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Old September 13th, 2014, 02:28 PM   #16
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

Like Noa, I take no deposit and full payment on delivery (with contractual protection). I don't get hassled for delivery as they know I don't get paid until I deliver and it has worked well for 30 years

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Old September 13th, 2014, 02:38 PM   #17
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

But how do you guys avoid them making an excuse to go elsewhere with a cheaper videographer?
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Old September 13th, 2014, 06:15 PM   #18
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

Roger, I'd be interested to know how your contract is worded to protect you without any money changing hands. Does it not have to be very descriptive of the product they expect. A disgruntled client sure could argue you didn't do it 'like they wanted' and void the contract?
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Old September 13th, 2014, 08:25 PM   #19
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

Hi Roger and Noa

That really doesn't give you any protection if they pull out of the shoot even a few days to go and you have no compensation. What happens too, if they decide they cannot pay you after the wedding? All that time and not a penny to show for it!

I recently had a bride who had already booked the photog with a tiny deposit and after seeing our combined video/photo packages she decided to dump the photog and use us for both services. Now, if she had already paid the photog a healthy deposit she would have been less likely to switch!!

My photog mate only takes $100 deposit so often will lose brides. I feel that 1/3rd on booking is substantial enough to deter the bride from switching providers and a second 1/3rd 2 weeks before ensures that if she defaults I still have 2/3rd of the price. The "final 1/3rd when your DVD's are ready" provides just enough incentive for the bride to book you over a guy who wants it all up front!

The safest option is still a substantial deposit on booking and full payment before/on the day.

Chris
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Old September 13th, 2014, 09:08 PM   #20
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

Everyone has their own business model and uses what works for them however I can tell you that in all of my years of doing weddings and other social type events, mitzvahs, sweet 16's, anniversaries, retirement partys etc I found not only is it common and standard practice here in my area to get 50% upon signing a service agreement or contract but standard practice to receive the balance prior to the date of the event. The exact amount of time differs but it generally runs anywhere from 14 to 30 days prior and this isn't just for photogs and video but venues and DJs and bands and virtually every other vendor that is needed to put on a function. Again I'm talking about SOCIAL functions not seminars or trade shows or commericals or most other types of non-social event work.
Once in a while the client (generally a bride) might moan and groan about paying in advance and of course they generally say something like "how do I know you're going to show up" to which I would reply, "I've been in business for XX number of years. Do you think for 1 second I would still be in business if I went around screwing clients by not showing?" That always seemed to end the conversation.
I got burned 2 times back in the day and as they (whoever they are) say, "Burn me once shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me" I learned my lesson and started making sure I got paid BEFORE I showed up and I had terms and conditions in my service agreement to cover that and I made sure people understood them.
I'm in (was in) business to make a profit and provide for my family and sometimes in business, you just have to make hard decisions.
TBH though, I love NOT being in business. I don't miss the mental beating, the physical beating or having to run around like a chicken with my head cut off. Retirement fits me well. Anyway, get paid for what you do, you'll enjoy it more! ;-)
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Old September 14th, 2014, 07:55 PM   #21
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

Like Don, I have filmed well pver 2000 weddings over 30 years, but my business model is totally different, so there os no right or wrong way of doing it.

My clients don't book me and then decide to book a cheaper videographer at the last minute because firstly they have cpme back to book me after a comprehensive discussion and viewing with me. That gives them the opportunity to look at alternative companies to see what else is available. If they book me it is because they like my work and my price after looking at examples and at the alternatives. As my wedding videos are pretty consistent in quality, they would have great difficulty proving that their's didn't meet expectations.

Secondly there is a very simple and enequivocal contract which guarantees that the work that I do for them will be equal to work they have seen in demonstration viewing. That's why I show genuine weddings and not a put together demo. The contract also states that I will not be responsible for events or situations outside my control, but will endeavour to point out potential problems to my client. that would cover weather, positioning, lighting, unreasonable demands etc.

Financially, I have cancellation penalties depending on how far in advance they wish to cancel. I recently had a cancellation 6 weeks before the wedding as they had split up, they sent me a cancellation letter plus full payment to honour their contract. Clients have to pay me on completion, which means that I normally ring them to arrange delivery and collect payment. If they delay delivery, I will allow them up to 7 days to arrange the delivery or send me full payment. If they still delay or stall payment, then I will invoke a penalty clause which will involve a weekly percentage interest payment added to the bill, from the date of original completion. This means that the interest will be more each week that it is applied. I have only threatened that 3 times and received full payment within a few days on each occasion. The final option would be legal action which would cost them the original fee plus interest plus costs. I've never had to do that, although I have had a couple who suffered a genuine massive financial setback after their wedding and immediately told me about it. We sat down and discussed the situation and they made an offer to pay on a weekly basis until the the full payment had been paid, with me retaining the video until completion. They kept absolutely to the agreement and even bought us wine and chocolates with a lovely thankyou card on final completion. We also had 3 further bookings over the next 12 months from their direct recommendation.

As I said previously, it works well for me so why change it :-)

Roger
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Old September 15th, 2014, 08:34 PM   #22
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

As most of my bookings are from referrals, they already know the drill. That is the entire amount must be paid BEFORE the event date, no exceptions. I have a dedicated shelf area near my editing desk that has exactly 12 weddings in fully edited VHS, that act as a reminder to the clients that those represent unpaid balances totaling more than 8 thousand dollars that were never picked up. In case that argument pops up. Whatever their reason/excuse/mishaps/problems/divorced, death(s)/job loss/ etc. etc., I am still short 8 thousand. Those were the days when I was soft and lenient allowing that sort of thing. If a client wants to pay later, no problem. They can go across the street to the ATM machine and take out the cash now, pay me and make those credit card payments LATER by the month.
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Old September 15th, 2014, 09:52 PM   #23
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

Hi Arthur

Let's face it ... there is absolutely no value in a bunch of DVD cases if you cannot get paid for them. My only difference is they pay me the final 1/3rd of the price when the DVD's are ready ..note I say "ready" ..if the final amount is not in my account I simply don't deliver ! With 2/3rd's in my pocket already I have never yet had a bride not cough up the final amount as it would be their loss.

I learnt my lesson and just once delivered a DVD set prior to the final payment and of course, the bride never paid ..in those days it was only a small amount but after that it was "no payment, no delivery"

Never had a problem since and that was a LONG time ago!!

Chris
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Old September 16th, 2014, 09:34 AM   #24
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

As a DJ/MC, I'm always paid before I start, since I have no value once the event is over.

For videography, I understand if someone prefers to wait until afterwards, but I would still insist on having a fair amount paid already. For me, it's enough to cover expenses. The idea being, even if they back out, at least you haven't paid out of pocket.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 09:38 AM   #25
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
But how do you guys avoid them making an excuse to go elsewhere with a cheaper videographer?
They will find plenty cheaper videographers in my region but none of them is better then me :) Couples choose me for a reason and the ones that do pick me have the budget.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 09:48 AM   #26
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
Once in a while the client (generally a bride) might moan and groan about paying in advance and of course they generally say something like "how do I know you're going to show up" to which I would reply, "I've been in business for XX number of years. Do you think for 1 second I would still be in business if I went around screwing clients by not showing?" That always seemed to end the conversation.
The client has a valid argument, there is no way you can guarantee on paper you will be shooting their wedding, you can guarantee someone will be shooting their wedding if you would find a replacement if you couldn't come, since you have managed to show up at all times you have been lucky, it's that simple.
You could get in a car accident with major injuries, get seriously sick and by sick I mean hospitalised, even your gear could stop working, get damaged during a job or whatever, a lot of things could go wrong.

By asking a deposit means mostly we don't trust them for not getting married or to choose another videographer, the same argument they have for us maybe not showing up, so I think it's a fair question from the client.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 09:59 AM   #27
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

lol Noa, most brides read those in our terms and agreements. But NEVER think it will happen to them. I'm referring to the camera failing / accidents / injuries etc. It's their day, and their day will go perfectly that's the bottom line in their minds.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 10:18 AM   #28
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

I have been asked that question what guarantee I can give that I will show up, I always tell them that guarantee will cost them 500 euro extra to hire a second equally experienced cameraman, then they are always willing to take the risc :), I tell them that in the worst case scenario (like I had last wedding as I had to forfeit that one due to back problems), is that I will do whatever I can to get a replacement for them but if they want guarantees that what I show them as demo will get delivered no matter what, it will cost them extra.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 01:52 PM   #29
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
By asking a deposit means mostly we don't trust them for not getting married or to choose another videographer, the same argument they have for us maybe not showing up, so I think it's a fair question from the client.
Indeed. Though a wedding date, for us, has value. Especially for popular times of year, the closer to the date, the less value it has IF the client were to cancel on us, since our chance of rebooking approaches zero. That's why deposits are important, and similarly why we do a payment schedule (25% payments each 3, 6, and 9 months out). If they cancel, we're not left holding the bag.

Whether that means we *should* get 100% before starting, is another question.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 02:04 PM   #30
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Re: Explaining your reasons to a bride?

When we started, we did 25% to hold date and remainder on Delivery. That worked ok, but we did get burned 2 or 3 times.

Back then we didn't charge anywhere near what we do today.

I switched to 100% due before the wedding about 5 years ago and haven't had anyone blink an eye about it. Around here, every vendor I know gets paid in full up front. In fact, back when I told other vendors I didn't get paid until after, they all thought I was crazy. So that factored into my change. Lol

Anyways, most people I've found are glad to pay everything upfront, as they don't have to worry about it later.

Virtually none of my weddings are booked far in advance. They're usually less than 3 months before the wedding. I don't really do payment plans. 50% at booking and 50% 1 week before the wedding. Or 100% at booking.

If someone were to be concerned about paying in full or showing up, I'd explain that I have a lot of expenses that must be paid out and I've been doing this almost 15 years and have people raving about my videos online. So why wouldn't I show up?
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Last edited by Kyle Root; September 16th, 2014 at 02:08 PM. Reason: Info
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