By: Tracey Manailescu
Wedding budgets have definitely increased since 2000 when I started coordinated weddings, with more people making more money, working higher paying jobs, and the allure of pretty weddings to wow us is all around. We have Pinterest, wedding magazines that are dripping with gorgeous details and online blogs that are begging us to imitate and outdo the weddings and events that are shown.
We do not have the budgets that the US and some other countries around the world have, but we definitely can hold our own. Each province and territory has high-end weddings and low-budget weddings. There are planners that can suit each and every couple, budget and personality.
I have noticed a BIG difference in the way that planners, designers and a whole lot of other vendors are charging for their services in the past year or two. I know this is largely based on what we hear our American counter parts charging for the same services that we offer to our clients. However, we need to take some things into consideration.
Danielle and I attend, and speak at several conferences on behalf of WPIC,each and every year. Most of them are outside of Canada. That means the topics and seminars are not exactly geared to our Canadian wedding market.
The last few conferences that we have been at, tend to have focused on charging what you are worth. The message is loud and clear. Charge for your services and you will find couples who want your specific skills and will be willing to pay for it. Yes, that is absolutely true.
We definitely need to consider our expenses and overhead costs that come along with running a professional wedding planning company. We can’t do without liability and E & O insurance, advertising costs, website upgrades, branding, business bank accounts, business telephone fees, upgrading computer programs, business car insurance, continuing your education with courses, certifications, conferences, seminars, etc.
Sometimes it can be completely overwhelming. We need to stand apart from the dabblers, and therefore our prices need to reflect that as experienced wedding professionals.
Please remember that the average Canadian wedding budget is approximately $20,000-30,000. This will vary widely depending on province and territory. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any specific breakdown per province/territory.
A survey says: “Among Canadians who expected to get hitched in the next five years, the survey found the average predicted wedding cost was $14,281. Contrastingly, a Weddingbells poll of actual Canadian brides earlier this year pegged the average final price-tag at $23,458 – a number that rose to $32,358 when the engagement ring and honeymoon were factored in.” -Canada.com
The US average wedding budget is approximately $28, 427 according to The Knot However, please note the documented varience:
“Couples in Manhattan dropped the most cash, with an average wedding budget of $76,687. Other pricey wedding destinations included Chicago ($49,810), northern and central New Jersey ($48,496), Santa Barbara and Ventura, Calif. ($42,319) and Boston ($39,239).” -CNN Money
I whole-heartedly agree with getting paid what we are worth, but it cannot be unobtainable to our target market either. By trying to mimic the pricing scale in the US and other countries, we are only hurting ourselves and our businesses.
Stay true to you, and price what will make you, and your clients happy. We don’t need to be comparing ourselves to anyone else.
If you feel that you should be making more based on your experience, education and overall skill, then absolutely raise your fees to what feels right.
Here’s to all of our accomplishments, integrity, ethics and success!