Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Realistic Discussion on Pricing even in a down economy

Alright brides, grooms, and celebrants alike. Let's have a realistic chat about pricing.

Don't go to a professional and try to lowball them too much just because the economy is down. (please note these prices are based upon the San Francisco Bay Area, they may be different in your neck of the woods)
For instance.

If you budget is under $1,000 dollars. Don't try and get a florist to do your flowers for that much.

Here is a basic breakdown.

Bouquet $150
Boutonniere $12-$15
Centerpieces $50- about as cheap as you can get.

Considering these prices (which are for bare bones basic floral arrangements) do not try and talk a florist into doing gazebo arrangements, flowers for a bridal party of 10, and centerpieces for 100 for $1,000. It can't be done.
Instead- check out That is about the cheapest you can do (other than create them yourself). If you do decide to do your own, give yourself 6 hours to do a flowers for the bridal party alone and be sure to budget in a set of trial flowers so you can be assured of your skills prior to the day before.


There is a lot of variation in pricing, but to be honest, $2,000 will not get you a competent photographer with reasonable experience. And they certainly won't be giving you an album for that price. An Album at the cheapest is $500 dollars. And these aren't that great. A good album you will actually want are between $1,200 and $3,000 from a reputable photographer.
Shooting fees should include a dvd of the shots, a certain number of shots perfected (wrinkles removed, zits, etc.) and all should be color corrected.

But honestly, you should budget for $3,000 at the lowest for a photographer and this probably won't include an album. An average price will be $3,500 to $6,000 for a competent professional photographer whose work you will be happy with for years to come. (again no album)


There are some "coordinators" out there who will do a day of wedding for $500 or $1000. But buyer beware. A day of coordinator shouldn't just show up on the day of the wedding. It takes at least 8 if not 15 hours of pre-wedding preparation including calling other vendors, meeting with the couple, and perfecting the timeline to produce a smooth and well run event. I highly recommend that you try and find someone with some year(s) of experience not as a catering manager, not as a sales manager, not as an on-site event manager, but as a legitimate wedding coordinator or special event coordinator.

So make sure you budget enough for these services, they are very important, be realistic about what it is going to cost and the quality of service you really want. There are lots of ways to save money in other ways, but don't skimp on the staff!

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