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Old April 12th, 2013, 12:31 PM   #1
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Wedding Packages

I met with a bride/groom yesterday about a wedding video and they began asking me about taking things out of packages to reduce the price, etc. I'm happy to customize any package, but I began wondering if it would be better off to start pricing each item a la carte so the bride can get exactly what she wants.

Has anyone tried this and had any success with this strategy when compared to the more traditional packages?
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Old April 12th, 2013, 01:08 PM   #2
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Re: Wedding Packages

I figure out what I'm willing to go out for: a minimum price. It may be very different for a popular Saturday in June rather than a Friday in February.

There may also be personal standards - what is the minimum you're willing to do and feel like you did a good job? As long as it doesn't interfere with that, it's OK.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 04:29 PM   #3
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Re: Wedding Packages

Yep - tried it... big disaster.

I've found it just adds far too many decisions up to the client and ultimately hits your bottom line. Everything included for $xxxx is the way to go for me. Brides who want to pick and choose to fit into budget are the exception I find, not the usual.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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Re: Wedding Packages

My price is a fixed all inclusive package and I do not negotiate prices EVER! If a client doesn't want to pay the price, then they are not looking for what I am offering.

If you are desperate to get the deal and have to haggle, you are on a slippery slope. Once you reduce the price for one client, you will be surprised how much people like to tell their friends and it will come back to haunt you.

If you are not getting deals because of your price, perhaps you need to restructure you prices to make them more attractive in the first place. You say that you have to start taking things out, so perhaps you can have a standard package that you are happy to supply for a fixed price, but with optional extras that couples can choose to add for an extra cost, as do a number of videographers.

Not all videographers offer the same package and price and you must have confidence in what you are offering to inspire confidence in your clients. If you offer a Rolls Royce package, you don't need to reduce it to a Ford price just because a potential client can't afford it.

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Old April 12th, 2013, 05:52 PM   #5
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Re: Wedding Packages

I offer basic packages with paid options (like a blu-ray, the HD files, a trailer) and I let the client decide what they want instead of me deciding it for them. In the past I had "all in" packages as well and had some clients asking to take the blu-ray out which they didn't want and try to get a lower price. I even use it as a selling point now: "Only pay for what you want to have". Currently I only have 2 packages but give them the HD files for free in the most expensive package meaning they save if they choose the more expensive one, the difference is that one is 9 hours coverage and the second 14 hours. Since I took this approach I"m selling more 14 hour packages then in the past.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 07:52 PM   #6
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Re: Wedding Packages

I do fixed packages too but never ever adjust the price for the same amount of work. I actually offer a range of packages from a ceremony only right up to a full day ...that gives brides a choice of coverage and they can decide what they want rather than giving them a menu and make up their own package.

The important thing here is to, by all means, accept a lower package for less money but never reduce your set price. Brides that want to haggle about price end up wanting extras at the wedding for nothing plus they are the most likely candidates to complain bitterly that "this is wrong and that is wrong" afterwards. Just also make sure that your minimum package is in fact worth your while going out for!

You have basic startup costs that are there regardless of the package size that you must cost in so based on on site time a ceremony only package will look more expensive than a full wedding if you only consider the on-site time...regardless of the time at the wedding you still have to consult, travel, attend rehearsals, deliver and edit so make sure that is all included.

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Old April 12th, 2013, 08:16 PM   #7
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Re: Wedding Packages

When I was shooting I tried both ways ... a la carte and packages. I ended up sticking with packages because clients just seem to have a hard time making decisions. (Exact same thing with photography.)

I would just ask them what they had budgeted on video and go from there. You'll know pretty quick whether or not it's going to be reasonable. There might be times when they're looking for all day coverage and with their budget you can only do the ceremony. Sometimes it just isn't meant to be.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 09:28 PM   #8
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Re: Wedding Packages

It's easiest to sell when you DON'T give people choices, at least up front. Book or don't. They can decide on add-ons later. Our contract is for our minimum, then has 'client options' listed that they have to notify us about by a specific date.

There's something called 'paralysis of choice' you should check into. Basically, our brains hate real choices. We're too worried we'll decide poorly. Keep it simple, sell emotionally not rationally, push your unique sales proposition and sales will come.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 10:05 PM   #9
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Re: Wedding Packages

I think there's a general sales rule that you offer a client 3 choices and they usually go for the middle one.

My Packages start from the minimium I'm willing to offer - ceremony & reception up to the 1st dance and the
packages offer more up to the whole day with pre wedding etc. I do offer some add-ons - extra DVD etc but that's it, I think too much choice is confusing.

I don't negotiate - a client recently tried "another company is offering the same coverage for $400 less but I like your style more" - I suggested it was a good deal and they should take it.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 10:23 PM   #10
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Re: Wedding Packages

A good friend of mine who just happens to be shall we say, quite well off, once told me many years ago that when you discount your work you're telling the client how much you really value your work at. I only gave discounts to 1) active military and....hmmm, that's pretty much it. just not worth it. This is what I do and how much I charge. Like it, don't like it doesn't really matter. Book or not, doesn't really matter. I won't go bankrupt if one or two don't book because they can get the same thing from someone else for a few dollars less. Like Paul, I tell them to go book with them.
Old saying I learned lots of years ago; some will, Some won't, So what...who's next!
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Old April 12th, 2013, 11:31 PM   #11
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Re: Wedding Packages

Thanks for the replies! I appreciate the insights and the openness of this forum. Still learning for sure.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 11:45 PM   #12
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Re: Wedding Packages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Benda View Post
There's something called 'paralysis of choice' you should check into. Basically, our brains hate real choices. We're too worried we'll decide poorly. Keep it simple, sell emotionally not rationally, push your unique sales proposition and sales will come.
Interesting. I did some reading on this today. Thanks for the insight.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 06:30 PM   #13
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Re: Wedding Packages

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Knight View Post
Everything included for $xxxx is the way to go for me.
Yes, same.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 10:20 PM   #14
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Re: Wedding Packages

Here's what happens to most people when faced with multiple choices.
All of the blood rushes to the head and they get cold feet, so they don't make a decision. No decision is the easiest decision to make.
It's called Paralysis by analysis!
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Old April 16th, 2013, 01:18 AM   #15
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Re: Wedding Packages

If you are going to go with packages I would go with 3 packages. Always list the packages from most expensive on down. They will always by your top or middle package. Nobody wants to go all the way down.

It's been years since I've done this but I actually preferred the basic package and then add the options.

I would do a basic package that included the ceremony and reception in one camera for say $1500 .
Everything else was optional and additional. They got to pick just what they wanted. My demo's always showed fully loaded packages. And if a client chose the basics, it was still a good day.
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