Am I Paying to Much for my Vendors?
NOBODY wants to overpay during their wedding planning!
As a coordinator, in the top 5 of most FAQ,
"What should I pay for my...(insert vendor here)" is always on the list. Vendor pricing really does range, qality of work is really different between each, so how DO you know if the price is in the best interest for you, the budget, or the vendor?
Quality of Work
Is there work, worth it? This is a totally an answer that is going to solely rest on your shoulders. What I may pay 10,000 dollars for you may only pay 20 bucks... The phrase, "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder" totally goes hand in hand when vendor shopping. Don't be shy to ask your vendor for past work, to look thru recent reviews, and to possibly sample their work. It is a great opportunity to do an engagement session, which is 10 times cheaper than a wedding package, text out how you work with the photographer and you feeling their vibe? If not, you just saved yourself a lot of money.
Take Recommendations Lightly
Just because your mom's boyfriend's brother says, "You have to have this DJ, he's AWESOME!" Does not mean you have to take your mom's boyfriend's advice. Even as a coordinator, I am constantly asked for recommendations, but I always tell my couple to still do their research. I have my 5-10 vendors that I love working with, but that doesn't mean you will work well with them. I'd hate for my couple's to choose a vendor that I pointed them too, pay a hefty chunk of change, never do any research, and then HATE THEM; my heart would break for that couple as everyone deserves to have a spot on wedding completely catered to their style.
Passion = Priority
For my wedding, decor was my number 1 on my list. I spent the most money on decor, centerpieces, uplighting, back drops etc. Completely the opposite of me my best friend is getting married and has spent $0 on decor, and is whisking us all of for a getaway wedding in Nashville, super fun, totally not my style.
The biggest tip I can give a couple is to list their "passions" or just start marking down things during the week that catch your eye or ear.
For Example: You see a gorgeous quiche on the Food Network on Monday and you'd love to have something like that served at cocktail hour during your wedding...mark it. On Wednesday your favorite bakery comes out with mini cupcakes, and you need that on your dessert table...mark it. By Saturday you realize that over half of your "passions" are relating to food...clearly you need to budget a good amount for that aspect of your wedding.
Clearly defining your "passions" can assist you when you go to budget each part of the wedding, thus allowing you to know if you are paying to much.
Go with your Gut!
Upon first meeting your vendor...whether it be a consultation or at an expo. If your first impression of the vendor is, "Eek he look like he rolled outta bed," or "She is way to high maintenance," or "They are just not my style," kindly take their flyer and remember that feeling. Your gut will always be right and I am a FIRM believer in that! Your gut will guide you to the right fit, and sometimes that fit looks pricey...go with your gut.
Here is the part we all have been waiting for! Drum Roll please...
"But what price is acceptable for the service I receive..."
There is not a definite, concrete answer for this, and there never will be, people have differences in taste, quality, and style.
However I will take this time to discuss why pricing is "SOOO HIGH" when in all reality when I break this down you may see a little insight to a vendors price list.
What makes up the pricing of your vendor (may vary per business):
Cost of Business
Cost of Sales
Here is a fantastic break down by the Wedding Wire.
1. Cost of Business
This break down shows you the cost of business if a vendor books 30 weddings per year, which is pretty average. There is a whole equation that will go into this cost analysis.
Below is the list of expenses for an average wedding industry business. Here your vendor adds up all of the expenses and divides it by the number of weddings they work alone. This will give them the cost per job, in the example it's $333, which let me tell you guys...THAT IS LOW! These numbers are very low, I spend triple per year in the advertisement section, and they don't have retail space listed, nor do they count the cost of coffee... Starbucks is THEE #1 spot to hold meetings between vendors and couples...
2. Cost of Sales
Now we can move on to the cost of sales and what it costs the vendor to actually walk out the door. This is so important to realize that in addition to the cost of business, your wedding has it's own cost to your vendor, and you will pay accordingly and it will fluctuate thru the year. Everyone enjoys that second helping hand to their vendor, i.e. their employee or second shooter, well they have to be paid accordingly as well as the booked vendor.
3. Hourly Pay
This really varies per vendor, but what does not vary is the annoyed look you will get when you ask your vendor why their prices are so high or why they count in a 7 day work week when they only work the weekends... Vendors have a full load just like every other career, sometimes even more when your vendor has kids or a second job. Don't put them down for the count on their pricing when most brides have no trouble dropping over 5 grand on a wedding gown they only wear once...
4. Vendor Take Home
So what does your vendor actually take home at the end of the year. You write a check for big money and...c'mon you've thought it...they are making BANK! But in all reality, vendors pay their dues just like the rest of America and after Uncle Sam takes his cut, it looks like this...
Life insurance, medical, retirement is not even included in this model!
Just to give you some personal insight, my goals and aspirations for the Every Last Detail business, for our day of coordination package we'd need to book 520 weddings per year to make 100,000 dollars. There are 52 weeks in just one year, thus meaning 100 weddings per weekend, and that is not accounting the off season weekends.
So what am I trying to prove here? No, I'm not asking for sympathy, yes I know I chose to do this for a living...but by showing you this model I hope my couples can see that weddings are expensive yes, but your vendor is not high ballin' in Beverly Hills... At the end of the day, your vendor has a true passion for what they do. They look in the best interest for the couple and truly love being a part of your special day.