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Week 11 Wedding tips

Wedding Tips: Dates (Week 11)

One of the questions I get the most on e-mail is probably: How far in advance do we need to book you?
The answer: I don’t  know. Probably anything from 1 day to 2 years. It all depends on the date.
Here is an example:
In 2013 – April 13 – Currently I still have that date open. It’s 2 months away.
In 2014 – April 12 – A bride just booked me. It’s 14 months away.
It’s the same weekend, but a whole year apart!
It’s always frustrating to get an e-mail saying: “We are getting married in September, are you still available?” That question has many answers. All depends on exactly which date.
I understand the reasoning behind the question. People are planning weddings, looking at venues and checking schedules.  They have a few venues in mind which have different dates open. They are looking at the options.
However, if you have a specific date in mind please state that in your e-mail. If you have a venue and wedding time in mind please also advise that. The more info I have, the better to give you the correct info.
I sometimes get brides that will e-mail me the following:  “We are a young couple with X situation. We are getting married on Easter weekend Saturday/Long Weekend in December/New Year’s day. Can you please give us a discount because of X reason?”
Now, my mother always told me when I was little: “Vra is vry”.
And I do appreciate the concept. But weddings are a lot like “airline seats”. You can’t expect do get a discount on flights the day before Christmas.
Same with weddings. There are certain month/dates that are our working Saturdays. These are the dates that we need to charge full price.
I have actually looked back on the past 3 years to check the Saturday closest to 16 December. I received 16 enquiries for  Saturday 11 December 2010. It doesn’t make business sense to offer any discounts on this date and other prime wedding dates.
Iza and I got married during December 2009. We appreciated that all service providers need to ask their full prices in December. We didn’t expect a discount from anybody, even though we knew everybody really well. In the end, we decided on a Wednesday.
This gave the service providers an extra working day and made it easier to give us better rates. It was also a bit easier negotiating with service providers we didn’t personally know.
So my advice if you are on a tight budget: consider Fridays, Sundays and weekdays for your wedding.
1.       Your dream service providers might actually still be available.
2.       If you are lucky they might have a “non-Saturday” rate.
Consider Months that are not peak months:
January, May, June, July, August, November
I hope this gives you a little bit of insight into dates.

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Riekert Cloete

Riekert Cloete

Celebrating 14 years as a professional photographer, Riekert Cloete is living in Durbanville, Cape Town, with his wife (Iza) and sons (Wilhelm and Jan-Frederick). He has an unhealthy affinity for litchis, loves rugby and sometimes fluffs bridal dresses on Saturdays. He lives for telling stories through photography. He also refers to himself in the 3rd person when writing his own bio.

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