When someone contacts you because they’re interested in your wedding planner services, assuming the price-point and your availability are a match, the next step is usually to schedule a face-to-face meeting.
LISTEN TO THIS – EPISODE #388
Podcast: Play in new window
Keep in mind that this very first meeting isn’t a ‘true’ consultation. Your goal is not to spend hours providing them with an extensive this-is-how-to-plan-your-wedding blueprint.
Instead, think of this initial consultation as a meet-and-greet; an opportunity for both parties to learn a bit more about the other and to see if there’s a ‘fit’.
How to Decide
The majority of the professional wedding planners that I’ve communicated with do not charge for this meeting. The professional wedding planners who do charge a fee for this first-time meeting, however, seem to have little to no resistance receiving payment for it.
The bottom line: If your experience and research determines that your ideal customer is willing to pay for your initial meeting (without it hurting your business), go for it.
And, just so you know, currently, my initial consultation with interested prospects is free and lasts approximately 45 minutes. (And, I like to think that because of the questions I ask beforehand, I don’t waste a lot of my time meeting with unqualified tire-kickers). But, I do charge a fee, if I have to travel outside of what I determine to be my local area — 25+ miles away.
Would love to know what you’re doing. Any success with charging a fee for the initial wedding planner consultation? Please, post your comments, below.
I do not charge a fee for my initial meeting with a bride and I always try to find a halfway meeting place.
Finding a halfway meeting place is an excellent compromise for both parties (i.e. you and your client(s)). Thanks so much for your feedback. 🙂
I like sacrificing my first meeting to meet my client where ever they are but must be within my budget, is a way of honouring them. #Weddingplusnigeria
That makes perfect sense. Thanks so much for your feedback.
I have mixed feelings about charging for Consultations. I from the Bahamas and the clients are different from Americans. Very hard to please.From my experience offering free consultations, you spend a lot of time talking and sharing ideas and they end up not working with you. Or no having enough money. So somehow I feel I need to charge a little something to for my time and services. But I feel it scares them off when I say i charge for Consultations. Also Being more a Invitation Designer and not really a Wedding planner its frustrating. You go over all you samples and swatches and end up with no paying clients.
Can someone help you is especially in the Invitation business please.
When it comes to the initial consultation for wedding planning prospects, the key is to learn as much as you can about your potential clients. Using a list of pre-determined questions helps to do this and also stops you from turning this into what should be a paid consultation.
I don’t have any firsthand experience in the invitation business, I’m afraid. Hopefully, someone who does will see your question and share with the rest of us.
I am happy you did this post. I am new to this business and this really help me out a lot. I said I would not charge a fee but I like the tips you gave on ways to charge one in the future. I look forward to hearing more tips from you. Thanks
Let’s toast events
Thanks that you point out this.
I don’t charge a fee for my initial meeting with a bride/groom and I always try to find a halfway meeting place. It’s a free estimate (consultation) meeting. May be a tip or fee in the future.
I’ve learnt a lot from the episode #388 audio, especially the limited miles to travel for a face to face meeting. Thanks a lot.
Happy to help, Fabrice. 🙂