South African wedding planning profession is still young, not even a decade old and as with anything new there are always challenges. Last week Friday, I posted results from a survey asking South African wedding planners ten questions related to their income. The results were interesting and rather scary.

83% of participated wedding planners are unsatisfied with their income, and it is not a surprise since 75% of them are earning less than R20 000 per wedding (we are not even talking profit here). What is more interesting, 21% are overspending per wedding and 50% of those participated admitted that their expenses sometimes exceed the price of a package. Taking a loss, refunding clients and not charging for additional work or over time seems to be the norm. This means that wedding planner loosing money.

Here is something else:

1 year is made up of 365 days, which means there are 52 weeks in 1 year and 8736 hours.

If one wedding requires 200 hours to plan then in theory you should be able to do 44 weddings in a year – if you don’t sleep or eat or do anything else.

Humans need to sleep, eat and observe social responsibilities pertaining to family, self care and other activities. Most people work 8-10 hours per day which gives you around 2920 hours to work in a year.

2920 workable hours/200 required to plan a wedding = 15 wedding per year (if you don’t take a holiday and work every single weekend).

15 weddings x R5000 = R75 000 per annum and R6250 per month

15 weddings x R10 000 = R150 000 per annum and R12 500 per month

15 wedding x 15 000 = R225  000 per annum and R18 750 per month

15 weddings x R20 000 = R300 000 per annum and R25 000 per month

These amount excludes your business running expenses and TAX.

From the amounts above it is possible to see why South African wedding planners are unhappy. Given that event planning is identified is the top 4th most stressful job in the world, wedding planners dedicate their life to service, making sacrifices on personal front, working extremely hard under pressured on deadlines, deal with emotionally charged situation and for relatively little financial return when you consider all the risks involved. With the cost of living on the rise  and if you are not generating sustainable income through your business, or loosing money then this is time to take a look at your options and this will be the topic of my upcoming posts. I disagree that this is the best wedding planners can hope for and I want to see this change. I know you can earn more!


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