Continuing a long running series on this website starting with how your price is part of your marketing story, whether or not you should list your prices on your website with answers from Sarah and myself, how to respond when someone asks “how much?”, how to be something other than the cheap celebrant, a different method to calculate your fee, about how celebrants are not paid per hour, on cheap breakfasts, whether there is room at the top of the market, on valuing how you interact, what travel fees are for, that you should raise your price after 2020, and most recently how to raise your price, today we wonder how and why people charge different prices for public holidays.

Kim asks:

I wanted to ask you your opinion about having different rates on public holidays like Christmas, New Years, Easter etc. I have come across a few celebrants that charge an extra $250 for those public holiday dates. Do you and Sarah do this? I know we have the option to make ourselves available or not on these particular public holidays… How do you go about it?

I have a possibly controversial opinion on this topic, but like of my controversial opinions, they stem from my own personal situation and the way I run my business.

But let’s start why other businesses charge differently for public holidays. It’s because their costs are higher, or they don’t want to work that day, so they are disincentivizing people to patronise their business that day. Both are very understandable. The common retail shop may have higher staff costs, or other expenses on that day. And the common business that operates Monday to Friday, for example, might enjoy the public holiday off.

For the wedding industry however things are different.

Firstly, in my experience the way many public holidays are positioned in the calendar they’re often not the day a wedding would be booked. A Monday public holiday for example would not often be the day of a wedding, but it would increase bookings on the Sunday, because the Monday is now a day off. The more popular public holidays like Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years Day, have been very slim on bookings over my 12 year career.

On the topic of costs, I can’t talk for your business, but for mine, my costs do not increase on a public holiday.

So the only reason I would increase a fee for a public holiday is to disincentivize people booking me, and honestly, people already have enough reasons not to book me with my already well established fee and product-market fit, so if they’re keen I’m quite likely to say yes if I’m available.

And if I’d rather have the Queens Birthday off this year so I can sit in an airplane and stare at the wing, I’d simply say no, rather than make my pricing information more complicated by adding extra ifs and buts.