How long to hold the date for a couple?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by mbyrne, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. How long do you typically hold the date for a couple without a contract?
    I met with a couple a bit over a month ago, they say they want to use me but keep on giving me the runaround when it come to the
    contract/deposit. I already lost one other potential couple for the same date in this month and I don't want to lose any others.
    Would you give them an ultimatum, like "commitment in X amount of days or I need to free the date up"?
    How would you all approach this?
  2. I'd contact them and say I'd really love the chance to work with you, but unless we have a signed agreement by the end of tomorrow, your date will be available to other couples who've been looking at my work for the same date.
  3. I don't hold dates at all unless I have a signed contract and my initial payment.
  4. I have always stated to my clients that the date is carved in stone when the deposit is made.I don't hold dates for anybody.
  5. No retainer fee, no date reservation.

  6. I just emailed them telling them I needed an answer by the ned of the weekend and kind of got the runaround again.
  7. I let them know that the date will be held for one week after they receive the contract to give them time to read and send it back with the deposit. If I haven't heard in that time, the date gets offered to anyone else who wants it.

    Sounds like they're unsure - and that usually means no. Tell them you can't hold it any longer - I doubt you'll hear from them again.
  8. First come (with money), first served. No retainer, no confirmed booking. And all the other sayings you can think of that
    remind you that it's a business and that words don't pay your bills.

    But now you are thinking "what if they are the only ones who will want this date" and you missed the opp with the other couple. Now it's
    time to juggle.
  9. I would tell them to contact you when they made up their mind and are ready to sign a contract and make a deposit and you would let them know if you are available. If in the meantime another contract is made I probably would let them know you are no longer available..
  10. You have to look at this from a business perspective, you are losing potential revenue with nothing of value in
    return. Unless I receive a non-refundable deposit I don't hold the date for anyone. If I were you I would
    definitely change my policy!
  11. I will keep the day open for 5 days following the initial meeting. After that I simply move on if I don't get a response.
  12. Sometimes, during a consultation, clients give me a verbal committment. With a verbal committment, i put the date on "hold" for a period of one week to give enough time for the couple to provide payment along with a signed contract. If we have not received the documentation within 1 week of the verbal committment the "hold" is lifted and the date again remains open.
  13. Reserve the date ONLY with retainer. Clients can leave multiple photographers hanging and my experience is that they don't want to let you know if they've chosen somebody else after you've been "holding" the date for them.
  14. mike - I never hold the date until I have a signed contract with the date on it and a retainer payment. first come, first served.

    for now, tell them that they have 3 days or some arbitrary amount :)

    from now on, I would tell them that the date is never guaranteed until contract is signed and the payment is in your hands.

    if you already lost a potential couple, then you realize that this is a better policy!

  15. How long do you typically hold the date for a couple without a contract?

    Would not hold a date in the first place without one.
  16. No deposit, no holding date........!!!! They snooze, they lose....... a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush........there was an old lady from nantucket...........oops, that's for another forum......
  17. Call the other couple who you let go and tell them the date has opened up.......!!! Book them !
  18. I used to hold dates for couples that sounded like they were going to hire me, but ever since I lost two potential bookings for a date I thought I had reserved, only to not have the couple take the date, I no longer hold a date without a signed contract and retainer check.
  19. as many have already stated, no deposit, no guarantee. first come, first served.
  20. I explicitly tell them the date is not held for them until the contract is signed. I remind them at the end of
    any meetings with them, that since there is no contract at that point, I am not holding the date for them.
  21. I work in the wedding industry but not on the photography side. We hold a tentative booking for one week. At the end of the week the date is either confirmed with a deposit or released. There is on occassion an exception. Sometimes there are reasons (e.g. groom os for a short period of time) and they would like to extend the period of one week to say maybe three. We tell them that technically we can only hold it for one week however we are happy to leave it with a note to say that if another party is interested in that date to call them and give them the option to confirm on the spot with a deposit or release it to the next party. Of course you would find this difficult to manage if you allowed it for everybody but there are always cases that require a more human touch.

    Sounds a bit confusing really, I just had to reread that myself, I think it makes sense :)
  22. Welcome to the world of weddings :)

    I only hold a date with a retainer. This is spelled out very clearly in the contract and I stress this during our initial meeting. Clients know if they don't put down the retainer and sign a contract before they walk out the door the date isn't held for them.

    There was one bride this year who was having a hard time dealing with her father. The bride and groom wanted to spend the money and book me but the father wanted to find a family friend to do the photos to save money. She was nearly in tears when she called me to let me know they couldn't sign the contract. I told her I would let her know if someone else calls me about the date and then she would be able to make the decision before I met with the other party. This was very rare and I wouldn't do this just for anyone.

    I agree with what was already stated- call the other couple and let them know the date is now available :)
  23. This morning, I sent out an email to one of the other couples who asked about the date. We met over lunch and I now have
    a signed contract with a deposit. The couple who were giving me the runaround emailed me asking for a couple for more
    days. I sent an email saying sorry, but the date is no longer available. The bride's father (who is paying for everything) sent
    me a rather nasty email afterwards. I'm really happy I went with the other couple now.
  24. Thanks for the follow up. Did the potential clients know that the date was subject to being given to someone else or did they figure it was still being held open?
  25. On Friday I told them they had until the end of the weekend or I was going to open it to another couple who was interested.
    When I didn't hear back by Monday morning, I offered it and I figured that they weren't interested any longer.
  26. Only with words, no reservation date... If somebody ask for other job... that is.
  27. Had the same thing happen when I first started doing weddings - thought I'd be tne 'nice guy' and waited while two others were turned down. The original never followed through, so now its very clear from the first time I meet with or talk to the prospective couple that no dates are held until a deposit is taken. --Rich
  28. Why would you have lost a client!!!! I would have contacted the first couple immediately and told them that someone just requested that day and that if they don't come up with the deposit and contract immediately that they are going to lose their reservation.

Share This Page