Show me the money.
Hopefully, we all love what we do, but we don’t work for free just because we enjoy it. Getting paid can sometimes cause issues and it is certainly hard as you don’t have a product you can refuse to send when your clients don’t pay you. Even though contracts are important and you need to make sure they are watertight, is it really worth suing your client over £500 or even £1000? The chances are it will cost you more in legal fees and you don’t want to get yourself a reputation of being a nightmare planner. So how do you ensure you get paid for what you do? It’s really quite simple – no money no planner.
I always got paid for what I did before I did the work. Normally I requested 50% of my fee up front and once that was received and cleared in my bank account then I started work. Then when I had completed the work covered by the fee then I invoiced for another 25% and so on. If you are doing ‘On the Day Coordination’ only then make sure you are paid prior to the wedding and that it states that in your contract. You will be perfectly within your rights then to refuse to turn up to the wedding if they haven’t paid you. I know it sounds harsh but at the end of the day, you are running a business the same as anyone else.
Sometimes you will get questioned but I often found it helped to put it into another context. Most people have an accountant to do their taxes for them and an accountant is selling his or her time in the same way as a planner does. You are no different to an accountant as you are both selling your time as a commodity. I often found it helped to ask my client if they worked for free, and when they shook their head I would say well neither do I?