It doesn't matter how long you've worked in the wedding industry...any time you hear the words "reasonable price" or "affordable," you cringe. Probably inwardly AND outwardly. These types of phrases are a curse word to me.
I'm part of a local Facebook group composed of brides- and grooms-to-be and wedding professionals. I so desperately want to take myself out of the group but I always get lured back in. Why do I want to take myself out, you ask?
Because every other post reads something like this: "ISO of wedding photographer with reasonable prices." or "Looking for recommendations for florists with fair pricing." I know that you've all dealt with the exact same thing so today, I'm here to encourage you NOT to slash your pricing just to get a booking. Here's why:
I think that "fair pricing" should mean that a business owner can take a vacation, just like that client can. Or that we can afford to save for retirement, just like that client can. The vast majority of my floral clients get this, so this isn't really something I have to discuss with them all that often, but I know there are so many wedding vendors struggling financially because their clients are only willing to pay "what's fair."
BUT GUESS WHAT. That client who's asking for you to become "affordable" to them has no idea what goes into the product or service that they're requesting. Explaining this in floral terms is easy for me as a florist, so I'll start there: it's so much more than just the final product that the client sees. It's not just the bouquet. It's every single stem that you had to consider, then order, then pick up from your wholesaler, then clean and hydrate, then sort through and carefully select the very best blooms to arrange with. Oh yeah, and it's also the tools that you need to make that arrangement. The time and knowledge it takes to make all of the above happen. The delivery time (and delivery vehicle, and gas, etc etc etc) to get the flowers to them on their wedding day. And rewind even further, it's also the website and social media presence that you've carefully developed to make sure that prospective bride or groom even knows that you exist. It's the time you spent emailing back and forth with them, the time you spent in consultation with them, the proposal that you crafted specifically for them, and all of the administrative work. And of course, there's the fact that what this client is asking for is a perishable luxury item. So what's "fair and reasonable" to that client is probably going to be a heck of a lot lower than what is actually accurate.
Florist rant over ;) I know that whatever section of the wedding industry you work in, you have all of these behind the scenes bits and pieces that go into the final product that your client wants.
I'm going to talk more next week about why we need to EDUCATE our clients (on everything from the pricing to the process of working with you), but for now, I'm going to leave you with this: