empty wallet I really am poor. I hate to say it, I didn’t use to be…but I have got to get outta this lifestyle of going to food banks for my kids to eat…I’m so hardworking and I’ve worked really hard to get my business where it is today. I’ve reinvested most of what I’ve made back into the business which has paid off.  I feel that I’m at the point to charge what I’m worth, but like everyone else, I gotta deal with extreme couponers, friends with camera’s, etc.”

This quote is from a recent email that was sent to us.  And another heartbreaking email…

I have no weddings booked at all at this point. I just lost another booking to some other photographer, with a couple who really liked my work and offerings.  I work a full time day job which takes 40 of my best hours during the week, and it’s hard to market and network after hours…I used to kick butt and take names in this business. Now, I struggle to even get small photo shoots or portrait sessions, and I have to practically give my services away at bargain prices to even get any money at all.”

Most wedding vendors are NOT making enough money to live on, not as a full-time career.  

After reading countless stories like this, I had to find out for myself what was going on.  We surveyed our wedding vendor friends and followers, and these results truly shocked me:

  • 48% of the wedding vendors surveyed make LESS THAN $25,000 per year.
  • 68.8% make LESS THAN $50,000 per year.

   This is not a liveable wage!  That’s gross income reported for the wedding business; when you subtract the many expenses of running a business, what’s left isn’t enough to pay for a mortgage and raise a family.

   Quick disclaimer: this survey (about 600 respondents) isn’t large enough to be statistically relevant for the entire wedding community, but it’s certainly is for the friends of Book More Brides.

   What’s even sadder is that 72% want to be making more than $50,000…and they aren’t.

   There are a lot of hard-working, frustrated and disappointed vendors out there!  This really ticks me off, because you deserve to be rewarded for your hard work.

   You deserve MORE and we’re determined to help you get it.

   We just released a video that reveals the real truth about the “bad news” economy, and exactly what you can do to turn it around.  And there is some good news to report, too!

This topic stirs up a lot of controversy.  But I just can’t keep my mouth shut when it’s something you NEED to know.

   Here’s the funny thing:

  Some of these people arguing AGAINST getting paid what you’re worth are wedding vendors themselves!

   Check out these emails that came in…

“I need to ask who told these people that being a wedding pro was going to be full time employment?  Who said they were going to make a good living?”

“Just because we think we are worth more does not make us worth more. I think it’s unfortunate that some people think because they chose this vocation or avocation that they deserve to make a great living at it.”

In other words, we should expect to FAIL and accept LESS than a liveable wage because of the industry we’re in?

Hogwash!  You deserve to make a living doing what you love, if that’s what you want.

I’m not saying you should just raise your price and expect to get it.  You have to make changes in communicating your value, connecting with your clients, and of course, you have to deliver on what you promise.  But…

   If you don’t think you’re worth the price, no one else will, either.

   Well, if you want to stay in the dark, that’s fine with me.  This message is for people who are ready to open their eyes and walk into the future and DO SOMETHING to change it.

    Jeff and I have been studying this for a couple years, and the difference between the wedding vendors who “get it” and thrive…and the ones who don’t and end up failing…is pretty darn clear.

    We’ve identified 7 Deadly Mistakes of Wedding Businesses that you should watch in this video, mistakes that too many vendors make without even realizing it.  It’s time to wake up.

Here’s another wedding pro’s response to these arguments that we shouldn’t expect to make money in the wedding business…

We all deserve to make a living. Provided we deliver a service that is valuable. Unfortunately just like your doctor or lawyer, you might not have gone to business school to learn how to run a business.

Not all self employed individual are endowed with business smarts or salesmanship(my ex could sell anything) that creates income that forgives bad business choices. If you want to succeed take classes, learn. Jeff & Stephanie are offering great info. Use it.  

Network; people help each other. It is amazing what people will do to help when they see your passion.” – Marsha Whipple, Sell My Wedding

What do you think?

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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4 thoughts on ““Who Said You Deserve To Make a Good Living as a Wedding Pro?””

  1. Marsha says:

    HI All
    Besides using the Advise of BMB I just wanted to say that the people I have met at Meetups and Small Business Administration free classes are the ones that are my biggest support for our upcoming web launch and IndieGoGo campaign. I have worked out payment plans for their professional help that often mean no money upfront and yet expand their resume as well. Professionals network to expand their business, it is a great place to expand yours or to find the missing tool to get you to the next level.

  2. Jack Barros says:

    When you take the time to learn your craft and you’ve achieved a level that can be considered a professional, I believe you deserve to be paid as a professional. What are challenge is that most of us in this industry are artists by nature and not business savvy. We need the teachings such as Stephanie & Jeff provide to build up our shortcomings. It is up to us to better communicate our value to our clients. Thanks for your help guys.

  3. Leon Bailey says:

    Only the strong survive in this industry. People jump in it thinking it’s simple, but it is not. Good article once again!

  4. Thanks you 2 for another great article. These are the very building blocks of Wedding Network USA. Education about how to operate your business better, networking with other wedding professionals and of course – fun! It is so sad to see people dropping out of the industry when they have great talents, but no business savvy. Come on folks, let’s keep helping each other be successful!

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