First blog for a few weeks I know. I have had computer problems and the problem of being so cold, trying to keep warm. This past month I have been catching up on client meetings and of course meeting new clients which I always enjoy.
I want to chat to you today about Fees! I get very annoyed at email enquiries or phone enquiries or facebook enquiries asking me for my cheapest price as the couple only want a quick ceremony. Regardless of how long they want it, it still takes time to prepare it! It takes time to meet with the couple, usually there will be 3 meetings then perhaps a rehearsal! There is up to 6 hours for meetings and rehearsal to start off with! It takes time to write and edit the ceremony, let's say another 2 hours. It takes time for travelling to & from the meetings, the rehearsal and then the ceremony. Then apart from the time all this takes I have to also consider the money it takes for my printing costs, my computer costs, my car costs, my petrol costs, my stationery costs, my P.A costs,my website costs, my professional appearance and grooming costs to name a few of them!
The ceremony is the most important part of the wedding and a lasting memory of the wedding is a beautifully crafted professional ceremony officiated by a professionally trained well groomed and attired celebrant that has spent years of her life perfecting her craft so that it can be a warm and special and very memorable day for the couple.
So when anyone asks me for a cheap wedding I will say NO! There will be others out there that will do it as for instance last week a bride said she had a quote for $195 and then the week before a bride told me she had a quote for $250! I suspect these quotes were from celebrants that are desperate, that are probably doing a couple of ceremonies here & there for extra pocket money! Well that is not me. Why would you undercut the registry Office and they charge $420!
I can't understand why clients can spend up to $600 on a cake that just gets eaten & forgotten about (plus puts weight on LOL) or $450 on chair hire, carpet hire & flower pots that usually fall down in the wind then wont spend the same on a celebrant which I said before is the most important part of the ceremony!
These cheap fees are ruining the code for the celebrants that are passionate about their work. It is a business and it is about money but I go the extra mile to make sure my ceremonies are happy, memorable and professional.
Not all in a day’s work"Why do Officiates charge so much for a half hour of work?"
(Please keep in mind that Ministers, Priests, etc. collect a salary plus receive an honorarium. ...an Officiate does not. Our fee is our income.)
It takes an average of 10 hours of work per ceremony:
- Emails, phone calls
- Sometimes research for a particular ceremony
(Definitely the benefit of tons of research over the years + education / training)
- Ceremony prep, proof-reads, approvals, updates, modifications, last minute changes, re-approvals
- Ceremony practice time
- travel time + mileage to & from rehearsal
- Waiting before rehearsal
- travel time + mileage to & from wedding
- Waiting before ceremony
- performing ceremony
- Sometimes mingling after ceremony
- Paperwork, paperwork... paperwork. ..Overhead costs (including advertising)
- (not to mention the time lost with their own significant others on the weekends, some Friday night & Saturday and Sunday, when significant others are at home)
Average 10 - 15hrs per ceremony
Here's the most important part:
Your Officiate is a licensed professional without which there would be no marriage.
It is the least expensive cost in the typical wedding, yet the only part that is really required.
You can have a wedding without flowers or centrepieces.
You can't have a legal marriage without an Officiate.
Be careful where you cut your corners! :)
Ok it's all off my chest now and I feel better for it, I think!
Take care guys
Glenda Davison CMC JP