Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Vendor Client relationship - Would you do this?

I ran across a funny video the other day, that took a humorous look at how someone might haggle on prices, and their view on these services. Although I have also at times tried to negotiate prices, it's funny to see to what extent one might go to save a buck.

As a wedding business provider, this got me thinking about peoples perception of my services. I always get asked if there is a way that I can discount my services. And while I fully understand everyone's need to keep a budget, sometimes one has to look at what is in the budget and make hard decisions and trim back on a few things in order to make allowances for valued services.

While there are always things that I can do to trim down my packages. The time and effort that goes into a single wedding video is great on my part. An average wedding video production from filming to completion will take me upwards of 42-62 hours (10-12 hours filming and another 40-60 hours editing). As such my prices are averaged out so I can eek out a small profit. There are things that can be trimmed from my product to pass on savings to a customer, while still delivering a high end product that will be cherished for years to come.

But, you can also look into trimming down some of the wedding days costs. One such way is to perform some of the wedding day details themselves.

While some things are best left to professionals, wedding cake, food, photography, videography, Music. Some things can be done by you or a family member. By taking a more personalized approach to your wedding day, you can cut down overall expenses, and trust me on this, they are also pretty fun to do.

Let me give you an example from my own personal experience, and my actual wedding.

For my own wedding, each table had flowered centerpieces, placed on a square mirror with votive candles, and a double sided glass frame, with a picture of myself and my wife at a certain age. The goal behind this was to get the guests from various sides of the family to walk around and see the pictures and interact with each other, which normally at affairs the different sides don't mingle. But in this case it worked and they did.

• The centerpieces had white roses in a crystal vases purchased from Costco.
• Small square mirrors and votive candles purchased from Home Goods.
• Double sided glass frames, were purchased from Home Goods (discount chain) with pictures of myself and my wife printed out and trimmed from our photo printer.

The wedding itself took place on in May on a Sunday, got 10% discount for Sunday May wedding, at the same venue, The Inn at Brookeville Farms. It's a beautiful place that was an old farm that was converted into an Inn. Inside it's beautiful, with lots of light and award winning cuisine. Services take place outside on a patio area, by the silo overlooking rolling green fields.

Since the ceremony took place outside, we had free reign to create the setting as we wished. So we used small Styrofoam balls that were decorated used fake Hydrangeas purchased from Ebay, for practically nothing. The decorated balls were hung, using tool, on Shepard Crooks, which were placed in sand filled flower pots.

The flower pots were spaced apart, and connected with draped tool, and used to create an aisle in which we would walk down. A friends arch was used for our wedding alter, and decorated with the fake flowers an tool.

While this might sound complicated and time consuming to do, it was relatively easy and inexpensive. The end result was a savings of over $6000. As a result, we were able to take that money and put it towards the photographer we wanted.. Of course, since I do video for a living, we hired a video professional to shoot the wedding day, and give me the RAW video to edit myself.

The end result of our Wedding day was just as nice if not nicer than any professional could have done. The key was to hire the professionals to do what we could not, and take the initiative to do what we could do ourselves. But as I said it was also fun to do.