This is a tricky subject but one I feel needs discussing. I’ve read lots in the last year from various professionals in the industry but everyone deals with it differently.
Recently I posted this quote on Instagram – “Know your Worth” whilst this wasn’t solely related to money, rather not putting yourself down, I feel that it is very apt for what I want to talk about.
When I started the business I really had no idea about worth. I had never sat down and worked out exactly how much everything would cost me, the cost of sourcing, the cost of props and most importantly the cost of my time. Time plays a huge part in what I do as I am sure is the case for everyone. Absolutely everything is created from scratch and this includes personalised Pinterest boards. Don’t get me wrong I love nothing more than a good pinning session and creating a mood-board but it takes time – this is something I never used to charge for!!
If I am honest for my first couple of weddings I plucked a number out of the air! I didn’t mind that I didn’t make a profit as I loved every minute of doing them and for me its invaluable to have these in my portfolio. However, this doesn’t pay the bills!! It has been really hard to take the leap and start sending quotes out that actually reflect the amount of time and labour that goes into creating these weddings. The majority of my clients hire me as they want my creative vision and they want the stress of styling taken away from them. I am happy to also say that the majority of my quotes are accepted and the couples are pleased. I do still have couples who say it is too expensive or can we have discount? But I have to be strong. Most companies in the creative industries charge by the hour and of course everyone has a different amount that they are happy with. I though it would be interesting to show you the amount of hours that I typically spend on a wedding from start to finish.
Initial Meeting – 1 Hour
Venue Visit – 2 Hours
Pinterest moodboarding – 2 Hours
Quote writing & correspondence – 2 Hours…..
Sourcing, shopping & searching – 2 Hours….
Creation of seating plan, name cards, other bespoke decorations – 8 Hours plus
Packing and filling the van – 2 Hours
Travel ……. Anywhere
Flowers (if needed) sourcing & arranging – 4 Hours plus
Ironing! – 2 Hours
Day before set up – 8 Hours
On the Morning – 4/5 Hours
Collection – 2 Hours
40 hours plus
This is all obviously approximately and some weddings are more and some are less. One thing is for sure, I never do a half hearted job and regardless of what I have quoted I invariably go above and beyond, I can’t help myself! Like sometimes I have a last minute brainwave that I know will look perfect, I won’t charge you for my brainwave! I don’t charge by the item either, what is mine is yours but just think, folding 100 napkins and putting a ring around each one takes about 150 minutes!!
I truly do love my job and I love my business . I absolutely love seeing the look on peoples faces when they see their venue for the first time. What I have learnt over the last year however is that you must not take your expertise and skills for granted and whatever you do don’t sell yourself short. I hope that I am able to offer a service that is both affordable but beautiful. Trust me, I still wince when I click send on a quote!!! But you will never be short changed and remember what is done in love is done well. xxx