Typical practices in working with the client to determine wedding cost?

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Elite83 Contributing Member • Posts: 985
Typical practices in working with the client to determine wedding cost?

I'm a newbie in the business. Being in a small town, everyone has a kind of "mutual connection." As a foreword, I've already read how it's best to avoid shooting for close friends and family. I'm distant enough from this bride where relational issues wouldn't be an issue even if things went sour in a worst-case.

Anyway, I was just contacted (via email) by a friend-of-a-friend to shoot a wedding. It's not my first wedding, and I'm quite excited for another opportunity. However, I think the "small town vibe" has indirectly implied that I'll do it "on the cheap" with the nonexistent "friends and family discount" to help out the young and financially unstable couple.

I was wondering what would be the best way to objectively, and professionally handle this situation.

I don't offer fixed-cost "packages" but as in the past, I am flexible to work with the couple in providing quotes. These quotes factor in my personal investment(s): (gas, equipment depreciation, parking, etc.) as well as a fixed rate concerning time: planning, actual event, and post. Typically the main factor that varies is event coverage depending how much time the couple can afford.

So back to the original question: what would be the most professional and diplomatic to handle this situation? Should I first ask what the bride's budget is? I'd hate to give the implication I'll do it "as a friend of a friend" and "surprise" her with the fact that I obviously intend on billing her as the discussion begins rolling.

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