Wedding planning is just a hobby for organized girls who like to decorate, right?
Maybe for some, but for the countless lady bosses we work with, it’s our living.
It’s our passion.
It’s our love for people, for service, for celebrations.
So why is it so expensive if we enjoy it so much?
First off, expensive is a perception, + sometimes an uneducated opinion. Not in a bad way uneducated, but legit not knowing all the work + time that goes into our jobs.
In fact, the cost of wedding services for all parts of the industry surprises many of our clients.
“The flowers cost what?”
Well the flowers are grown in California (or in another part of the world) which means someone takes care of that land, fertilizes it, waters it, carefully picks the flowers + packages them.
Then they are flown here.
They are picked up at the airport usually on Monday or Tuesday.
They are processed at the design studio.
Then they become these gorgeous bouquets, centerpieces, installments (not by magical fairies, but by real people mind you- but we think they are pretty magical).
Next they are hand delivered carefully + thoughtfully to your event.
Unloaded + set up.
All the while keeping them alive + pretty!
Look how many people played a role in making that beautiful centerpiece you have been eyeing on Pinterest!
Just like anything, time is money honey!
And we would like to shed light on the popular topic of why wedding planning services cost what they do.
What made you reach out to us?
Was it our portfolio?
Our pretty, easy to navigate website?
Our social media feed?
Someone referred us?
We showed up on Google or a wedding planning site?
Those beautiful, super detailed weddings you see in our portfolio took a countless hours creating + coordinating with a team of vendors + plus our own staff to execute that weekend starting with rehearsal + ending when the last vendor leaves the event. (But wedding weekend sometimes starts as early as Monday, depending on when load in begins)
That website cost money to build.
That social media feed takes time + thoughtfulness to create.
To rank on the first few pages of google starts with SEO (search engine optimization) + most likely paid advertising.
Same if you found us on the Knot, Every Last Detail, or The Perfect Wedding Guide. Yup, we paid to be there so you can find us.
If you heard about us from a friend – chances are they can tell you exactly what is was like to work with us, how hands on we are, what a peace of mind we brought, that we know all the right people + how to manage challenging situations so that the couple + their families could be present + enjoy their day.
In addition to our time, here are just a few expenses that come with running a wedding planning business:
Insurance (business and staff)
Attorney to write contracts
Customer Relationship Management systems
Education + training
Printer ink, staples + paper
Domain registration + hosting
Those cute hats + red heart sunnies that are a part of our brand
The scissors, sewing kits, deodorant, breath mints, the blister blocks that save many a tootsie with that fill our wedding day emergency kit along with loads of other things we’ve learned are needed on wedding days
Time to meet you, answer emails, design, edit, work on your behalf communicating with vendors
Office space, internet, phone, electric
Desk + chair
Vehicles to get to your event + gas + insurance
Staff on Wedding Weekend
And on top of all of that, we have to pay for the most un-fun thing ever: taxes which is roughly 25-30% of what the biz brings in.
Let’s talk about hours invested.
We typically have 3 team members on-site on wedding weekend. That is approximately 45-50 hours alone.While most of our weddings, are between 100-150 hours, at an absolute minimum we spend 40 hours planning a wedding. So nearly 100 hours of time is invested into one wedding.
“Why so many hours?”
“Can’t you cut that down?”
“I’ve done all the planning myself, I just need an extra set of hands on my wedding day.”
The easiest way to explain this is: think of your finals in school.
They cover a semester or even a year of learning.
As your planner, we can’t be responsible for your whole year of planning + be expected to know it front to back, just by showing up on wedding day with a clip board. Although that would totally rule + allow us to book lots more weddings a year!
We have to review everything you’ve done, learn your vision, develop your time line, run through your checklist to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything, communicate with your vendors, develop lay outs + get answers to the questions that you haven’t thought of since you haven’t planned a wedding before. All of that takes time.
To break it down even further, you are paying for our experience + service.
My 16 years spent learning + working events is worth more than someone who planned their own wedding + started an instagram account for their business. Although I am super happy that they discovered their passion in life + started a business. Live your dream sister! I am merely saying that there is a difference as to why we charge differently.
The countless stellar reviews on the World Wide Web + Wedding p\Planner of the Year awards are why we cost what we cost.
Whew! It all adds up pretty quickly you see.
Keep in mind we are also in business to make money.
While we love people + giving back + our work is very joyful, we still want to make a living from it.
We have rent + mortgages, car payments + car insurance.
We need to feed our families + go on that trip to the Ozarks.
As much as I would like to say we are all millionaires in the wedding industry, we aren’t. Most of us are regular folks, making the magic happen because people + their happiness is our passion.
We work through out the week + long hours on the weekends (missing soccer games + family dinners + birthdays + sometimes holidays) because we seriously LOVE what we do so much.
I do know this though, we definitely charge what we are worth, we charge for the value of our service + the time invested in your wedding day. If you don’t believe us, check out our testimonials. Two common lines you will see are: best money spent + worth every penny.
And while we are always so excited when an inquiry comes through or when we schedule consultations, we know that we are not the best fit for everyone. We may not be your style, you may not jive with our overly excited personalities + we may not be in your budget. I suppose that is half the fun: finding our couples, creating + executing their happily ever afters + staying best friends forever. Because if there is anything you have learned about SSD from our website, social media or reputation, it’s that we are all about family + you are stuck with us even after the wedding!