Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Costs

I always see posts about “What does a wedding planner/coordinator do?”, "Do I need a wedding planner?" or “Why do planners cost so much?” I have heard so, so many people ask about what we do and I have seen a ton of posts about what we do for you. Here are a few:

Do I need a wedding planner?

Please Hire a Wedding Planner

The other question, “Why do planners cost so much?” is not one that is addressed often (or at least how I am going to do it). I get countless emails from brides looking for a coordinator but do not want to invest in one, they just want something cheap (and that is all they look at). I may be overgeneralizing about brides a bit - but this is just what I have seen lately. I want to explain to brides/other vendors/parents why we cost what we do.

There was a very popular post (well, it was popular on twitter) about a month ago regarding a cheap photographer (I can't find the link right now but I will post it as soon as I get it). There was a bride not wanting to pay more than X amount and just wanted the CD, a TON of photographers got on her website and told her why professionals charge what they charge. It was definitely enlightening (I learned a couple things) and I thought it would be a good idea to do the same for a planner.

There is so much that goes into being a planner and a lot of it is behind the scenes! Here is just a glimpse of the time it takes to do our DOC (it is really longer than that more like 2-months-before-your-wedding-coordination-package) package.

1 hour getting materials ready for a consultation
1 hour spent emailing and confirming location/time
2 hours travel to and from the initial meeting
1 hour to organize client file – paper and computer – and input notes
1 hours (roughly) answering emails during the planning process
1 hour spent emailing to set up walkthrough
2 hours travel to and from walkthrough
3 hours conducting walkthrough and meeting
2 hours putting together your timeline
1 hour spent emailing to set up final meeting
2 hours travel to and from final meeting
1 ½ hour final meeting
1 ½ hour revising and making adjustments to final timeline
2 hour emailing all vendors
2 hour confirming all vendors
2 hours traveling to and from rehearsal
1 – 1 ½ hours for rehearsal
2 hours packing all items, printing materials and getting things ready to go
2 hours for travel to and from on your wedding day
8-10 hours on the wedding day – this is HARD labor
1 hour follow-up after the wedding
1 hour follow-up with vendors after the wedding
1 hour formatting and writing a blog post
1 hour uploading and getting photos from the photographer

Total of 45 hours spent just on our DOC package (this is an average DOC for me; it can be more and sometimes a little less). Take those hours and divide by the amount of the package, and you are just getting a glimpse of an hourly wage. And that is just the time – now think about gas and tune ups for the cars we drive (I put almost 15,000 miles on my car last year just doing weddings). There are other costs such as insurance, cell phone and internet bills, items for our emergency kits, materials for our packets, classes, putting together marketing materials, maintaining a website, etc. Not only that, but we take on the stress and responsibly on your wedding day – it is by far the most important thing we do. We are able to think quickly on our feet because of years of experience, come up with solutions outside of the box and make sure your day goes off without a hitch. After putting this all together, you can see why we charge what we do.

Being in demand, being well known for quality work, having a good reputation often costs time on the planner’s part. Their expertise comes at a cost, their time learning their craft and learning the intricacies of how to put together a wedding and the commitment put forth to build their business. These are all factors in our pricing. I hope this gives you a glimpse into what we do and why we charge what we do.

Colorado Wedding Planner