Sixty percent of the weddings held locally are from couples out of the area, for mainly climate and beach reasons, and the average wedding locally costs $30,000. Sean said he was going to manage a wedding in the near future that has a $250,000 budget and fellow wedding pro Anthony Salas was doing one with half that. The average here is $3000 more than the national average, and each wedding is driven by what the bride wants.
The Central Coast, being a highly-prized venue, also has the wedding professional taking on more tasks than just their specialty. Planners, florists, and DJs have to be able to do more to satisfy their clientele. A DJ, for example, will have to announce throughout, and some have even started wedding officiating-- All to become an attractive option to be selected for an event.
The area's wedding pros have a certain camaraderie that other areas, such as Santa Barbara, do not, referring each other and knowing who works well with what. Everything isn't all rosy, however: The County Supervisors are considering an event ordinance that will, if enacted, make viable venues illegal, and the cell phone/iPod technology that makes "photographers" and "disc jockeys" out of lay people cuts into the pros' earnings.
Sean emphasized that everything one would need for perfect event in available and affordable here. And he does divorces, too. Just ask him.