DECODING EVENT DOLLARS – HOW AND WHY

 

Today, I have a bee in my bonnet that has been frustrating me for quite awhile now – The words: Cheap, Expensive, Budget Friendly, Cost Effective, Over Priced, Under Priced – however you describe what a business charges you for a service.

Now… I have been an Event Consumer for many years. I have had budgets to work with and sometimes I have had a credit card that never runs out!

Fortunately for me, after many years experience, I have an understanding of what goes on behind the scenes, when a business sends you a quote or a proposal for their service.

For those who don’t have this experience, I absolutely understand how easy it is to say – oh that is too over priced or expensive, I need something cheap.

So, to make it easier I have broken down some key suppliers that you may come across whilst planning an event or wedding and sometimes why they charge what they do. By no means is this list comprehensive or exactly why business charges what they do – every supplier is different but this may shine a small light to help you on your budgeting way.

Venue

So, you’ve just received your venue quote and you go straight to the bottom line and think “WHAT THE #@$” or if you are lucky you might have a sigh of relief.

On average somewhere between 70-80% of your budget should go to the Venue (inc. food and beverage), but you wonder – how can they charge $5000 just for a venue hire, that’s just charging money for nothing!!!

Oh I hear you girlfriend, but bear in mind – those venue hire fees take into account (majority of the time) the infrastructure to run your event e.g. power, heating, cooling, insurance, lighting, furniture, crockery, cutlery, linen and most importantly staff to run your event.

The margin some venues make from their food and beverage, generally would not cover all the staff to run your event, so they need to make a dollar somewhere. They are running a business and not a charity after all. Room hire is probably one of the biggest negotiables – so you can always ask the question if there is any movement available to help ease your budget concerns.

Photographer

Now, this will vary from each photographer, but generally they will charge you based on their experience and reputation, how many hours they will work (don’t forget the hours you don’t see them working e.g. Scoping out your venue for the perfect shot), editing of your images and then working their magic and delivering a product that you are happy and hopefully over the moon with.

A “cheap” photographer, may be friendly to your budget, but make sure you are happy with their work and the quality of the images that you are provided with. 

An experienced and reputable photographer may cost that much more, but they are likely to come with a wealth of knowledge and provide you with a higher end product.

Photos are something that will last forever and you can’t press replay on an event if you are unhappy with your photos. Choose wisely.

Event Stylist

This service is something quite close to my heart, the event styling world has never been so competitive and with a new stylist getting into the industry on a daily basis (it seems), it can be hard to compare fees between 2 stylists.

If you are floored by how much a popular, reputable and experienced stylist charges – take into consideration the amount of hours or staff they may put towards or on your event and how many man or woman hours they have had to invest in, to get them to the professional level they are at. They may also provide premium hire items as well, which majority include in their fees.

As a business, their fee structure may also reflect what kind of client they want to attract and therefore what kind of events they want to style. They could drop their price to suit everyone, but they may have their ideal client in mind to ensure their brand, stays true to what they are good at doing.

You may find a stylist who is more suited to a lower budget, if they are just starting out or don’t have the demand or experience. You can certainly put your trust in them, but you might not have access to the larger network of suppliers or level of attention to detail, a more experience stylist may give.

I will admit, you do have to start somewhere, so just make sure you can communicate well with them and they are on the same page as you.

Celebrant

When planning a wedding – a celebrant is a must for obvious reasons. I have seen quite a variety of prices when selecting a celebrant. The most important part is to make sure who you choose is based on if you connect with them. I believe celebrants are a bit of an unsung hero on the day of the wedding, without them – you can’t get married (legally).

There is quite a bit of time required behind the scenes, that you don’t get to see. Some celebrants simply provide a standard service with no bells and whistles and other give you the full experience of a wedding ceremony which you can personalise as you wish. Chat with them, make sure they are suited to you and your partner and can contribute to the over arching theme of your wedding.

Choosing the right celebrant, shouldn’t be about getting the cheapest one, as they play such an important and integral part in making sure your marriage starts out on the right foot, go with your instincts and again check out their past clients and reviews and make sure you are happy with your choice.

I must reiterate, every business is different – I certainly don’t want to justify why some suppliers charge what seems like crazy prices, some do and some don’t, everyone is different.

I do however implore you to think about what goes on behind the scenes when you receive a quote, before vendors are written off as ‘Over-Priced’ or ‘Expensive’.

Really think about your must haves and good to haves – stick to your budget and focus on those suppliers that are going to fit your event objective and make your day/s the best it could possibly be.

OH AND HEY…… try to negotiate – we love being able to save our clients’ a few penny’s too.

 

Happy Eventing…

Anita

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