. Well good… because no matter how much I love you and my career I can’t and won’t either. I have a family to feed, a roof to put over our heads, and a life to live. If you don’t pay my time (yes, labour) than I am essentially working for free and quite frankly… I can’t afford that.
Offices cost money. If your chosen vendor works from home that costs money as well. If we travel to you, to your vendors, go out on sourcing trips, or site visits. It’s ALL overhead. Overhead are the fixed costs associated with running our business that you, as the client, have to help pay in the longrun… ie. through our labour charges.
RENTAL VS PURCHASE
Rental rates are most often cheaper than purchase price but can still be expensive depending on the product. Swarovski crystal is much more expensive than glass. Likewise different items cost different amounts. The longer a vendor owns said object the less valuable it becomes (as it builds wear and tear).
This one is tricky but for people, like myself, who are ‘creatives’ our “product” is our creativity. There is a dollar value associated with our time, our efforts, our creativity for our clients. Inspiration boards, custom designed centrepieces, handcrafted invitations, unique graphic design, etc all are examples of the creative process. People are often confused or frustrated by paying for an ‘intangible’ item but in the end my ‘intangible’ creative brain evokes the emotion, creates the design, and sculpts your wedding into a work of art. What’s that worth to you?
TRUCKING & DELIVERY
Gas prices suck! There I said it! But running a business means having the ability to travel and shipping costs, trucking costs, setup, teardown, etc are all part of that. When gas/travel prices go up – often so does the quote in correlation to what we’re seeing in raising costs elsewhere.
QUALITY OF PRODUCT
You can (& some people do) have their weddings for next to no budget. Personally, I’m delighted they can do it! But I know the sacrifices that they have to make in order to do that. Quality product does not come cheap. OK let me backtrack… it rarely comes cheap. Exceptions to every rule of course. If you want premium product be prepared to pay premium price.
REPUTATION & EXPERIENCE
Along with reputation and experience comes knowing your worth. Anyone with a solid reputation in their industry and the experience to back it up earns more. It’s like a corporate ladder for the self employed. When we start out, we probably did pro-bono or at-cost work, but that very quickly shows a very negative bottom line and doesn’t work. Those who want to get better in their Industry know that they have to produce outstanding work – consistently. This means attending conferences, tradeshows, seminars and yes, producing beautiful weddings ALL THE TIME.
SUPPLY & DEMAND
Those with great reputations & experiences levels are also the most sought after and thus demand drives pricing structures as well. Likewise, if I am a company of one or even two people and you sign with us you are guaranteeing my personal services thus making it impossible for anyone else to book my services for your date. Thus… I am a commodity sold to the first to engage my services.