• Anna Swanson

Affordable vs. Cheap

Updated: Apr 21

Hello!  Today's blog is yet again about education, but today we are talking about pricing.  We all love getting good deals, right?  I certainly do!  Those who know me, know I am very passionate about the hospitality industry, as well as the event industry, and they often run hand in hand. However, a word that is often used by travelers, tourists, and engaged couples alike is the word affordable.  Can you recommend an affordable____? Fill in the blank.  I often hear consumers question the cost of a product or service.  Due diligence by comparison shopping is one thing, but deciding something is too expensive is usually more about you and your budget and priorities rather than the product or service.  Is it expensive, or is it just outside your own budget?  Some things truly are expensive; however, most of the time if the vendor is priced correctly, the value should match the quality. I've heard it said that you get what you pay for, and quite often that old saying is accurate. You at least want to feel that the amount you have paid is an accurate and fair price for the product or service you are receiving.


Did you know when you hire a band, a general rule of thumb is $1,000 per band member? To some people, live music is a must, and therefore, they choose to afford the cost. For others, a fun DJ is just the ticket for their reception.


If you hire a firework show for your grand exit, a general rule of thumb is $1,000 per minute.  For most brides and grooms, finishing the evening with fireworks is just not that crucial, so sparklers become an affordable alternative.


Your mindset determines your priorities which then determine your budget.


One of the very first things we do with our full-service clients is sit down for an hour long budget consultation.  While it is not included in our other packages, it is an add-on service for any of other clients, and I promise you it is very helpful. We comb through the budget line by line, category by category, and together determine what they should hope to spend in each area of their wedding planning.  Then, we move forward to find the vendors that fit their overall look and fit into their budget.


We do work to price ourselves competitively in our market based on our knowledge and experience.  We also know other vendors do this as well. It's not wrong for you to ask for a lower priced item or service, but as your guides through this process, we like to educate by shifting our language in how we talk about and request "deals."


Rather than asking. “Does anyone know a cheap or free tool for X?" we could ask, “Does anyone know the cost ranges for X tool and have a recommendation for one?”  Then, you get to decide if you value it enough to afford it. If a professional values a product or service highly, why would he or she give it away? Since we all have different definitions of what is affordable compared to what is cheap, the first version of that question is tricky. We don’t know what affordable means to you or what you need in that product or service to consider it valuable. I’d love to encourage some practice on this! 


It’s a good step in shifting that mindset, thus... making us all better clients and professionals!


Anna Swanson


Photos: Glowing Amber Photography www.glowingamberphotography.com

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