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  • Writer's pictureShannon K. Wendt-Heath

How Does Your Northern Michigan Wedding Decor Business Determine Its Rental Pricing?

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

Are you having a destination wedding in the Charlevoix, Petoskey, Gaylord, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor or Traverse City area? Let's talk about pricing.

Pricing! Many wedding vendors are afraid to talk about pricing, or they try to force you into calling them on the phone so they can SELL to you!

When I was planning my wedding in 2016, I absolutely would move on to the next vendor if someone didn't clearly list their pricing on their website (or they didn't have a website at all!). I don't shop that way for anything else, so why would I shop that way for something as important as my wedding?

We here at Heart think differently. Everything we have available for rent is clearly priced on our website. The only area where pricing is more difficult to determine is when there is a level of service involved, such as full/partial design or for signage creation. I can, however, at least give you a price range for these services. And linens come in a nearly endless variety, so it is hard to list the price for those as well.

How do we determine our pricing?

As with any brick and mortar store, we have many variables that determine pricing.

1) Our monthly recurring costs such as office/showroom leasing and utilities. These charges occur every month, no matter what. And here's the thing: renting an office space/showroom the size of ours ain't cheap. But we know how important it is to our couples to be able to see (and touch!) the items they are thinking of renting. Are you thinking of renting velvet linens, but just want to see what they feel like first? We can do that! (And I promise you, your guests will also be running their hands over these linens!)

2) There is a certain amount of travel necessary for sourcing goods, especially to a business like us that likes to keep its craftspeople Michigan-based. There goes that two-day free Amazon shipping! And local goods aren't cheap to purchase in the first place, but we believe in it as much as possible. Sadly, acrylic chargers, one of our most popular rental items, just aren't made locally. But at least we can encourage rental of these rather than people buying them, using them once, and then throwing them in a landfill when they can't sell them on Facebook Marketplace.

3) And speaking of Amazon. We try to source high quality, one-of-a-kind items from local craftspeople as much as possible, and that isn't cheap. But if I wanted cheap, I'd buy linens from Amazon. But then I would have to buy new ones after each event, and that's not really saving anything, is it?

4) We pride ourselves on a lightning fast response to any inquiries. This means we need to hire personnel to man the phones, emails, the websites and our social media. It's another expense, but one we are glad to pay in order to respond quickly to both our couples and would-be couples. And this can't be just for "booking season" but year 'round. We don't close in the winter.

5) We charge rental fees based on a number of factors, including hard goods, plus time and talent. Training staff is time-consuming and not inexpensive, especially if you want the best.

6) In order to keep up with the times with online booking agreements, signatures and online payments, we pay for systems that manage those payments.

7) Managing thousands of pieces of decor requires a hard-working inventory management system. CRMs are VERY expensive to use and maintain, along with the time it takes to learn them in the first place!

8) And speaking of learning; continuous improvement courses, certifications, workshops and other educational items are expensive. But they are absolutely worth the price of admission in most cases. We here at Heart have to stay "in the know"!

And with any local business (especially a wedding business!), I think most people would prefer us to make SOME kind of profit so that we are around for THEIR wedding!

We hope this helps you understand a bit more of what goes into pricing and why we are priced the way we are. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a text or call: 231 622 3275

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