What if I told you that you could make more money as a wedding planner without booking more weddings? When you first started your wedding planning business (and hopefully, you’ve reviewed it a few more times since then!), you likely spent a fair amount of time deciding what you should charge. Perhaps you thought about how many weddings you wanted to book every year and how much money you really wanted to make.
I know for a fact not a lot of you went deeper than that. Maybe you even did some market research and tried to price yourself comparably to what other people were charging?
As a business coach for wedding planners, I hope you didn’t just look at your competitors and charge “a little less” even though I know that’s exactly what some of you reading this did.
Today, I want to dive in a little deeper today and talk about 5 different ways you can structure your business to make more money as a wedding planner. It’s not just about booking more and more weddings until you burn out. There isn’t just one way to make more money as a wedding planner so as you browse through the five ways below, do me a favor and keep this in mind: will this get me closer to the business I really want? You don’t have to try to do everything to make more money. Be strategic and pour into the ways of making more money that is aligned with the business you want to run and the life you want to live.
1. Increase Your Price
You probably saw this one coming, right? One of the easiest ways to make more money as a wedding planner is to simply just raise your price. I know pricing is complicated, which is why we talk about it here all the time. Yes, we need to think about how many weddings we have the capacity for and how much money we have to make. We need to consider the expenses needed to provide the experience you are charging for (whether that’s a VA helping you respond to emails in record time or software like Honeybook, which keeps you organized).
In Wedding Pro Insiders (my high-impact mastermind), wedding planners come to me asking if they should start charging more all of the time. Who doesn’t want to make more money? My answer is usually yes, but if you are already pricing yourself towards the top of what your market will allow, there are 4 other ways to make more money as a wedding planner that is equally effective.
2. Remove Services and Add Them as A La Carte!
What if I told you that you could make more money as a wedding planner doing the same amount of work? It sounds pretty good, right?
When wedding planners look to raise their prices they first consider how they can shove even more value into their already pretty fantastic packages. They look for ways to justify charging more and may even add MORE to the service before charging more.
Listen, I admire your ability to put your customers first. But the business coach in me wants to show you another way.
As you reevaluate your packages, look to see if there is anything you can remove first. Maybe it isn’t something that every customer needs, and by removing it you are saving yourself a little time to focus on making money elsewhere. Then, you can add it separately for your customers that need/value the service (and charge it separately).
With me so far? Here are a few examples:
- Remove venue selection from your full-service package (especially if couples often come to you with a venue!) and create a separate venue scouting service.
- If you offer partial planning, reduce the number of hours included and create “add-on” bundles (ie. 5 hours, 20 hours, etc).
- For additional events like your rehearsal dinner or morning after brunch, remove them from your “full service” packages and charge for them separately.
- Anything to do with invitations: stuffing them, tracking RSVPs, the whole bunch.
Ask yourself what you are currently offering that isn’t being fully utilized (or appreciated!) by your couples but is adding a lot to your plate. As an added bonus: when couples add it separately, they appreciate it a whole lot more!
3. Grow Your Team
There are many, many ways to grow your team. First, let’s talk about adding associate wedding planners since that’s the most common way I see people try to make more money as a wedding planner. When it comes to revenue, the idea here is that you can book more weddings but not do any of the extra work (or, at least, not nearly the same amount of work). You can choose to pay your employees or independent contractors (talk to your accountant about the right option for you!) an hourly rate or a percentage of the overall wedding planning fee and keep the rest as profit for your business.
Growing your team by hiring more wedding planners can be a scalable model, but it’s also not a decision you want to make lightly. Managing a team is a LOT of work, and because I know that many wedding planners like to have a lot of control, I’m here to reassure you that it’s okay if you want to remain a one-woman/one-man show (at least to your customers!). If the thought of handing off wedding planning makes you sweat, you can grow your team by hiring a virtual assistant or OBM to help you with some of the behind-the-scenes tasks so you can book more weddings (or charge more for the services you offer!).
As a wedding business coach, bear with me when I tell you that you will go farther with a team than you ever will alone.
This doesn’t mean you have to grow your team overnight, but as a business owner, you may want to push yourself to do things that are a little outside your comfort zone in order to grow. Start by outsourcing the tasks that you aren’t good at (and don’t bring you joy!), and see how that feels. It’s okay to take baby steps here (not everything in business needs to be go hard or go home).
4. Cut Expenses
No, seriously–stop spending so much money. When I first read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz, his words spoke straight to my heart. My wedding business has turned into, as he put it, a cash-eating machine. Yikes. Does that resonate with you? How well do you know your numbers? If you went through your bank statement right now, would you be a little shocked at how much money went out this month? I know you know how much came in if you ended up on this post about how to make more money as a wedding planner.
It’s been a few years since I was first introduced to his profit-first system, and it’s still one of the first books I recommend new members of WeddingPro Insiders read. When you set your goals this year (or quarter) and decide you want to make more money, make sure you are paying attention to the profit and not just the revenue. Revenue doesn’t matter (at least not as much!). Go through your expenses (especially the recurring ones!) and find places you can cut. Consider those “one-time” expenses too. Chances are, you don’t need yet another course, or at the very least, you need to be a lot choosier about the ones you invest in. This applies to both your money AND your time, by the way.
I can not recommend Profit First enough. If you are looking to make more PROFIT this year, grab your copy of Profit First here.
Ultimately, even if cutting your expenses doesn’t necessarily land you more revenue, you do end up with more cash in your pocket. And doesn’t that feel good? Don’t let revenue become a vanity metric in your quest to make more money as a wedding planner. I know it feels good to say you own a “six-figure wedding business” (or whatever number makes your heart flutter), but if you are increasing your expenses faster than your profit, you are never going to be happy with how much money you are making.
5. Diversify Your Services
A quick caveat before I dive into this one: you don’t need to add business coaching and education to make more money in your wedding business. If educating other wedding pros is something you are passionate about, I will be the first one to cheer you on. But I have to be honest with you: it’s not as easy (or fast!) as some of the other coaches make it look.
During the last two years, more wedding pros have diversified their revenue models based on necessity rather than truly being intentional. Wedding pros were half-hazardly launching business coaching calls, digital products that are quickly thrown together, and more. I get it. The last two years have been unlike any other, and we have been forced to adapt in a very short time. But let’s hope that’s over now and you can build your service menu intentionally instead of out of scarcity.
So how can you diversify your services to make more money as a wedding planner without becoming an educator and making money off of your peers?
The options are ENDLESS. If you are looking to invest in something long-term and more scalable, consider something like a product (physical or digital!). Please keep in mind that I’m not pushing a “get rich quick” scheme, and selling $27 items is not a way to get rich this year. It can, however, be a great way to diversify your revenue streams. Consider what your ideal client is searching for, and make something low ticket for them if it fits your business model!
You can also consider adding new services to your service menu. Similar to point two about removing services and marketing them as “add-ons” instead, consider what services your customers are asking for and whether or not it’s something you want to offer instead. Do you currently offer Day of Coordination? I have a whole post about whether or not this service is right for you! Do you want to offer setup and takedown services to current clients?
Another option is to look for couples who can’t necessarily afford a wedding planner but could still use support leading up to the wedding day. You can sell one-time consultation calls, packages of a set number of hours, or even something specific like a venue scouting service! These services give couples just a taste of what working with you is like and might even lead to more bookings in the future (either from them or referrals they send your way). Even if they don’t lead to something bigger and better, you made a little extra dough!
Ready to Make More Money as a Wedding Planner?
Okay, that was a long time for me to be on my soapbox, but do you feel excited and inspired to go out and earn more money as a wedding planner without working yourself to death? DM me on Instagram and let me know which of these five you plan on trying first!
Before I let you go, I have a question for you:
Is 2022 the year you finally stop settling and grow the wedding planning business you have always wanted?
If you are looking for real advice on growing your wedding planning business, I would love to invite you to sign up for the Planner’s Playbook waitlist. Unlike some of the other “wedding planner courses” on the market, this one is less about making it look like you have a good wedding planning business and more about what it takes to actually RUN a wedding planning business.
Yes, each month I give you a marketing plan, but the Planner’s Playbook was not created to teach you to “grow” your wedding business on Instagram. Instead, each month, we dig deep into one part of your business and make it 100x better with about 50-75 pages of advice (whether that be creating a design dossier or what to include in your onboarding process). Sign up here to get access to the waitlist (and any special offers as they come your way – I promise they are worth it!).
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