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Old 25th October 2010, 06:19 PM   #1
RKTKKK
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Default When do I charge for services?

I'm starting up a company in which I attend weddings and provide the service of rolling cigars and providing product. All of the materials will be paid by the customer and the customer will receive all of the product output.
What I'm not sure of is how to handle billing the customer. I'm considering a simple website that will receive credit card payments but I would still have to talk to clients about scheduling before they commit.
I feel like it would be awkward to ask for money at a wedding and so I would like to know if that is normal practice (for DJs or Photographers, etc.). Do clients expect to pay upfront or after? I can also have access to a card machine to accept payments at the wedding. I understand that clients may not want to pay for something they haven't received yet but I feel the same way about providing services that do not get compensated.
What's normal? I've never had my own company and I never had to bill anyone before. Thanks everyone for your experience and input!


Last edited by RKTKKK; 25th October 2010 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 25th October 2010, 09:02 PM   #2
raydog
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I've worked with several wedding-related businesses, and have an event planner relative. It seems like they require a deposit on order and the balance before the event. Sounds like a good idea, one that could be expanded easily to many other events. Don't be afraid to ask for an order or payment for an order.

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Old 27th October 2010, 12:13 PM   #3
RKTKKK
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Thanks Raydog. I will do as you suggested. Deposit and then payment before I start. Do you think that final payment would be on the same day as the wedding or on a day before the wedding day? I try to remember when I was married. That was 15 years ago but I don't remember paying anyone on that same day. If you talk to your wedding planning relative, if you can, ask about that last payment. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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Old 1st November 2010, 10:06 PM   #4
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Last payment 10 days before the event.

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Old 23rd October 2012, 01:48 AM   #5
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It would be suitable if you take the last payments at least 1 week before marriage as no one likes to be disturbed prior to marriage.

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Old 30th October 2012, 12:26 PM   #6
phanio
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Financially, it is always better to get payment upfront. But, when you talk with the client about scheduling and such - that is also the time to talk about how they want to pay or how you want to get paid. You should ask for it all upfront (or like stated here - at least a week prior to the event) or at least get something as a deposit upfront - enought to cover your direct costs (at the minimum) - then tell them how they need to pay you - if you let them know that the balance will be due at the event - then there should be no awkwardness.
Also, let them know how you want to get paid - if they baulk - then you can start to negotiate - but, do so as that it benefits you more then them.

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Old 12th November 2012, 07:01 PM   #7
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If you're demanding payment up front, be sure to explain how you handle refunds, if any, should the event get canceled, so there's no misunderstanding.

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Old 18th November 2012, 12:10 PM   #8
Jasmine131092
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Default When do i charge for services?

Thanks Raydog. I will do as you suggested. Deposit and then payment before I start. Do you think that final payment would be on the same day as the wedding or on a day before the wedding day? I try to remember when I was married. That was 15 years ago but I don't remember paying anyone on that same day. If you talk to your wedding planning relative, if you can, ask about that last payment. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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Old 17th January 2013, 12:57 PM   #9
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I would definitely charge upfront and have a deposit first. When you are at a wedding or event, you want to enjoy yourself and not have to worry about outstanding bills. I would also have payment received in full at the very least a week before the wedding.

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