smiling couple

This week Jeff and I went shopping for a mattress.

It’s not the sexiest purchase in the world, but we’re both tired of sleeping on what we fondly call, “the potato chip” and waking up with stiff necks, so we can put if off no longer.

There we are in this boutique mattress store where the very cheapest mattress has a price tag of $2,000, and the retail price on the ones Jeff likes (he never fails that he makes a bee line straight for Top Shelf) are all over $4,000.

I’m speechless. Who knew mattresses cost THAT MUCH?

And then I glance up at the poster on the wall behind the salesman’s desk.

The Value of a Good Night’s Sleep for 10 Years

$4,000 = $1.10 per night
$3,000 = 82 cents per night
$2,500 = 69 cents per night

        How Much Is a Good Night’s Sleep Worth to You?

All of the sudden those prices don’t seem so expensive anymore. Less than $1 a night…I’m weighing that against the cost of stiff necks, back pain, waking up from Jeff kicking me in the leg…

$2,500 for a mattress seems like a bargain. When you look at it like that.

Translating the Value

So what the heck happened there? Was I brainwashed by sales trickery?

It’s something my internet marketing hero Eben Pagan calls, “translating the value.”

That simple poster took the cost of the mattress and “translated” it from dollars and cents into a currency that has real value to me.

I don’t know how much a mattress should cost. But I certainly value sleeping the whole right through and waking up full of energy. And I am intimately acquainted with the value of NOT having aches and pains, or having to hear Jeff grumble about his.

I don’t even want to buy a mattress, which is essentially a giant pillow case filled with stuffing. The mattress itself has no value to me.

What I’m after is a good night sleep and freedom from pain. Now that I would happily pay for. Probably a lot more than $1 per day.

Emotional Currency for the Bride and Groom

What does this have to do with your wedding business?

Well, the bride and groom planning their wedding are in the same position I was when hunting for a mattress. They have no idea how much it’s supposed to cost to hire a photographer, wedding planner, DJ, florist, etc. They don’t know what these things are worth based on a dollar amount.

It’s your job to translate the cost of your services into a currency the bride and groom understand as valuable.

The couple isn’t really buying your products or services. They’re buying an experience, a solution to their problem, or an answer that provides something they want.

What do your brides and grooms want that they would pay good money for? What is the emotional “currency” that will get them to happily pay you for?

That currency might be:

  • Guests dancing their hearts out all night long at the wedding.
  • Showing their grandchildren a wedding photo that proves they were young and beautiful once.
  • Compliments from the guests that theirs was, “The best wedding ever!”
  • A seamless wedding day completely free of worry and filled with love and fun.
  • NOT going on their honeymoon with credit card debt from cost of the wedding.

Your job is to convert the cost of your product or service into what the couple REALLY wants to buy.

How do you do it? It starts with figuring out what the couple wants, specifically.

  1. Imagine yourself as your ideal client. Really pretend you ARE her/him and write down what you want and what you want to avoid on your wedding day.
  2. Make a list of at least 20 specific things you want, everything from “to get my mother-in-law off my back” to “fit into a size 4 dress on my wedding day.”
  3. Look at what you’ve written down and circle all the really emotional items on that list. This is the emotional currency your prospective clients understand as valuable.
  4. Break down the cost of your service into the emotional currency your couples will understand. Follow the mattress example and get really specific.

For example:

  • $5,000 to hire a wedding planner = $13.70 per day to guarantee a happy glowing, happy bride for an entire year
  • $5,000 to hire a wedding videographer = $100 to relive the happiest day of your life in vivid detail on your Anniversary for the next 50 years, sharing with your kids and grandkids
  • $2,000 to  hire a DJ = 55 cents per day for memories of the best party of your life for the next 10 years
  • Use the insights you get to learn what REALLY motivates your couples to buy and work that into your marketing.

It doesn’t always make sense to use this value translation literally in your marketing.  Some “translations” work better than others.  When you get the right one, you’ll know because it will give your potential customers a perspective shift into, “It’s a bargain! when you look at it that way!” 

Take the time to do this exercise. When you do, it allows you to communicate your value in a profound way that shifts away from price and focuses on the value of what your clients REALLY getting.

What are brides and grooms REALLY buying when they hire you? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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Posted By

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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18 thoughts on “4 Steps That Prove to the Bride You’re Worth It”

  1. I am typically to blogging and i actually appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and hold checking for new information.

  2. What a great way to outline the costs involved. Suddenly everything looks at place and will never compromise on buying cheaper stuff to save some pennies on a daily basis.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great article! I’m certainly going to incorporate this in my new materials!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Love this. Been working on something for my next blog. Many are thinking they don’t need or can’t afford a planner. This will help.

  5. Anonymous says:

    thanks so much for this article, it is fabulous. never occured to me that it could be outlined that way to the client and it makes so much sense. I have been trying to figure out how to show our clients that choosing us really gives them great value for the money, though we are one of most expensive wedding planners in the country and this definitely gives a whole new perspective. thank you!!!!
    keep up the fab work and all the best,

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this great example of putting the value on the intangible nature of what wedding planners do. Now I’m going to be brainstorming on ideas and fun ways to look at things in a different light!

    1. I’m so glad this inspired you, Janis!

  7. Anonymous says:

    What a great perspective! I love this article, it really got me thinking.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You’ve got to find out what couples really want and sell them that – if you have what they want they will pay for it.

    1. [quote name=”Wedding DJ”]You’ve got to find out what couples really want and sell them that – if you have what they want they will pay for it.[/quote]

      Amen to that!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Great way to look at sales!

  10. Anonymous says:

    That’s a very interesting way of seing it. that makes every images the photographer taked worth cents only. I hope this help them understand that they need to have an appropriate budget for the photographer.
    Chicago Wedding Photographer

    1. [quote name=”esenam”]I hope this help them understand that they need to have an appropriate budget for the photographer.
      Chicago Wedding Photographer[/quote]

      Check out Marie’s comment above. That’s a real life example of how she applied this exercise to her own wedding album.

      It has to be done skillfully…in other words, cramming your value down someone’s throat before you’ve established a trusting connection will only drive them away…but it’s very powerful.

  11. Anonymous says:

    this is a great article! I’m printing out my webpage now to see how I can incorporate this for my site.

    Thank you… 🙂

  12. Anonymous says:


    What a great post. Thank you for sharing. You know, while reading this I just recalled a similar situation, but I never quite thought of it the way you explained above. When I got married in 2008, after the wedding, we received a separate bill for the album (which we already knew would be work out this way). I had gone through the process of selecting all of my gorgeous photos, then suddenly I was told the bill was $3,400.00!!! for just one album!! YIKES!!
    Of course I was in total shock, but then I really really wanted my album with ALL of my selections. My husband thought it was completely absurd to spend this kind of money on “just an album”. But then, I remembered saying to him, that this album will outlive us. We will have it for the next 30-50 years of our lives to share with our family, and when I divided $3,400 by 30 yrs, it came to $9.44 per month. We could afford that for those priceless memories. All of a sudden, it made sense. I was able to justify spending $3,400.00 on an album!!! and I still have no regrets. Psychology is a wonderful thing 🙂

    Thanks again. Great work.

    1. [quote name=”Marie Danielle”]I was able to justify spending $3,400.00 on an album!!! and I still have no regrets. Psychology is a wonderful thing :-)[/quote]

      Marie, psychology is a wonderful thing. At least, I agree that it’s so. 🙂

      We do this kind of “value translation analysis” all the time, except it’s usually not conscious.

      When you consciously apply this to your marketing, the results are astounding.

      Glad you have your album of memories with no regrets!

  13. Excellent article! We own a photo booth company and have been working on responding to price shoppers. We have made a conscious decision that we are not going to engage in lowering our price to match a competitor when our booth and equipment is truly a better product.

  14. Anonymous says:


    Great insight. I love how you’ve made this so simple to understand. Thanks.

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