Wedding Planning Success Lounge: Are your clients late with payments?
Have you ever been in that situation where a wedding couple keeps postponing their payments and you get to the wedding day without having received your balance? Don’t let that happen. Ever!
Some suggestions on how to always get paid on time and definitely BEFORE the wedding day.
1. You need to look professional when you meet with your clients, you need to have a professional-looking website, and your marketing materials need to reflect the same professional look. If you look like an amateur and you don’t promote yourself appropriately you will make your business look like a hobby and your wedding clients will not take you seriously. As a consequence, they will take advantage of the situation and they will buy time to make payments to you (or maybe they won’t even want to pay you for what you’re worth)
2. Include a payment policy on your agreement. This should include:
A) Retainer. It’s best to use this term instead of “deposit”. A retainer is considered a non-refundable deposit to retain your services and to block a specific date on your calendar. A deposit, on the other hand, might be considered a refundable amount and if the client wants or needs to cancel the wedding you might have to refund the amount
B) Payments as needed throughout the planning process. For short-term assistance such as day-of or month-of you can just require a retainer and a balance. However, when you are working with longer time frames (full-service assistance, for instance) then it’s always a nice touch to offer a payment plan. I usually divide the total amount in 2-4 payments or even monthly payments. Your job as a wedding planner is to make things easy for your wedding client. They will already have to pay for a lot of other services so try to be accommodating with your compensation. Make sure that you ask them how and when they can pay you during the planning process: if you set payment deadlines that are not realistic for your clients then they won’t be able to pay you. If they don’t send the payments by the deadlines just remind them. Chances are, they are just busy with their life and they simply forgot. It’s also a good excuse to touch base with them and ask if you can help them with anything regarding the planning (especially if your assistance hasn’t started yet)
C) Balance. This needs to be paid before the wedding (this can be 1-2 weeks or 1 month prior). The only exception to this is if you know the client very well and you know that the payment will be mailed soon after. If that’s the case, it’s very important that you provide stellar service at the wedding so that the client will not have any excuses not to pay you!
3. Automate the payments. There are different software / accounting programs (such as Quickbooks or even PayPal) that allow you to set up automatic reminders to your clients so you don’t have to worry about it
4. Charge an interest if you have wedding couples who keep paying late during the planning process. You should include this information in your agreement if this happens often
TAKE ACTION ~~~ Review your agreement and make sure that your payment information is clearly detailed. It should include a request for retainer when the wedding couple signs the agreement, followed by one or more payments during the planning process as needed, and the balance to be paid BEFORE the wedding
BUY ~~~ Would you like to incorporate my payment policy into your agreement? Buy the template in my Store and it’s ready for you to use!
Holistic Precision Life Coach, Brain Wellness Coach, and Life-Work Balance Strategist for busy professionals. I blend well-being principles with epigenetics, neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness techniques to implement effective behavior changes.