I belong to an amazing community called The Wedding Experts. It’s made up of several different vendors who are very talented in what they do and one of the things we continually discuss is how and why we charge what we do. For some reason, services and products of the wedding industry are viewed as expensive, over-priced or ridiculous (just to name a few). Especially when it comes to Wedding Planning – it’s seen as an unnecessary cost.
And I get where you’re coming from. But the hard thing about Wedding Planning is that my work is indefinable so when it’s time to discuss cost with you, it’s understandable why you may think the cost is so high. And after the 15th time of brides asking the same question, I decided I needed to write a blog post about it. I’m going to try to break down my service as best I can. I’m going to bear it all and be completely honest and transparent with you. These numbers are from an actual wedding but for privacy reasons, I’ve changed the Brides name.
First and foremost, to understand why we charge what we do, perhaps you need to know exactly what we do. I’ve actually written a blog post about this here.
Now, let’s get into this. There’s going to be a lot of numbers so maybe grab some tea and a cozy chair – this is going to be a long one.
Prior to Brooke’s wedding (name changed for privacy reasons), these are the things I needed to do.
- 4 visits to the Venue Site that was 1 hour away (Site visits of Ceremony and Reception, rehersals, final details meetings)
- 4 floral visits (3x consults and designs, 1x meet with the couple)
- 3 Cake Design Visits (1x consult, 1x tastings, 1x redesign)
- 5 Dress Fittings (including bridal gown consults)
- 2 DJ visits
- 3 Photographer Visits (1x Consult, 1x Booking and 1x Prep for the day)
- 3 Videographer Visits (1x Consult, 1x Booking and 1x Prep for the day)
- 1 MC visit
- 2 Celebrant Visit (2x consults)
- 3 Hair and Make Up Artist Visits (1x consult, 2 trials)
With each visit at an average of 2 hours each, the total of everything above is 116 hours. And then let’s add;
- 16 hours spent meeting with Brooke to update her and discuss the wedding
- 12 hours spent doing supply runs to Kmart, Spotlight, Bunnings and Koch
- 3 hours spent dropping off luggage bags, picking up forgotten items and dropping off welcome bags to the hotel (at different times too because #weddings… if only we could control the world)
- 30+ hours actually driving
- 112 hours (Yes that’s a real number) researching vendors, designing the wedding concept, making timelines, organising details, answering emails and phone conversations with Brooke and other wedding vendors.
Now we’re at 289 hours.
Then on the wedding day itself; we were the first ones there on site to arrange table settings and decorations, set up the lolly bar, artfully fold napkins, place chair covers on each chair and then tie ribbons on them whilst coordinating the other vendors for the day. It’s imperative that we were completely prepared before the guests arrive. After that, I rushed back to the Bride to wait on her. I made sure she had everything she wanted and needed whilst my staff members dealt with guest questions and last minute details. And then, at about 11pm when everyone has gone home, we do it all in reverse and pack it all up. With 17 hours per staff member working that day and we had 2 staff, that’s a total of 51 hours.
And then it was all over!
Haha – JUST KIDDING! We still have the day after.
The day after the wedding, I had to return the cake stand, pick up the wedding dress and suit from the couple (they were heading straight for their honeymoon) and drove around all of Sydney to return all the hired items from tea lights to goblets to the arch. The final 6 hours of wedding-ness.
And the final total is… dun dun DUNN… 340 hours!! Thank God we don’t charge by the hour right?
Most of what we do isn’t tangible which makes it harder to quantify our worth and our cost but hopefully this blog has helped inform you of how long it really takes to make a wedding happen and consequently, why we charge what we do. I do want to mention though that your wedding isn’t Brooke’s wedding so yours may take more time or less time than hers and that’s okay. Every wedding is different. With any luck, you won’t be shocked the next time a wedding planner shows you their fees.
Trust me though, when you walk into your own wedding and you’re so amazed by how beautiful everything is, how relaxed you feel and you only had to do the ‘fun bits’ – you’ll thank me!
If you are interested in discussing your wedding further with me, I’d love to chat with you!