HOW Much Do You Charge for Your Services???

Charging for your services

“You should be charging $2000 for your services.”

Charging for your services
Photo courtesy of Adeolu-eletu on unsplash.com

At first I didn’t say anything. I was watching every “that’s impossible” thought in my head come charging to the surface. ‘He’s gotta be kidding. He couldn’t possibly know what the market is like — all the competition!’

What Would You Tell Him You Charge for Your Services?

Tell me — what would YOUR “that’s impossible” remarks have been?

The man on the other end of the phone was a person who’d built businesses, repaired businesses and flipped all kinds of companies. And he’d found me, I didn’t go looking for him. He wanted to learn to be an Officiant.  But what he was saying was a challenge to my own beliefs about  WHAT AN OFFICIANT CAN CHARGE for her or his services.

His Reasoning about What to Charge for Services

“A couple is putting a huge amount of time, resources and energy into their wedding day,” he explained (and I’m paraphrasing here because yes, I was driving and talking on the phone. My bad…), “so why not charge $2000 considering all the different options, services and bonuses you provide them?”

Which is true. I didn’t raise my prices until I found unique ways to add value. The ceremony my couples get, their results, are worth the fee.  Plus guests regularly and even predictably go gaga for the ceremony that gets created for the couple.

One of the lowest paid on a wedding team

“But I just don’t find those kinds of people coming to me, “I explained back. “Officiants are one of the lowest paid of all the wedding professionals.” I took note of the poster of the Henry Ford quote that started to flash in my mind, “Argue for your limitations and they’re yours”. “But I do charge more than most people in my area.”

My fees aren’t all that cheap, unlike many other officiants. I’ve seen what they charge. NOT MUCH. I felt a bit defensive. It’s not as if I don’t value my services AT ALL…

Internal Dialogue

Whether the conversation I continued to have with him was a curiosity call, a sales pitch from me to him or him to me, the internal dialogue I was having felt far more important.

Thank you, sir, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, for nothing other than challenging my own assumptions.

Because yes, I do have a higher charge for my services. And I also provide more services than what so many ask for at first — a short and sweet ceremony.

Skilled Officiant

The couple that requests short and sweet relays this request as if they don’t want to ask too much for themselves, either. Probably, they have little sense of what kind of magic can be infused into a ceremony by a skilled Officiant.

Chances are if you’re that Officiant would you be reluctant to value and accordingly highly charge for your services?

Or are you a real deal? And why? Why should you be the deal?

Requests for Short and Sweet

Other times it also feels like a short and sweet ceremony is the quickest and least painless entrance fee they have to pay in order to be ushered with their guests into the big bash party afterwards.

The food. The drink. The flirting. The parent child dances that make the older folk cry and the younger folk wish they’d hurry up and make way for the REAL dancin’.

All that money, all that time finally taking shape and form with or without a ceremony that was out of the ordinary. Solemnizing a marriage may have been sweet, or short, or deep and engaging. Light-hearted and witty.

Whatever tone the ceremony takes, it should be an effective beginning to the day a community comes together and lets the couple know, “We have your back and we believe in you.”

I can’t claim that every ceremony is going to be touched with magic, that everyone will be amazed, inspired, captured by the couple’s love story that I’ve put into words for them.

Continuing Dialogue

Here’s the continuing dialogue I’m inviting you to participate in with me. Why DO officiants have such a hard time charging a fee that truly demands attention and respect? That reflects the value of what the power of a ceremony is?

And results in a memory that will be theirs forever.

I’m asking you, my fellow officiants, what factors makes us reluctant to charge money for a service for such an important life event?

We don’t have to be charging $2000 but why do so many only charge $50 to $100 and feel unsure about even charging that much?

What would your conversation be if the man who called me, called you? What would you WANT to tell him you charge for your services and what you ACTUALLY charge for your services?

Let me know. I’m curious.

To the best inner and outer dialogues between all of us.

Namaste

Rev. Crystal Y

Contact Me to continue the conversation. Or please apply to join the private and fabulous Facebook Group @IDOWedPrep.

Jump in on the ongoing conversations, or start your own.

For new Officiants, be sure to grab a copy of The 5 Common Mistakes New Officiants Make.

Woo, You & Weddings

meditation

Inspire and Celebrate — A Wedding Address can do THAT?

meditationYour wedding address is an opportunity to inspire, engage and entertain your couple AND their guests. Many officiants know this is possible through our Wedding Address. You know what I mean by Wedding Address? The WA is the words we say about love, marriage, and our couple’s love story.

So how do we use this opportunity without being preachy or sounding overbearing? We don’t want people to fall asleep or look everywhere but at the couple and you, right?

The goal is to be the best officiant you can be:

Engaging. Effective. Enjoyable.

The Spiritual Element

There’s a spiritual element to being an officiant that is super important. Here you have all these people, even if it’s just 3 or 4, that bring energy to this awesome event in a couple’s life. This gathering engages the principle JC talked about here,  “When two or more are gathered in my name there I am in the midst of them”. This principle of bringing so many people together at the same time has bearing on what happens in a wedding ceremony.

Not about Religion, so Hang On

Don’t get wompy on me if you aren’t religious. I know I’m quoting Jesus a lot here. This isn’t about the religion of Jesus. It’s about relevance and connection. So please, keep reading.

“Gathered in my name” doesn’t have to be about Jesus. Jesus was a manifestation of love (“God/The Father and I are One”) in a time when no one else knew what the heck that meant or who every woman, child and man really was – Marvelously Created.

Knowing the Quantum Connection

Jesus was someone who knew his connection with his higher self or God. The creator of the Universe! So “two or more gathered in my name” is a group of people gathered together in the name of love, of knowing the deepest connection and reality of all.

Isn’t that what a wedding is? People gathered in the name of love? (Okay, good food, drinks and rock ‘n rolling too). Dancing within the quantum field of creation. (I apologize to any physicists for my clumsy reference of the quantum field who may be reading this.)

Adding the Woo

To add a bit of Woo (I LOVE this word Woo) – the spiritual element or principle that sets the law of attraction into motion CONSCIOUSLY is this:  Woo  and you is how YOU as the officiant hold the space for Love to kick into high gear. Your officiant skills are engaged so the couple’s love is served and honored during the ceremony by calling it out from the git go of meeting your couple and preparing the ceremony.

This is the first level of adding the Woo factor to a wedding ceremony.

First To Do’s

To add the Woo factor to your wedding ceremony you gotta become the Woo. There’s so many ways of doing this, gang, so here’s my goal:  to encourage you to use the law of attraction consciously and let it help you tap into the wisdom and wonder that’s within you. To make life easier for you. It just takes practice.

So here’s a way to begin:

  1. Before you meet with and interview your couple, ask your Higher Self (call it Jesus if you want) to connect with the couple’s higher selves.
  2. Close your eyes and affirm or pray for this guidance, whichever resonates with you. This is what I usually do and please — put it into your own words.
    1. I ask for the spirit of the love that has brought the couple together to inspire the way I put their ceremony together.
    2. I ask that the couple be led to reveal to me what will bring the greatest meaning and joy to their ceremony.
  3. When I sit down to put together all the elements I’ve collected to create their ceremony, I ask for the Love that’s greater than what they now know to help me …
    1. Construct the ceremony that will be the most fun
    2. Infuse the ceremony with the joy that’s brought them together and will keep them together
    3. Inspire the ceremony with the words and elements that will truly please, satisfy and delight the couple and their guests.

Do these three things and you’ll begin to center yourself in the spiritual essence of what has led you to be an officiant in the first place. Your inner self knows what you can gain by being an even more wonderful officiant. This inner Woo is what connects you to the Love that’s brought your couple together.

The Course of course

One of the things the Ready, Willing and Able Officiant Prep Course does is provide a whole session of affirmations, prayer and self-care meditation. They’re in written form and audio. Both are designed for the religiously or spiritually directed. This segment of the program helps you get into the Woo state of mind so you meet more successfully with your couples.

Plus create and deliver the ceremony that sets you out as an engaged, effective and enjoyable officiant. Unforgettable.

To check out the RWA program, follow this link. It’s affordable, you can take it at your own pace, and it’s fully delivered right to your inbox.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Adding Woo And You To A Wedding Makes a Wonderful Ceremony for all.

Don’t be shy. Feel free to connect by filling out our amazingly fun (kidding) Contact Us form. Or post on our private I Do Wedding Officiant Training group Facebook page.

I’d love to hear from you!

Namasté

Know Like and Trust
Crystal Yarlott, Officiant and Collaborator

Rev Crystal Y

 

 

Advertising — Free and Paid

Advertising
Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash.com

Hey there! You made it to the information download page to learn how and where to advertise!

Just fill in your name and email address below and the Link and Resource pdf will be delivered to your inbox.

It’ll be fun to see your name in whatever directory or medium you choose to advertise in. It’s a big step to make a commitment to do paid advertising. And it takes some skill to get your name out for free.

It can all be done, whichever form you choose and I hope these links and information are helpful to you.

Best to you!

Know Like and Trust
Crystal Yarlott, Officiant and Collaborator

 

 

Get Your Advertising Guide below.

If you want to schedule a free and fun consultation with me, fill out our Contact Form.

Why Our Officiant Relationship is Unique

Our Officiant Relationship is Unique -- Courtney and Trenton

You can listen to me rant this blog post here:  Why Our Officiant Relationship with our Couple is Unique.

My Rant About the Unique Officiant Relationship with Couples

Recently I had a very long FB conversation with a fellow Officiant in an Officiant FB group. Right off the bat let me say that it was civil and we learned about each other.

What piqued my interest was the photo she’d posted on the page. In the photo she looked very happy that she’d just done this simple vow exchange ceremony. Her comment was that her friend had PhotoShopped the picture so her hair didn’t look as bad as it had in reality.

But what got me was the groom had gotten married while wearing a T-shirt with the word F__K on it. In Bold. Center of the shirt.

Really honey pie? You couldn’t find anything else to wear? That’s the statement about life you wanted to make on your wedding day?

What’s Disrespectful about F__K

I was floored. I commented that I’d have made him change his shirt before I’d have conducted anything for him. “I didn’t realize I’m getting as sour as I am” but I continued that it seemed very disrespectful of the serious AND joyful event that was taking place.

“The bride didn’t seem to mind,” she wrote. “After all I’m just a vendor providing a product or service for a fee, so who am I say anything?”

Which on one hand I can totally agree with.

But on the other hand, to think of ourselves as a vendor is to diminish the importance that we are standing there when two people make these promises to each other that tie their karma, their intentions, their past, present and future to one another.

If Their I DO’s Don’t Stick

If the couple doesn’t take their vows seriously and their I DO’s don’t stick, this breach of trust could cause a lot of grief, anger, disappointment, and heartbreak not only for themselves but for family and friends too.

AND let’s not forget it can cost a LOT of money to get unhitched.

Our Relationship is Unique

Because we are the ones who share the moment with them in a way no other vendor does, that we actually lead them in their vows and then sign on to the fact they’ve exchanged these important promises, our relationship with them IS unique.

And because for some (obviously not the groom in question) there is a bit of mystique that still surrounds (thankfully) the office of Officiant, we have the opportunity to bring to bear the spiritual significance of the event. As we stand in our spiritual “Office” we should also ooze that we respect and value what we do.

We are more than reciters of an often repeated ceremony.

We say more with our words than “have you come here freely to marry one another.”

We are the holders of the importance of the commitment of marriage, of the delight that love has graced our couple’s life.

We Officiants hold this importance first by respecting the institution of marriage and the courage a couple has to have in order to risk promising “until death do us part”, even “through all the changes of our lives” to one another.

And helping them to respect it as well.

If they don’t respect this, then we have a teaching moment on our hands.

Because I feel in many ways we’re way too casual about the kind of things that can do lasting harm.

The Internet is Your Congregation

Consider this too. Even though many of us were ordained by simply signing up online, the only reason anyone was able to do this is because we agreed the internet was our congregation.

And congregations are spiritual in nature.

There is still an aura of ministry around being an Officiant. And ministry gives us a power to influence, my friends. It touches that which is greater than one’s self and can bring magic, delight and wonder into our life.

An f’ing t-shirt can’t do that.

So recognize your “aura” shall we say, the power of being an Officiant and use it wisely. Lead your clients and potential clients through your words and actions that the ceremonial act they’re signing up for is a beautiful, awesome event.

Because love truly is a many splendored thing.

And Mr. F t-shirt, if you can’t for 5 minutes respectfully acknowledge that and relegate your crass garb to mowing the lawn or fixing the carburetor, then I’m not the Officiant for you. You can either take that shirt off for a civil one or I’ll refund the fee you paid me.

Can I say it again? Being an Officiant is one of the most fun professions ever. And it carries weight, power and as such deserves respect.

This is why I believe our relationship with our clients is unlike any other relationship on the wedding team.

Our service and product is of the heart. We’ll remain in our couple’s memory for many years to come.

Take Advantage of Teaching Moments

Take advantage of teaching moments. And stand for the beauty and depth of the promises two people are going to make to each other.

Thank you for listening. My rant is now over.

Respectfully,

Rev. Crystal Yarlott

 

For information on our new officiant prep online courses, fill out our simple Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!

Photo courtesy of

The Problems with Being Humble

Henry Ford was not humble but About

Whether you come from a religious background or not, you’ve been confronted with the concept of being humble. It’s highly likely, if you asserted yourself in the company of very religious people, you’ve been accused of being self-promoting, and you should humble yourself. In other words, back off, calm down and get a grip on how lowly you really are.

Grab that Dictionary

Dictionary.com defines humble  this way: “Having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience. Low in rank, importance, status, quality.

For the non-religious, just to get you up to speed, Jesus supposedly said, in Matthew 23:12, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” The traditional interpretation of this passage has been that somehow, if you stand up for yourself or acknowledge what you might be good at, you’re going to get some bad karma, you’ll be “abased”.

If you belittle yourself, at some point you’ll be exalted in rank or character. Your ship is more likely to come in if you don’t think much of yourself. Or go for your dreams.

How’s that workin’ for us?

This understanding of scripture has been used to get people to conform to a weak sense of self and purpose, to acquiesce to other’s wishes. Others, who by the way, are being anything but humble by telling another person THEY should be humble.

Warm Up Your Engine and Drive!

We all have gifts and talents, especially if we have others around us who encourages us to use them. (Like I do in my Ready, Willing and Able Officiant Prep course :-)) It’s in our nature to use our gifts as much as it’s natural to rev the engine of that new Mustang convertible we’re going to test drive.  We’re going to explore and expand these talents, take ’em for ride and see how they do in life.

Or to quote something else Jesus is supposed to have said, (and I paraphrase a bit), “Let your engine warm up and drive, don’t hide it in the garage.” Matthew 5:16.

Too many people, especially if there’s a profession or goal related to religion or spirituality (such as being an Officiant), we may get this unconscious hit that to believe we’re good at something, and promote it, there’s something wrong with us. That in fact, bad stuff is gonna happen.

Back to the Self-Esteem Issue

People may walk around with this terrible sense of self-esteem thinking that believing in their gifts, their talents, AND charging appropriately for them is somehow going to get them in hot water. (Case in point-Officiants who charge so little for their services. Maybe that’s because officiating is still connected to religious beliefs we should be doing everything for free because God’s gonna take care of us. Well God will take care of us by inspiring us what to fee to charge. But that’s a whole other article to write!) Because NOT thinking much of yourself is what’s really going to keep at bay that ship you want to come in.

Making a List and Folding it Twice

Here’s a way this misunderstanding of humble shows its ugly face. It’s so much easier for most of us to name the things that are wrong with us than it is to list the things that are great about our self. Go ahead, right now make a 2-column list on an folded 8×11 sheet of paper. Take 5 minutes. Write down things that are good about yourself and things you need to fix about yourself. Go ahead, do it. Now which list is longer?

I rest my case.

I’ve been proficient at naming what’s wrong with me and how I’ve screwed up. I wish it weren’t true but ask my friends. I’m very practiced at being critical of myself.  I know I’m not alone in this proficiency. HOWEVER I AM getting better at believing in myself.  I’m living proof of the results of being one’s own worst enemy. Stagnation. Reluctance. Suffering from the disease of people pleasing.

Heck — I may have stood up in front of anywhere from 50 -500 people  and delivered a great talk. And what trap could I fall into? I’d focus on the few people who didn’t seem to pay attention, or who didn’t accept my premise. Who was I to think I had anything to offer?

Better back down and get back to being a nobody with nothing to say. Someone or some miracle will happen to save me someday!

“By this premise, I should be riding high on the hog because I’ve certainly “humbled” myself often enough.”

Reality Check

Reality check: What I / we / us focus on grows. The more I coulda woulda shoulda myself, the greater momentum is generated to prove over and over what’s wrong with me. “What you fear comes upon you,” it says somewhere in the Bible. What we repeat over and over, focus on and live inside of grows in magnitude, whether it’s self-appreciation or depreciation.

We gotta stop that crap of making ourself small when we really are naturally big. Created in the image and likeness of goodness it’s been said in some alternative spiritual circles. Believe in yourself. In your abilities. In promoting and offering the world your unique talents and skills. You know, let your engine rev!

Try This Humble On For Size

I’d like to suggest a new meaning for the word humble. Try this on for size.

To be humble is to be open. So rather than having these preconceived ideas about ourself, if we go back to basics, we become open to our self and the possibilities for goodness without prejudice. If we’re open from the standpoint of beginning again we are more likely to see from a new perspective.

We become elevated because we have no where to go but up!

Rewrite of an Old Teaching

Here’s the rewrite of that scripture: “And whosoever thinks they’ve got it all figured out is going to miss out. But if you’re open, you’ll see from a new perspective that can show you a whole other world of wonder.”

Much better definition, don’t you think?

So seek to be open, with a sense of wonder and curiosity about life. See yourself in a new light, not a negative light. Give yourself a break.

As an Officiant, if you want to really serve your couples — if you want to stand out in the crowd of so many online ordained officiants who may have little or no respect for the responsibility of ordination, you have to know what’s good and unique about you and your talents. You have to be the new humble — know and promote what’s good and unique about yourself and how that will make your couple’s wedding day all the better. Because the good that you are is now at THEIR service.

Check out the wonders that are within you and let those beautiful facets of your character shine. Make that column of good qualities 10 times longer than the negatives. Go on. Do it. And get yourself into the habit of exalting those qualities, rather than those parts of yourself that are “still under construction.”

And I’ll see you being the first one walking down the aisle.

Namaste.

Rev Crystal Y

For information on our new officiant prep online courses, fill out our simple Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!

How Not to Get Wedding Referrals

Wedding Referrals from the Homestead Resort

A Fabulous Place

In the area I live, there’s a multi-wedding site venue called The Homestead Resort. It’s a fabulous place to visit whether it’s for a wedding, or is just a weekend romp. For an Officiant, it’s the kind of place you want to get wedding referrals from.

It happens to be 35 miles from where I live.

There’s a two-lane highway there, with two three-lane passing zones in the hills.

Oh. I should mention there’s a big city, Traverse City, to be exact in between where I live and The Homestead. TC has a huge number of festivals and activities going on all summer and fall.

With lots of people from out-of-town visiting. It can take a while to get through town when it’s packed with tourists. And floats. And cars, trucks and bikes.

When I first started officiating, I didn’t know how unpredictable getting to The Homestead on a weekend could be.

A Good Reputation

I was smart enough to know building a good reputation as reliable with the folks who coordinated weddings there was a good idea. They could refer potential wedding couples to me. My first two weddings there went well and everyone involved seemed happy.

One particular sunny Saturday, I started out 50 minutes before the wedding was supposed to start, knowing I was cutting it close. But I was SURE I would make it on time. Pedal to the medal, right?

And you know what’s coming, right? I ran into two — count them — two festivals, more traffic than I could imagine and I missed my turn. I was speeding like a bat outta hell which I don’t like to do.

I was only 5 minutes late. That didn’t seem like too big of a deal to me. Some of my brides and grooms waited 1/2 an hour for their tardy best friend to arrive at their wedding.

I apologized profusely, the wedding went beautifully and I thought I’d redeemed myself.

But the next year I didn’t get any wedding referrals.

I visited the venue before the next season started so I could ask the venue coordinator, what happened? She told me not being on time wasn’t tolerated — no matter what.

Repercussions of Not Being On Time

Why? A late minister means a late start which can mean upset brides and grooms, cold food, melted ice for cocktails and other events having to be started late.

But I loved The Homestead and wanted to get back in their good graces. We agreed that if I arrived consistently to the venue one hour ahead of time, she’d put me back on their referral list.

Which I did. I got back in their good graces. It all worked out. I do more weddings there now than ever.

The point is, you have to get to your wedding on time. You cannot guess what the road conditions are, festivals proceeding with efficiency, traffic being normal (including funerals, and reunion caravans). Being late is stressful on you — isn’t it????

Plan Ahead

So YOU have to make sure you plan ahead, way ahead.

You HAVE to prepare for the worst and keep your cool. More depends on you than you may be aware of. Thanks to technology, we have GPS’s within in easy reach now. Even they aren’t perfect.

I talked about this in the pdf you downloaded a while ago called Seven Easy Fixes to Prevent the Most Common Mistakes New Officiants Make.

A good reputation is worth lots of love, appreciation and thousand’s of dollars. 

You deserve to have everything go well for you as an Officiant.

You deserve to have everything go well for you as an Officiant. My couples give me great joy and I adore the privilege of being the one to lead them in their wedding vows and inspire their guests in my Wedding Address.

Get to the church / beach / venue on time

Call the local Chamber of Commerce. Double check your GPS. Call the venue to see what they know could be a problem around their location. Contact the venue coordinator to see if he or she knows something.

And I’ll see you walking first down the aisle!

Take care,
Rev. Crystal

PS What I mean about walking first down the aisle is an Officiant often walks in first as a signal the ceremony is beginning.

Crystal Yarlott, Officiant

There's Many Officiants in the World

Who make a lot of mistakes. But YOU don't have to learn the hard way.

Your Guide is on it's way!

For information on our new officiant prep online courses, fill out our simple Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!