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How to manage wedding client expectations versus budget

To meet your clients needs on their wedding day, it's important to manage expectations when planning the perfect day on the right budget.


More often than not, your clients have a very elaborate vision of what they want their big day to look like. They explain all of the things they’d like to see incorporated… then give you their budget. Automatically, you know that their vision and their budget are nowhere close. It’s never fun to be the bad guy and explain how their dollar won’t stretch as far as they’re imagining it would, but it’s part of the job. It’s more important than ever to help manage client’s expectations based on their budget. To ensure your clients are getting all of the necessities for a successful wedding and help them plan a perfect (and affordable) day, it’s imperative to manage their expectations. Here’s a few ideas on how to do this: 

Educate your clients on typical wedding costs

The first thing to remember is that your client more than likely doesn’t understand the actual price of a wedding. It’s much easier to put together a vison board of things they’d like for their wedding when they’re not considering costs. One of your first jobs as their planner is to help them understand how far their budget will go, and the average spend for each vendor category. 

When you first meet with your client, offer guidance on what the couple can expect with their budget. It’s always better to avoid promising more than what can be realistically delivered. This is also a good opportunity to provide options and discuss different price points for each vendor. 

Determine what is most important to your client early in the wedding planning process

Every wedding is going to have non-negotiables while planning, and it’s critical that you understand what those are upfront. This will allow you to ensure that there is an appropriate budget allocated to these items and that they’re not overseen. Compromising is something your client understand is a necessity, unless they have unlimited funds. By understanding the absolute most important details, you can help them achieve the wedding they envisioned. 

Account for the wedding necessities 

While there is so much excitement in planning a wedding, it’s imperative to ensure that funds are set aside for necessities such as an officiant, a marriage license, insurance, etc. These aren’t the glamorous aspects of wedding planning, but there wouldn’t be a wedding without them.  

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