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Why do event service providers charge more for weddings?

Weddings require a lot more attention to detail than the average party. Potential clients and customers often do not understand why services for a wedding cost more than services for a birthday party or other event. Sharing some of the below information with clients can help justify higher prices or extra changes for wedding services.

Time and attention

Brides and grooms have higher expectations. For example, catering at a wedding is very different compared to the average retirement party or birthday celebration. The additional planning that comes with higher expectations means that wedding professionals and service providers spend more time working beforehand and often one-on-one with clients to get approvals to get everything just right. The time spent translates to higher price points.

The number of people involved

Weddings may have hundreds of guests at a remote venue. The larger the wedding, the harder it will be to please everyone in the crowd, and it often requires bringing more help to coordinate, serve, or photograph all the guests.

Longer relationships

Wedding planning may be a long process. It can start years before the actual event. For some professionals, such as wedding photographers and wedding planners, the relationship with clients will continue from the engagement to after the wedding, which may lead to higher prices. For other vendors, bookings too far in advance can be challenging to manage when the bulk of the payment may not happen for many months, particularly for newer or less established vendors.

Testing and tasting

Many couples insist on seeing, feeling, smelling, and tasting anything and everything that will be at their wedding. They want their big day to be perfect, so it is not uncommon for demonstrations, tests, and rehearsals to be incorporated into pricing. 

Which wedding services tend to have higher prices?

Many vendors, including the following, often charge higher prices for their services at weddings compared to other events:

High-end wedding services trigger high-end prices. The ideal client understands that they get what they pay for, especially if they want that elevated attention to detail and all the extras. For many vendors, however, it can be helpful to be prepared to defend your higher prices for wedding clients by explaining how much more goes into your services for wedding clients.

How can wedding professionals make sure they set appropriate rates?

Setting prices can be a challenge, especially for new or less established vendors. The below pricing tips can help you book more weddings that pay for the value you bring to a couple’s wedding day.

Research competitors

As a business owner, checking your competition’s pricing and service offerings can ensure your prices are fair or competitive. This can also help you find an angle to differentiate your services, or potentially find a niche or specialty, like providing services at outdoor weddings.

Consider charging an hourly rate

Most wedding planning professionals and vendors charge flat rates for different levels of service, but you are free to develop whatever pricing plan works for you and your business. For example, you may want to consider developing an hourly rate for certain types of extra work. Be mindful, however, that wedding clients will want some control over the number of hours you do spend on extras, or anything that may lead to extra charges.

Set higher prices

Wedding services require a higher level of service to meet client expectations, so you may want to charge something beyond your normal rates. It can be helpful to outline the expectations for your services at a wedding versus another type of event. Using that information can help you compare your rates for different types of services that are justified by the amount of time or effort required.

Add-on fees for specialty services

Add-on fees can recoup some of the time and effort associated with wedding services. For instance, a caterer could incorporate additional fees for cake service or setting up linens, tables, or chairs. It is very important that these fees and services are clearly explained so that there is no confusion about what to expect on the big day.

Upcharge for your help

If you hire helpers, employees, or contractors, you can tack on additional fees for paying those workers. These additional fees help cover your time and costs of organizing your team and paying their wages. 

Get creative with pricing packages

You might want to consider changing your entire pricing structure for wedding packages. Wedding clients have very different needs compared to other clients. If you can group certain services together, such as catering with linens and tableware, you can see additional revenue and profits.

How do I explain my higher wedding pricing to potential clients?

You can use any of the reasons listed above to explain to clients why wedding prices are higher compared to your rates for other types of events or services. Ultimately, however, the easiest way is to put everything you plan to do in writing. 

Contracts help all parties have clear expectations. Whether you are a wedding planner, wedding photographer, videographer, musician, venue owner, caterer, florist, or bartender, there are templates available to help you draft a contract to meet your clients’ specific wants.

No matter what kind of wedding service you offer, if you have more questions about your agreements, prices, or business, reach out to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for affordable legal advice.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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