No, really – how do you decide when you’ve taken on the right number of weddings? Do you have a year number? A monthly number? A max per week or weekend? Or do you just keep saying yes until you regret it?
This is something that all of us should be proactively dealing with, and yet I know from personal experience how often it really happens in hindsight. What do I mean by this? Oftentimes, as wedding professionals, we really don’t know just how many weddings we can take on until we’ve gotten through a year and can take a look back at how it went. I’ve been officiating weddings here in San Diego for seven years (and almost 700 weddings now), and I can tell you that I still am trying to figure out the right number of weddings for me. I originally set an annual goal and annual max, but then realized that I needed to break that down further, as I could only do so many per month, and especially so many per week. If I didn’t want to change my process and wanted to do them all the way I want to do them (custom ceremonies, co-created with my couples, and working with my ideal clients), then I really had to say no more often. Yes, even on days that were seemingly open and available. For the sake of all of us, I had to say no.
Of course, that was my decision, and as I have worked with various types of wedding professionals as their business coach, we’ve talked about how this is actually a decision that can be made in all sorts of ways. It just needs to fit you and your business.
Maybe you have a different level of offering or service for last-minute requests. So you can still say yes, but not feel obligated or required to do your normal full process with them. You need to factor in the amount of time required before the wedding day, on the wedding day, and after the wedding day. Each one of us has different numbers for that. Some is by category – for instance, as an officiant, I put in more prep time beforehand than a typical DJ does, but the DJ spends much more time on the wedding day itself than I do, while a typical photographer spends even more time on the wedding day than a typical DJ does, and has much more time involved after the wedding day than either the DJ or me. So, can you change your process in terms of time required to allow you to take on more weddings?
Maybe you take on more staff, such as an associate planner or photographer, trained by you, and doing weddings under your brand, but not you.
And some professionals I know only take weddings on certain days of the week, completely blocking out certain days, like Sundays or special holidays, to always have that time for themselves and for their family.
All your call, of course – one of the best things about us having our own businesses. But I advise you to be proactive and thoughtful about it, not just reactive, as then you’re likely to enjoy your business more, and make more fitting business decisions for you.