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Old February 27th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #1
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Getting the bride to pick up her video

Sometimes brides take awhile to pick up their video. Just wondering how you all get the bride to pick it up? I just let a bride know her video was complete and her response, "Thanks, we'll keep in touch". Of course they owe me money. A big selling point for me is not being paid in full before the wedding. Thanks for any responses.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 11:20 AM   #2
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That is why I am paid in full before the wedding date.

I do not want to deal with collections, reporting lost lost revenue due to a bad debt, and all of the other time consuming issues a business owner must face when the receivables account ledger doesn't match on the bottom line.
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Last edited by Waldemar Winkler; February 27th, 2010 at 11:28 AM. Reason: Clarifying initial comment.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #3
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That is why I am paid in full before the wedding date.

I do not want to deal with collections, reporting lost lost revenue due to a bad debt, and all of the other time consuming issues a business owner must face when the receivables account ledger doesn't match on the bottom line.
I just find that I book so many more weddings by not having the bride pay in full before the wedding. Don't get me wrong, most brides pick up their video right away and I do get paid. Plus, I do have a tactic that forces them to come pick up their video. I just wanted to hear everyone's experience first.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #4
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Instead of announcing to the bride that her video is ready, ask for a specific day and time that she can stop by. If she can't, offer to deliver it to her at her earliest convenience. If she just doesn't have the money, then I guess you're stuck.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 12:10 PM   #5
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I do similar - just call them few days before the wedding is completed, and ask them when they want to meet or if they want to come to pick up the DVDs. If they say they're busy I can always send it, but they have to mail me the check first.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 12:48 PM   #6
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For years we provided, as part of our packages, a sizable third payment that wasn't due until 3 months after the wedding. It worked great for years. Then the economy tanked and we suddenly had 1/4 of our couples defaulting on their balance. As of last summer, we decided to discontinue that perk and now all of our couples have to pay in full before the wedding. We're probably missing out on some bookings because of that, but it sure is nice having full payment before the wedding and we're filling our schedule anyways.

IF you still want to allow for payment after the wedding, here are some tips. First, make sure the final payment isn't due 'when the videos are done'. Pick a set time after the wedding that the payment is due. Second, make sure your contract is very specific about this policy, and that the moment this final payment is late you're charging a late fee .. and repeating that process every 30 days. For us, the late fee motivated 99% of our delinquent couples to get paid up within 2-3 months of being late .. and that's partly because we were charging a 15% late fee too. Also, have your contract specify that the couple has 7 days from the time of completion of the DVD's to review them for errors. But at the same time, make sure your contract states that they don't get the DVD's (or even get to see them) until their account is paid in full. This is extra motivation for people to get that final payment paid because they want to make sure they get to review their DVD's. Also, we have a policy that once the account is 90 days late, we contact the couple and inform them that they have 30 days to pay off the account before we pursue a small claims action in court. At this time we are open to developing a payment plan for the couple if necessary, because we'd rather not go to court. The goal is to get them paying SOMETHING on the account to make sure you're getting money and that they remain committed to paying the account off.

Again, we had an after-the-wedding payment system for years and it worked great .. but after the economy flipped we decided it wasn't in our best interest anymore. If you have full payment up front them getting the couple to come in and pick up their DVD's is pretty easy. However, even then we still have the 7-day-review policy to make sure couples don't drag their feet .. and to make sure we can clear the project from our drives without having to worry about error correction later on.

Hope that helps!
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Old February 27th, 2010, 01:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Simons View Post
I just find that I book so many more weddings by not having the bride pay in full before the wedding. Don't get me wrong, most brides pick up their video right away and I do get paid. Plus, I do have a tactic that forces them to come pick up their video. I just wanted to hear everyone's experience first.
So come on spill the beans what is your tactic.

Alan
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Old February 27th, 2010, 02:29 PM   #8
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I guess I am an odd duck as I do not even require a deposit. Anyways when the video is complete My wife and I invite the couple over for dinner and we all preview their video together. Seems to work for me.

Gene...
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Old February 27th, 2010, 04:07 PM   #9
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So come on spill the beans what is your tactic.

Alan
LOL. My tactic is to tell them that after 30 days, my editor has to delete their video off of his computer's hard drive to make room to edit another bride's wedding. Once we delete your video, we can not go back and fix any mistakes we may have made. So if your name is Christina and we spelled it Kristina, we can not go back and fix it. They usually come pick it up right away. ;-)
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Old February 27th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #10
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Pick a set time after the wedding that the payment is due. Second, make sure your contract is very specific about this policy, and that the moment this final payment is late you're charging a late fee .. and repeating that process every 30 days. Hope that helps![/QUOTE]

This one I like very much. So if their wedding is August 1st, tell them the final payment is due September 1st. I like that!
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Old February 27th, 2010, 04:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Eugene J Kulak View Post
I guess I am an odd duck as I do not even require a deposit. Anyways when the video is complete My wife and I invite the couple over for dinner and we all preview their video together. Seems to work for me.

Gene...
Wow... not charging a deposit? That's risky! Remember, TIME is money... not just product. Holding a product ransom won't get you back lost time and lost opportunity.

I charge roughly 30% as a deposit (non-refundable) and the remaining balance is due 30 days BEFORE the wedding. This has not been a problem for me as it seems like many other vendors in my market have adopted this same policy. I know a videographer in my market who has shot and edited more than one wedding recently and the bride and groom (for what ever reason or hardship) changed their mind and never picked up their final product and payed there balance. I had a couple once split their marriage 2 weeks after the wedding... you just never know!
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Old February 27th, 2010, 10:09 PM   #12
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After getting burned once by a couple who said they loved their video and had no issues with quality or content etc bounced 2 cheques and never made good on the balance.... Lesson learned. Now our policy is $250.00 up front as a deposit so we save their date and the total due day of the wedding. Most couples are paying everyone else at the same time so most won't bat an eye. We may lose a few opportunities this way but I think it works out in the end as I am not much of a fighter... Collection calls, Court etc...
That's what we do and it seems to be working.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 11:03 PM   #13
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I used to collect the balance on the day of the wedding. Problem was, I hated bugging brides about money on their wedding day, that's usually the last thing on their minds.... and because of that often I would get passed over to a parent who is now a little frustrated that they are having to take care of this "problem".. I only ever got burned once, but that's all it took... so then I started taking the balance 14 days before the wedding to coincide with their final planning meeting. I never had a bride that had a problem with that, I explained that I would rather take care of their balance before the wedding then bother them on their wedding day trying to settle up. It's very understandable and the brides actually appreciated it. I later switched to 30 days as I found many of the other vendors in my market were doing the same. I still have yet to have a client who had a problem with that policy.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 11:17 PM   #14
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I do 1/3rd as a booking fee, 1/3rd 2 weeks before the wedding and the final 1/3rd when I deliver the DVD into her hot sweaty hands. Never had a problem yet with that method and it does give the bride a little bit of confidence that the final payment is made when the goods are delivered. After paying for 2/3rds of a package price I doubt whether a couple would want to lose that money and get nothing in return if they decline the DVD!!!

I normally email them when it's ready and they normally contact me when they come back from their honeymoon and I do a personal delivery and more often than not, collect cash!!


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Old February 28th, 2010, 08:18 AM   #15
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I am suprised to read that videographers don't make sure they get all over the payment at leasdt 30 days BEFORE the wedding.

We take a booking fee ( no longer called deposit) to secure the date, with the balance due 30 days before the wedding. So far we have had 100% compliance in the 6 years I have been filming weddings. This year we had our first "split" before the day and I told th bride if I filled the date she would get a refund, and if I didn't, I would knock off the deposit from the fee when she found a new guy to marry!

get the money up front and you never have to worry about a thing. No need to call them and ask them around to pick it up. Just mail the parcel out to them. No need to sweat over if they have the money to pay you, or whether you will have to take them to court to get what's owed.

And my booking are up on every year. 2010 has so far been very good.

Get the money in. It's called good business sense.
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