Having a clear contract is important, but so is being flexible.
I had someone reach out to me saying that one of their weddings was canceled within the timeframe of their final balance being due. And the folks that emailed her were very clear that they recognized. We know that there's going to be balances that are outstanding, that need to be paid. And she said, you know, what do I do?
The bride and groom canceled because of an illness in the family. I think one of their mothers has cancer and it's progressed. She said, “the wedding is a week and a half away. And they're meant to pay their balance a week before it starts. So technically they don't owe me any.” And I wrote back and I said, well,
“this is something that definitely should be in your contract.”
And so for anybody listening, you know, when you're doing high ticket stuff, making sure that the amount due and when it's due by, and what happens in the event of cancellation is always really, really helpful just to have spelled out really clearly for folks.
So there's no confusion, but in the case of illness and I've had this happen to myself, I think it, it goes back to that intuitive business approach.
What feels good to you? You likely have already taken a retainer and yes, you're giving up this day and you no longer are going to be shooting that day, but does it feel right to take the full retainer or not? And I think you can kind of feel into that one on a case-by-case basis. And so for me, I probably wouldn't take any more money from these folks.
If you're really feeling like it's fair and square it's owed to you, then maybe you take half. So these are things just to sort of consider, I think, in all of these sorts of situations. And I talk about this kind of stuff a lot. I think you can feel when it's a good time to pass on taking extra money from people. Maybe that's not a great business piece of advice, but for me, there've been a few times where it just felt right to kind of cut my losses and wish them well and not try and grab those last few dollars.
After years and years of doing weddings, I just found that the more that you can spell out for people in the contract, the easier a time that you're going to have in terms of what's due, when it's due, how you accept payments, what happens in the event of X, Y, and Z. And when it's all spelled out, you and your client are both protected and hopefully on the same page, literally.
That's all I've got for you today.