I’m sure this title is controversial – and I’m sure it’ll anger some brides and grooms reading this. And trust me, I get very miffed when I see just how much it costs to have a wedding. But I also know how much it costs to run a business, pay for labor, and provide goods and services (at least, in dense, pricey cities like my home of L.A.). Couples see a lot of DIY blogs online and think they can beat the system – and sometimes, a lower wedding budget can work, if thoughtful, methodical choices are made (I.e. food truck instead of 4 course dinner; rent a city park versus a luxury hotel). But I have ran into potential clients that want to pay an unrealistically low amount for a super lavish wedding; and the dots just don’t connect.
And when you as a wedding vendor sit down with a potential client and they want to have a bargain basement budget, it’s best to politely decline if the following occur:
An avoidance of reality: “I can make my wedding budget work – even if you say I can’t!”
Some clients listen, and agree that they need to re-calibrate their budgets. Others refuse to listen to reality. “But my cousin can provide the tequila and our best friend can bartend!” If there’s an insistence a first class wedding can happen on a bargain basement budget, you will never be able to convince them otherwise, and there will be too much time taken out of your schedule to try to convince them.
Cutting YOUR corners.
“You can use our extra speakers!” No, a DJ should use his/her own. “My housekeeper can wash your dishes!” No, a caterer should bring enough staff to do EVERYTHING. “Our groomsmen can set up the decor for you!” No, a planner should always have their own staff. A client that wants you to understaff or under-prepare beyond best and standard practices, so they can cut their budget, is penny wise, pound foolish. Just say no.
Being honest and kind in your discussion with couples is valuable in that you can bow out gracefully, and also help guide them to a successful event, regardless if you are involved. Just remember that when you cut corners just to book that next job, it may cost you more mentally, and even financially, than it’s worth.
Questions? Email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org, and meantime, happy planning!