When I first started A Touch of Class, I was so excited to start booking brides, that I wasn’t nearly as concerned with their overall budget, as I was with filling the calendar and gaining more real-life experience.
While admittedly, some of the weddings were slight on the details, such as ornate centerpieces and beautiful tented receptions, they will forever be some of my favorite couples that we had the opportunity to work with. These brides trusted us with their day when I barely trusted myself. Some of them did have larger budgets overall, but hadn’t budgeted for a planner initially, and were forced to scramble once they got to a point of overwhelm.
As the company started to grow, I was faced with the decision of whether to continue to accept “budget brides”-- which so many fellow planners in the larger cities were advising against. This caught me off guard, as I myself am the only wedding planner in the town where we live, and I felt as though there should be a planner for every budget. Although admittedly, that doesn’t pay the bills as quickly, I began to take note of some of the nuances of fellow wedding professionals, and how their attitudes would change based on the budget of the wedding they were assisting with.
About a year into the business, Lee and I got engaged ourselves, and it became time to begin planning our big day. I quickly began to see weddings from the other side of things, and realized that oftentimes, it’s not about the overall budget as much as it is where their priorities lie.
For example, Lee wanted to have a live band and a food truck, because both had played a large role in our dating relationship. Specialty linens and vintage glassware, however, didn’t make the cut. Although we had a decent-sized budget to work with, the breakdown of what was important to us didn’t fit perfectly into the budget calculators that the internet suggested. That being said, did we deserve to have the same quality of service from our linen company for the order we did place, even though it wasn’t as sizeable as it could have been? Absolutely.
Now we are three years in, and it is much more likely for us to be working $30K+ weddings than it is to be working the $10K weddings we started with HOWEVER-- I never want to be known as a company that only works with brides of a certain budget. If a couple’s #1 priority is to have assistance throughout the planning process, then there are ways to make that happen. If they just need assistance there in the home stretch, we can make that happen too.
As wedding professionals, it is our job to aid our couples and direct them to the resources that will be the most helpful for them. It is not our job to treat them as though their wedding is less important, because there is a lower commission involved. If there is a couple that you feel you cannot serve, by all means, refer them elsewhere. But if you book a couple and promise them to be there for them on their wedding day, you are doing a disservice to yourself and to the couple by not giving them the same experience that you would promise couples who may fit better with your ideal aesthetic.