Filed in Blog, Interview, Wedding Planning — July 5, 2021

The Confetti Hour Podcast – Ditch the Labels: Custom Proposals and How They Can Work For Your Biz

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We got down & fun-fetti with the Confetti Hour Podcast where Renee Sabo & I ditched the labels and talked about Custom Proposals and How They Can Work For Your Biz.

It’s 2021, wedding packages are pretty much flinging their way out of style, and becoming more & more obsolete with the current climate of the wedding industry. I mean, c’mon, I’ve seen some places have packages called “Marilyn Monroe,” “Audrey Hepburn,” & “Elizabeth Taylor.” Um, what?! My own wedding planner gave me “Prince Charming,” “From This Moment On,” and “With this Ring I Thee Wed” to choose from (blech – I ended up asking her for the middle one, and to this day I couldn’t tell you which one we chose). Doing this leaves your client confused and not even knowing where to start. I’ll say this and I’ll say it again: Confused clients don’t buy!

So, with all of that being said, here’s my unpopular opinion: wedding packages with goofy or “unique” names will date the hell out of your business. Times have changed, and while it does make you stand out to clients, it’s not in a good way. Arbitrary packages show clients you don’t know your job very well, even if that’s not the case. That’s not what you’re trying to show clients at all!

Custom proposals don’t require a bananas amount of money for you (or your clients) when it comes to planning. I’ve been asked countless times – have I lost money on doing custom weddings? Probably. But riddle me this – what wedding planner has not lost money on a wedding, ever?! Regardless of custom proposals or pre-packaged proposals, it’s nickels and dimes and the math isn’t there to justify the industry keeping these traditionally-influenced packages, instead of providing their client’s dream wedding.

If you do decide to move your business from pre-packaged proposals to custom proposals, we want you to keep these things in mind:

  1. With custom proposals, you have to be very careful with how you price things to your clients. You don’t want to stress your client by charging them for things they won’t need. If you’re considering moving your business to custom proposals, it’s important to always consider these factors:
  • How many other weddings you have that month
  • Your cash-flow forecast for that month
  • How much leverage you want to give to the client
  1. Whether you sell packaged or custom proposals, putting up your prices for all to see is just not sustainable. You’ll be limiting yourself, confusing prospective clients, or someone else’s wedding will end up costing YOU out of your own pocket (I love my couples, but no thank you!). As a rule of thumb, NEVER send them your package options without speaking to them first. With every client, it’s important to meet and find out if you “vibe,” but it’s also an opportunity for you to express value with your extensive knowledge. Take every chance available to get to know your couples better!
  1. “The customer is always right.” Well I’m here to tell you, no, they’re not. It’s important to have a great relationship with your clients of course, but that doesn’t mean you’re hired to be a doormat and do whatever the couple asks. Setting clear expectations for yourself and your clients will help keep things running smoothly from the beginning to the happily ever after.

Balance is Key.  Of course we’re not just in this business for the money, but it’s important to have a balance. You need to make sure you have a clear financial understanding of your business month to month, to see if weddings will make or break the bank, or if you’re able to provide exactly what your clients want on their special day. It’s never worth it to overwork your staff or put your business in a financially unstable position just to squeeze in one more wedding that month!

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