Financial mistakes: The wedding professional’s guide

by Susan Paige
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It’s an emotional purchase and in some ways, this makes life as a wedding professional very difficult indeed.

It doesn’t matter if you are a photographer, videographer or cake designer – the same rules apply. Creating fine lines between business and the emotional impact of your profession can be difficult at the best of times.

Through our work in the industry, there are various mistakes that crop up time and time again. Today’s post is going to take a look at three of them, to show how you can keep on top of the business side of your service.

No deposit, no booking

Let’s take a photographer as our first example. As anyone who has got married will testify, they arrive in a whole host of different propositions. Some are looking for the so-called documentary-style (which is relatively new on the scene), while others might be trying to obtain more traditional shots for their big day. Ultimately, it means that people tend to shop around.

What does this mean for a photographer’s business? It means that you can’t take a person’s word. They may say that they are going to go with your services, only to be swept of their feet in their next meeting with a rival photographer.

The rule is therefore simple. If a person hasn’t pledged their money towards a deposit, they don’t get the booking. It can sound almost cut-throat, but it will save you a lot of heartache and will mean that every booking in your diary is going to happen.

Make any remaining payments BEFORE the big day

Now that the deposits are made, it’s time to think about the next, final payments.

In a lot of industries, it’s not unheard of to collect this money on delivery or services, or even provide some form of flexible payment terms after this date.

When it comes to weddings, both options should be discarded.

On the big day, a bride and groom are not expected to be writing cheques all day. Then, if we look to after the wedding day, there are a whole host of other distractions for them which mean that payments often get left on the side. In short, make sure that you’ve collected all outstanding money before delivering your services.

The last course of action: debt collection

Finally, let’s talk about a more extreme course of action that some wedding professionals might have to turn to; the use of a debt collection agent.

Hopefully, if you have followed the above advice, you’ll never need this. After all, you will have collected a deposit, and if the couple in question have not paid, you simply keep the deposit. There’s no need for any further conflict.

Of course, it doesn’t always happen like this. The last thing you need is to be chasing around trying to obtain those final payments. This wasted time is costing you money; you instead need to turn to specialists for assistance if such a need arises.

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