According to the industry-led, government-supported UK Weddings Taskforce (ukweddings.org), it’s estimated that more than 264,000 wedding ceremonies were postponed during Covid restrictions. And with an estimated additional 270,000 weddings that occur per year in the UK alone, this adds up to half a million weddings in the post-pandemic pipeline.
In fact, by this metric, the wedding sector outranks live sports and arts events. It is one of the most lucrative, luxury markets that makes maximising on the potential revenue to your hairdressing services a no-brainer. But before you say: “I Do” to this arm of your business, you need to ensure you price your services correctly.
Here’s how to take charge:
■ BILLION DOLLAR SMILE: The wedding industry is worth an estimated £14.7 billion a year and can result in a lucrative sideline, add-on, or stand-alone business if executed correctly. Before you launch your bridal business or add-on services, take time to really think about what you want to offer and what is and isn’t included in your fee. Transparency is key: brides encounter a huge amount of additional costs that they hadn’t envisaged, so being clear about your pricing is the first step to building a trusting relationship.
■ HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?: If you’re starting out in the bridal business, be wary of pricing your services too low. While being competitive is always good in business, low prices can be a red flag. Does your pricing truly reflect your skills and services? Don’t sell yourself short. You worked hard to get where you are and your pricing shouldn’t be purely about making ends meet; it also needs to reflect the value of your services and of your time.
■ A FAIR TRIAL: A hair trial is one of the most important aspects of your bridal pricing. Does this come off the final cost if they enlist your services? What if they don’t? At The Bridal Hair Artists, were commend a trial around three to six months in advance, and charge for this per person. This means a bride can book in as many members of the bridal party for a trial as they wish.
■ TIMING IS EVERYTHING: Pricing by time is a great way to initiate your costs. As a rule of thumb, we allow approximately 75 minutes for a bride’s hair (depending on the length and density); 45 minutes for each bridesmaid and 30 minutes for flower girls or bridesmaids under the age of 15. Having a pricing structure that allows you to add or remove additional members of the bridal party with ease is essential for a smooth client experience.
■ EXTRA, EXTRA!: Most clients prefer added value, rather than discounted services, so it’s a good idea to add some hidden extras to your fees that allow you to gift your brides without it affecting your bottom line. Offering bespoke bridal goodie bags to each bride so they can care for their hair at home prior to the Big Day ensures you can go the extra mile, while gifting travel-sized, honeymoon heroes is a great idea too.
■ DESTINATION WEDDING: While your fee must of course cover your time and expertise, ensure you take into account any travel time and associated costs (such as flights and accommodation), asa destination or overseas wedding will take much more time out of your schedule than a local one. Whether near or far, you also need to know when you will be expected to arrive and how long they want you to stay for. Do they need you for touch-ups after the wedding and pre/post reception? Considering the extra time will make it a seamless pricing process, communication is always key.
■ ADDED VALUE: Make sure your brides are aware that some add-ons, such as hair accessories or hair extensions, will incur additional fees. While your pricing structure will of course cover your tools of the trade, additional accoutrements, such as bridal barrette clips or headbands, for example, can be procured from brands including thebobbypin.co.uk for an additional fee to your bride.
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