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Old April 28th, 2014, 01:36 PM   #1
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How many weddings do you do a year?

Curious to what everyone is at on average - this is only my second real year doing this and I'm only around 9 right now, trying to get more business. I went to two local expos this year, the first one paid off great but the second didn't net me much business at all yet. (Ugh)
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Old April 28th, 2014, 01:44 PM   #2
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

First year 15

Second year 35

After than I'm not saying ;)

Many more than that and I started to get burn out, so now I don't take as many weddings and do other things to keep me fresh. In fact I'm turning away more weddings than I'm taking now.

I think it's fair to say that if I were willing to take the stupid prices being offered by some around here I'd be busy every week, and sometimes more than once a week, but I'd also be a busy fool. I'd rather do a good job for decent pay on fewer occasions than work every day and get peanuts.

How many weddings you can book at a fair rate will depend on the demographics of your area.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 02:32 PM   #3
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

I average 60 a year, but there have been years that were as low as 40 and during the 90's I have had as much as 75-80. I price myself in the affordable category ( USD 1400-1700 ) and don't add any fancy hollywood effects or anything that will add extra editing time,and only raise my package pricing very little to adjust for the cost of living increase. The word gets around quickly if you do a good affordable job and deliver on-time. I just give them the minimum to keep them happy.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 02:44 PM   #4
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

James,

Are you full-time, or is this a side gig? I'm sure you're going to get a variety of responses here.

I only do this on the side, and it has always been that way, going on about 14 years now. Back when I was single my team and I were doing 15 or so a year pretty consistently.

Now, I'm married w/ kids and only try to do a handful (3 to 5) each year because I don't want my summer weekends all tied up with shooting and editing.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 03:09 PM   #5
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

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Originally Posted by Kyle Root View Post
James,

Are you full-time, or is this a side gig? I'm sure you're going to get a variety of responses here.

I only do this on the side, and it has always been that way, going on about 14 years now. Back when I was single my team and I were doing 15 or so a year pretty consistently.

Now, I'm married w/ kids and only try to do a handful (3 to 5) each year because I don't want my summer weekends all tied up with shooting and editing.
Hi there. Currently its a side gig, though I would like to do it full time. I've been doing back and forth experimenting with different methods, equipment, skills and pricing structures for the last couple years. I'm finally starting to get things a little under control in those areas so I'm now looking to try and expand the amount of weddings. Started with the knot this year and two video expos - I found the knot underwhelming (one wedding booking) and the expos to be either really good or zero. Still trying to figure out what works best for my demographic and price/shoot accordingly. A part of me wants to make amazing blockbuster style wedding videos, the other part knows I have to do what the market calls for. I'm leaning towards offering some low end (single shooter type stuff) and some high end, multi shooter setups.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 03:29 PM   #6
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

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I average 60 a year
That's a lot :) I guess those are not 14 to 16 hour wedding days like I have to deal with each time? If I had to do 60 weddings that would mean not more then 1 day max to finish the edit if I still wanted a life, I spend in average 3 long workingdays to finish the edit, I spend a few hours for every new wedding to prepare, then again a few hours to offload all media, check that all is there and make backups. Then the time meeting with new clients, delivering to existing clients, doing my bookkeeping, working around the house and spending time with my family, I"d say that 20-25 weddings would be the max amount I would be able to handle per year.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 03:31 PM   #7
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

I'm in my second year (1 year as of April) and I've got 7 weddings contracted for 2014. This is with ZERO advertising dollars. I don't even have a website yet. All my business comes from clients of a photographer friend, and their referrals and that's how I plan on keeping it for now.

I'd like to do 10-12 a year for now- I'm a weekend warrior, and don't want too much extra work on the side. Just want to concentrate on raising my quality, and pricing accordingly.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 04:00 PM   #8
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

If I wanted a purely side gig, but enough weddings to sustain some level of referrals, I'd target 12-18 weddings a year.

For a full-timer, it depends on whether there is any mid-week money, so to speak, but sticking to just weddings, my pricing is based on 26 weddings a year, as a minimum, and a goal of 30-35.

*note, I'm actually a full-time MC/DJ for weddings, and our video business is more of a side gig to that. So, last year we filmed 17 weddings (only our first full year), and I was MC/DJ for 33 weddings (6 years in a row of 30-35 while working for myself).

Bridal expos *can* be helpful, especially when starting out, or when trying to raise prices. Some are hit or miss, but at least it gets your name in front of people, which is what is needed. Same as any advertising, except, hopefully, it also lets people talk with you a bit.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 04:32 PM   #9
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

1st year, on the side with full time job - 15 Bookings - cheap price, free ads.
2nd year, on the side with full time job - 15 bookings - price up by 200 - turned away bookings - no advertising.
3rd year, reduced job to 4 days - 20 bookings - price up by 300 - turned away bookings- no advertising.
year 4 (2015) 5 bookings so far at double my price in year one. Starting to advertise - its all part of targeting higher standard of client...

The beauty of doing it on the side is, you can test higher prices without fear of going broke if it doesn't work out. If you can continue to up your price and see no drop in inquiry levels, you are doing something right!
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Old April 29th, 2014, 04:27 AM   #10
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

42 last year - word of mouth and a well optimised website - no advertising spent/no wedding fairs etc. This year I still need 6 bookings to come in to reach that

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Old April 29th, 2014, 08:10 AM   #11
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

Part time by choice - 15 or so weddings a year with a very small advertising budget and a highly ranking site on Google.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 12:38 PM   #12
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

Great info everyone. I appreciate the insight - my website is nice, but it wasn't designed with any google adword type ad stuff in mind, maybe I should look into that.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 12:45 PM   #13
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

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Originally Posted by James Palanza View Post
Great info everyone. I appreciate the insight - my website is nice, but it wasn't designed with any google adword type ad stuff in mind, maybe I should look into that.
You don't need to design your site for adwords if you are the one doing the advertising with Google (to bring traffic to you). If you're looking to add other people's adverts then that's Google AdSense.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 04:37 PM   #14
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

In my hay day, I averaged about 55 to 60 with 67 being my top number and while they weren't 16 hour days most were 10 to 12. Around here we do things a bit differently. I've done enough 12 to 14 hour days at weddings to know I didn't want to keep doing those. I also knew that while I made a really decent living from weddings and other social events, the real money came from corporate work.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 08:16 PM   #15
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Re: How many weddings do you do a year?

25 last year. Raised prices so as to make 20 go as far this year.

But I have a full-time teaching job, too, so this isn't my only gig!
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