|©Marcia The Art of Photography 2011|
Are you a Bride? Mom of one? BFF, maybe? If you are planning a wedding you are busy as all get out and probably having panic attacks every other minute about the money you are spending. Well, there is a way that you and every other person in this particular venture can help to keep rising costs down.
Etiquette. Didn't see that one coming, huh? While all the romance surrounding your big day is turning you into a mountain of mush, remember that you are conducting a series of business transactions. Professional behavior on your part can equal savings down the road in a way you'd never expect.
Many in the event business are one or two person businesses. Any wedding vendor will tell you that they spend part of each and every work day following up on inquiries that are not responded to, or potential clients that take one small piece of information without context (usually price) and disappear without a trace. Each time a vendor has to take the time to do this it takes away from giving true service to their current clients (the only place where they are truly making money). To a certain extent, the more time that vendors take tracking down busy brides, the more they have to charge for their services. Look at it this way. Any business can keep their prices down by being able to service a higher volume of clients. Follow-ups are a part of any business but when more time is taken doing this because people feel there is no need to respond then that vendor doesn't have time to take on that extra client or two that can bring in the profits to allow keeping package prices down.
So how can you help? If you ask for prices via e-mail, offer a starting budget, too. If you liked that vendor enough to contact them in the first place, take the time to keep a dialogue going to see if they can actually service your needs. Here's an example...you don't really know what you want with your photography but you know you only want to spend $2000. Photographer XYZ's starting package is at $2500 and you really, really like what they do, but you walk away without responding. Well, you don't know, they might have been able to customize a package that would have been perfect if you had continued the dialogue. Or you might have been able made some changes in your budget to accommodate the difference.
Now here's what's happening on the other side of the internet. That photographer will ultimately spend around 1/3 to 1/2 an hour in what should be billable time answering your initial inquiry and then making follow-ups to try to help you. This is where you can help with rising costs. By either sending one more email saying that you are making other arrangements or continuing the dialogue you are helping that vendor be more efficient with their time and enabling them to keep their costs and therefore their prices down.
So, help your Baby Sister, your BFF or even your Grandmom (they have second weddings sometimes <3) save some money on their wedding planning by being concientious with yours. It's like being eco-friendly...if we each do a little, it will all help a lot.
Floral Design by Karin Crawford, God's Garden Treasures
Great article, Marcia. I agree. I often spend a lot of time following up on bridal leads from couples who are only interested in "How much do you charge?"
Price alone should never be the solitary reason for not having the courtesy of at least telling the wedding vendor that you are making other plans. Knowing that allows the vendor to focus on the brides & grooms who are respectful of their time and more interested in the quality of service the vendor will provide to make the wedding truly memorable.
I never recommend that brides & grooms make their decision on price alone. There are numerous other areas that you can cut back on when the $$s are tight.
I never give a fee quote from an e-mail request because of the many details involved in planning, preparing and customizing my romantic wedding ceremony.
A fee quote is available ONLY after a no pressure, no obligation telephone consultation and after I have spoken with the bride and groom about the numerous details of their wedding that may affect the fee.
My advice is to hire the very best wedding vendor you can afford, only after you have talked with them about the possibility of customizing a package that fits your budget. Communicate with them. That's the key.
Not having the courtesy to respond indeed wastes the vendors time and (you're right, Marcia) does eventually affect the fee.
There are several articles that appear on my Wedding Blog that may help brides & grooms as the plan their budget: http://budurl.com/djqs
Award Winning Wedding Officiant, Professional Speaker, Author & Relationship Coach
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