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Part 5 of 6: Focusing on Upgrades

Wedding Trends Part 5 of 6: Focusing on Upgrades

This blog is fifth in our new series: What your business can learn from 2018 wedding trends

Don’t doubt the budget: Money can’t grow on trees you don’t plant!

The good news is that 90% of all weddings have a photographer. This is actually (statistically) more important than the venue!  Another bit of good news is that couples spend $13,000 more than expected for their wedding. The downside is that 80% of couples set a rough budget prior to researching any vendors (often under-estimating the cost of services), but they are willing to pay more in the end. 

This could be very advantageous for studios that advertise a low starting price, and then have the ability to upsell into larger packages or offer products a la carte. This also works very well for studios that are able to do in-person sales. Roughly 50% of couples spend more than planned with 28% falling in love with things “we needed to have” during planning. Make sure that one of the “things they needed to have” is with photography! 

21% opting for upgrades. What if 21% of your clients this year upgraded to a higher photography package. Or ordered a professional wedding album like a Zook Book! Think of how much money you may have left on the table. Because you thought your couple couldn’t afford it or simply because you didn’t ask. Instead, the money went to balloon walls, personalized place settings, and gospel choirs (some of the predicted trends of 2019). 

The average cost for photography is $2,400. This could either be a really good number for your studio, or really bad number. This depends on your overhead cost, what you charged last year, and what you were hoping to charge this year.  If you have the clients, experience, and photography to back-up charging more as your starting price than do so, this could be a good number. If not, it’s recommended to start here (or a little below). So that your studio is “in the running” with your competition, you can always upsell them once they meet with you! 

To keep your price in perspective: 

  • Balloon wall costs between $500-$3500.
  • Personalized paper plates for 160 guests costs $240-300 and porcelain plates can start at $50/plate.
  • A gospel choir can be up to $2500 for a few songs.


Now, do you feel bad about asking for the couple to instead spend their money on a professional wedding album, or upgrade to a package where they can have a second photographer or more hours to capture these once-in-a-lifetime moments?

Come back next Monday for “Part 6: When to Charge More” where we analyze the wedding wire report for how current trends can help with knowing when to charge more. 

Picture of Melissa Genson

Melissa Genson

Specialist in the Photographer Experience Dept at Zookbinders. Photographer since 110-format film cameras. Salesperson since lemonade & painted rocks. I now combine these passions, along with my compulsive need for customers to achieve success, every day.

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