Time Is Money: How To Provide A Memorable Quote & Proposal


Gwen Helbush, of Where To Start Wedding Management, shares her tips on how to provide a memorable quote & proposal. 

Weddings are a team business. None of us can create wonderful weddings alone.  The greatest benefit of working within our wedding community is that we have each other’s backs.

Lately, I have not been feeling the love, and I’m puzzled as to why. What happened? Why do I feel this way? I asked some industry friends and apparently I’m not alone.

We do everything possible to provide as much information in an organized way when sending a quote or proposal. However,  what we get in return looks (to put it kindly) like rubbish. And, it takes far too long to receive.

I am the first person to defend the members of our wedding community; I understand the demands on you.  I also understand that not everyone gives you all the information you need to turn a quote around quickly.  When that happens however, it’s your job to tell us you can’t provide the quote until you have all of the information you need.  Please do not send something you are not proud to present or that lacks the requirements and details you need to do your best work.

My philosophy on providing quotes and proposals are pretty basic, simple is best.  Simple does not mean lacking detail.  A quote should include all possible costs to provide the goods or services being quoted.  Line item quotes are best; lump sums will do if explained well.

Quotes are not art projects. They should be professional and reflect your brand. More than anything, a quote should be  clean, clear and complete.

When possible, creative quotes should include examples. Think inspirational photos, floorplans, and samples.

Even a simple spreadsheet can do the job.  The key always supplying a memorial quote and proposal lies in your preparation.

Having a system for writing quotes will reduce errors.

Don’t be boring.

Do be consistent.

Everyone on your team must understand your pricing.  They shouldn’t have to run to the owner of the company or a manager every time a quote is needed.  Think through your pricing, find the best way for your business to simplify pricing allowing quotes to be done quickly without losing money.

The biggest mistakes I see often is too little or too much information.  Too little, leaving out delivery charges, not putting a total at the bottom of the quote or my favorite no contact details.  Too much, including things they don’t need to know.  You don’t need to say how you will hang a chandelier — just that you will hang it and the cost.

Providing quotes quickly matters! Here’s an example as to why:

On a Monday afternoon, calls were placed to four caterers to verify they were available for a client’s wedding date. As they were all available on the specific date, each caterer was sent a request for quote email, looking for the same details  (the who, what, when, & where). The quote was requested back by 5:00 PM  Thursday, of that same week. Two hours later the first quote arrived. Thursday at 4:59 pm the second quote came, the third arrive Friday at 7pm, and we are still waiting on the fourth. After reviewing the three quotes in hand, they are equal in price and quality. Can you guess who got the job?

More than anything,  I want to be of service. If you struggle to turn quotes around in 48 hours or less, let’s talk.  It would be my pleasure to review your current process and provide suggestions to improve your existing system. Or help you to create one!

In today’s crowded and fast paced market a system for writing great quotes is a competitive advantage, you can’t afford neglect.