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Old June 16th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #1
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destination wedding Help!!!

Hi guys,

Can I ask you guys how to charge destination weddings?

Do you guys charge normal price?

Is destination wedding the same with interstate weddings?

for example if a wedding falls on sunday, and they want to book you with one of your big packages, then what happens on the saturday? cause you need to come a day before right? (at least most of the time)

same thing happens when a wedding happens on saturday, then you have to fly back on sunday, what happens then? you'll lose a booking on sunday.. how do you cope with that?

I think that overseas weddings are worth the effort of losing the extra booking cause you will certainly be having a ball shooting there. but for interstate weddings.. I'm kinda lost here..

I just got a few interstate enquiries and now scratching my head thinking.. "what am i gonna do with the other day (saturday/sunday) like.. I never really thought about it before. I've thought about having the client pays for airfare, accomodation, car.. but what about my potentially extra booking on the next/previous day??

If you guys can help me here, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Santo
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Old June 16th, 2009, 01:08 PM   #2
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I've only ever had one double header and I would recommend against it, especially if long drive times are involved.

I would suggest having a package list that is the minimums for any non-local wedding, and then consider having a destination wedding package which is virtually the same (except for any post production ad-on features).

This would allow you to simply block off that weekend. Now if you have a friday / sunday, you might be able to do that.

Some vendors have a price premium for Saturday weddings (supply & demand and all that). Or you could call it a discount for Friday / Sunday weddings. However you want to word it.

But I would suggest that if someone is that interested in driving you out there, then they think you are important enough to get your undivided attention for their wedding, which to me means they pay extra and you don't have to try to double book. Heck, take the day after off at the destination!
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Old June 16th, 2009, 01:15 PM   #3
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Personally, I would not book two weddings in a single weekend. Too much stress.

However, on other non-wedding projects, I have no problem charging my clients for "lost opportunity". For example, if a client wants me to travel eight hours, they are going to get charged my full day rate even though I'm doing nothing other than sitting in a car or a plane. I'm not working when I otherwise could have been, so that gets factored into the quote.

But I think you'd have a real problem telling someone "I'm going to charge you double because I can't book another wedding for the previous/next day."
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Old June 16th, 2009, 02:26 PM   #4
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I've done some DWs in the past and they pay regular package price (full package, no ceremony only etc.) plus if I have to drive I have a flat rate for the drive time depending on the distance (I hate driving and generally if it's over about 6 hours I'll try to fly) but that's not always possible especially today with the gear and the restrictions but when I DO fly they pay for travel and hotel as well as a per diem for meals. For example I have a wedding in Little Rock later on this year. I'm driving but I'm also bringing my wife since our daughter and her husband live there so we'll visit while there. They are paying my regular rate plus travel but no hotel since we're staying with our kids.
What I'm saying is that I don't care if I miss one that weekend, when I'm booked I'm booked regardless. That's not why they pay extra. They pay extra because I have to travel. Just like when I did TV work and they'd call me to travel to a location. They paid flight or mileage, 1/2 day rate for travel each way and per diem for meals.
BTW, I do book doubles and this year because things have been a bit slower I even have 2 triples...However I can say without question I'm done with doubles and triples-I'm too damn old for that and it does rack your body. I need my strength for things like keeping up with my grandkids and the mosst important of all, golf ;-)
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Old June 16th, 2009, 09:21 PM   #5
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I don't think i can afford to lose a double header because that means a few grand is going down the drain, a few future clients going down with it too.. a few contents for my blog is gone too... a whole lot more experience and skills improvement gone too...

but I've just started for two years.. so I may have not seen the "bad" stuff that comes with it yet. I've only got it once and the next day wedding starts at 2pm so it wasn't that bad.

Props to Don has been doing double header and triples for years, I'm sure that wasn't that easy eh?

Now, back to the main topic.. how do I cope with this interstate/destination wedding??

chris: wow, I find it hard to charge a client for a full day rate when I'm flying to their wedding.. that's very good! full-day rate means full-shoot rate right?

I haven't got a gig that require to drive 6 hours or so.. usually its city to city airplane travel. driving makes me nuts!

Santo
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Old June 16th, 2009, 10:08 PM   #6
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IF you have the other wedding booked great, but if not and the client is willing to pay the rate and travel why not. One in hand is better than 2 maybes. Meaning there are no promises about the number of bookings right? So if someone comes to me with money in hand they get me and if it's a travel wedding (not necessarily a DW) but something that requires leaving my local area, thenthats fine as well as long as they are willing to pay for me to travel and stay overnight. The work is still the same. Like I said before, if they want you to do the job, they'll pay. If they don't want to pay then you don't do the job.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 10:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susanto Widjaja View Post
chris: wow, I find it hard to charge a client for a full day rate when I'm flying to their wedding.. that's very good! full-day rate means full-shoot rate right?
I don't shoot weddings anymore, so all of my clients are corporate. It's much easier for a corporate client to understand lost opportunity, especially since 95% of the time they're not spending their own money.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 01:05 AM   #8
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what is the possibility that you will get a double booking on the weekend that they want?

let's say there's a 25% chance of working both Sat & Sun. Charge the cost of the package plus travel expenses plus a 30% surcharge for missing the opportunity of working the sunday. that way in all likely hood your better off.

if you think there's a 50% chance of a double header then make the surcharge 60%

From what you said in your later post you've only had one double header, so it may be that you're worrying about something that's possible not probable. make the surcharge 20% on top of your normal rate plus expenses.

You know I'm not speaking from experience here - it's just a just a mathmatical equation to me.

for what it's worth
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Old June 17th, 2009, 02:00 AM   #9
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I also would not book more than 1 wedding in a weekend, but that's because I want to be able to give 100% on the wedding day. If I have 2 days in a row booked then I can't give 100% of myself on the 2nd day. That said, everyone has to do what it takes to survive and thrive in their own market. I'm just saying, my market sucks and I refuse to book double-headers.

On the issue of destination weddings .. always charge full price and always charge for travel. I don't personally charge extra for my time away from work, but some do.

The dirty secret of destination weddings is they are not usually as fun as you expect them to be. It's a lot of work arranging the travel and doing the travel and bringing your equipment and so on, and usually you're there just long enough to get the job done and come right back ... so it's nothing like a mini-vacation as some people think.

There was ONE TIME where we didn't charge travel to do a wedding on a cruise in Florida and that was the last time. We also gave a discount on the package and that was the last time that happened as well. Lesson learned.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 04:13 AM   #10
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Chris: I haven't got that many corporate clients to survive, maybe you can lend me yours!!?? hahaha... how did you make the transition anyway? slowly i guess eh?

Don: 1 in hand is better than 2 maybes.. very good quote by an experienced videoOgrapher.

Paul: thanks for the mathematical solution!

I have to agree that having double header is not that probable. But I hate it so much when someone enquire on an already-booked date of mine, not to mention if they book a day after/before an already-booked destination wedding!

so yeah.. thats the thing.. I just want to cover most possibilities. clients are not easy to get and I'm big on not turning down any opportunities I get.. except if i have to.

But I like how you do the math and charging 30% or 60% of the gig on top of the package. I like that a lot. I guess that is what I'm looking to do in the near future when I already get a lot of request for DW. Thanks a lot for that Paul.

Travis: I agree that all the hassle associated with equipments are sometimes too much for DW, but I think its worth it for a few reasons:

1. it is such a privilege to be flown out by someone who really likes your work
2. it adds to your reputation as an international studio.
3. you get to go places
4. your mind is open to the world and not only concentrating on your area.

That is what I think anyway.

Santo
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Old June 17th, 2009, 04:48 AM   #11
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interestingly enough, when I was meeting a wedding client at B&N a gentleman came up asked for my card and we met afterwords and talked about his South America destination wedding this winter, and his daughters weddings! He and his family are world travelers (lucky them!). He also is a hobbiest videOgrapher with a largely untouched G5 dual Xeon and FC Pro (though he lacks the high end camera). We talked HDV vs AVCHD, vs MPEG2, etc and I gave him lots of the model numbers for cams I've been drooling over (including the 5dmkII since he is primarily a still photo guy).

Who knows, I may have a real destination wedding to go on this year!

For the packages, I had already made up my mind that only the highest two packages would even be available for a destination wedding because lets face it . . .going all that distance for a puny little $1100 production is madness.

And this is yet another wedding client that has nothing to do with that useless TheKnot / WeddingChannel ad contract I purchased (stupid stupid stupid!).
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Old June 17th, 2009, 11:48 PM   #12
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Good on you Jason!

I hope you'll get that gig and post the highlights here!

Santo
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