I was relaxing by the pool sipping on a refreshing Mojito my husband made me, looking up at the beautiful African sky and enjoying with every fibre of my being the indulgence of the festive season laziness.  Then I get a call, then a message from a very darling photographer that made me laugh – a celebrity couple getting married in 10 days time, can I help? Sure, why not, I love a challenge. I called the bride and after 2 minutes it was very clear to me that they wished to have my styling services at their wedding but for a barter, offering the usual publicity coverage of their wedding – Top Billing feature, weekly magazines and the wedding magazine feature.

I put the phone down and went back to sipping my cocktail. Later that evening inspirational images from the bride popped up on my WhatsApp and at a glance I could tell you that given their numbers plus that “Karen Tran” inspired  look requires a budget close to half a million Rand.

In the morning, I sent a formal quotation indicating costs associated and showing how I am prepared to discount and barter R97000 worth of services and decor items, and making it clear that the balance would be for their own account. I didn’t hear from them.

I am curious to hear your thoughts. I have done a few celebrity barter weddings in the past and they did not translate into anything more than a pat on back, a high five and an awesome experience. Do you think celebrities should enjoy free wedding services when the general population pays our asking price?

  • Avatar
    Karen Dalton

    Celebrity or not – she’s a bride and chances are she’s never been married before and as such has no idea what goes into the planning and execution of a quality wedding. Like most brides they have no concept of costing – they are completely out of touch in terms of pricing. I hear time and again in the media “wedding planners see you coming and start counting the cash” – which I find highly offensive. What will it take to educate the public? Yes, it’s only for one day – but so is the dress and the cake and the DJ!

    There are wedding companies that manage to produce great weddings a extremely low prices. They are doing themselves and the industry and injustice and will no doubt find themselves in debt and burnt out in no time. I urge them to have a consultant analyse their book and tell them if they’re keeping themselves above water.

    Wedding friends – we offer a serve and deserve to be re-numerated accordingly. It is flipping hard work and the pressures are massive. Speak to your peers, discuss pricing and believe in your product enough to ask the going rate. Undercutting your competitors to make the deal only damages the industry and your bottom line. We are experienced, qualified professionals – stop letting the public push you into budgetary corners – it is their choice to have a wedding celebration – if they cannot afford it – suggest they decrease their numbers or simply get married.

    As for your ‘married in 10 days’ celebrity…Married in 10 days? What???? How rude that after you took the time to assemble a quotation (+/- 1 hour of your time) she couldn’t even respond. I so desperately want to put a massive banner on every highway saying – “PUT THE KAREN TRAN IMAGE DOWN – Unless you have R500k+!!!

    Bartering in my opinion rarely is beneficial and 9/10 costs a fortune. Celebrity weddings are a lot more work than your average wedding and the pressure much higher. But there are times when it is worth it – when the celebrity is respectful of your time and efforts – when they meet you half way and when you get to work with people you admire and as a whole the event is an extraordinary experience. But this is rare….

    If there is anyone to lead the way in changing perceptions it’s you Eve…you often remind us all to keep focused on our worth. I for one and very grateful. We’re behind you!

    “Beautiful work looks expensive because it is expensive to produce. So it is expensive.” – Todd Fiscus

    January 7th, 2015 6:10

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