Money is a touchy subject in a lot of ways and can be something that leads to tension if you don’t manage it properly from the start. A huge part of wedding planning also has to do with being able to help your clients manage their budget, their money, and also their payments.
I have found these two things to be a good way to avoid money issues:
Create a budget before you get hired: This might be an unpopular opinion but one that I have used and seen so much success with. I recommend creating a budget for a potential client after a consultation to give them a realistic idea of what they might have to spend for their wedding. A lot of couples have ideas for their wedding that do not match their budget so it is important to paint a realistic picture for them so they have a sense of what a budget that matches their vision could look like and then they get to decide if they are willing to make compromises to stay in budget or if they want to increase their budget to match their vision.
Yes, you are putting in without having a contract, but I promise you it will make for a smoother planning process because from the start you were all on the same page about what a realistic budget was so there won’t be a lot of tension in the planning process when they get certain quotes. Also consider this practice for you as a new planner, each time you create these budgets you are having the opportunity to practice your budget creation skills and you are able to hopefully use a similar budget for a future potential client who has the same details and guest count size. So, in the end, nothing is lost for you from this exercise, and it will save you issues with clients going forward.
Create a payment breakdown: Okay, so now you are hired and planning along, one thing you should do often is talk about the budget with your couple on planning meetings. I recommend doing this at least once a month. In order to do this, you will need to create a payment breakdown with a monthly payment structure of how they will be paying all their vendors (you can access this course for how to create a payment breakdown here. This allows you to give your couple a clear idea of what their monthly expenses are for the wedding, and it helps them plan and project in advance. This breakdown can be on a shared drive or hosted on your planning platform; whatever you do you want to make sure it is accessible to them.
The other reason this is crucial is that most couples can’t keep up with information of what vendor to pay on what date and this document will help simplify this for them. You want to be intentional about reviewing this monthly with them, so they are reminded of the payment for the existing month and what is coming up in the month ahead. This payment breakdown will save you a lot of stress, tension and friction, and drama with your couples while planning their wedding and quite frankly they will sing your praises for helping them consolidate and effectively manage their wedding expenses.
I hope you try these out, you won’t regret it.