Writing an Estimate

Preston Bailey Blog, Estimate, Writing

Preston Bailey Blog, Estimate, Writing


Dear Readers:

Last week, many of you requested that I post one of the previous estimates/proposals I put together for a client. In my wish to honor the confidentiality agreement made with each client, I cannot do that. What I can do is give you a detailed description of what to include in your proposals in the hope that it will assist you in your business interactions with your client. Though my company runs a full service business (planning, production, design, etc.), we mainly do event design and planning. Today, I will profile the design portion.



Client Information:  This is not the time to play with shorthand. Make sure to include everything in detail. You want to not only have the name, address, email and event location and time, but also the number of guests anticipated.


Itemized Goods

We tend to design and execute our own flowers.  It is for this reason that we give a detailed itemization of all of the floral goods.


Bridal Bouquet
20 Tall Center Pieces
4 Large Arrangements
Floral Chandelier for Ceiling


I tend to use ranges for these sections.
If you spend $100 in flowers and labor, I would suggest you charge $200.


Hard Goods

20 Table Cloths
200 Chair Covers
100 Votive Candles


Depending on uniqueness, you might be able to mark these items up a certain percentage.


Additional Design Services

Draping the Ballroom or Tent
Creating The Dance Floor Design


These services will most likely be provided by outside vendors. That said, you may want to charge a managing fee since you are meeting with these vendors many times to execute your designs.


Design Fee:

It took us a while to be able to charge this fee as it has nothing to do with the actual hard goods of the events. Once explained, a lot of clients understand that we spend a lot of time designing, drafting, creating floor plans, and creating presentations.



Depending on the job, you are always going to and from the event space. This does not take into account the driver and vehicle rentals. This fee should be a non-negotiable.


Assistance for Installations:

Sometimes you need additional hands to get the job done. Give your client the cost for extra hands and any food you’ll need to feed the crew (depends on set-up times).


Breakdown Costs

It can take hours to break down an event and leave the venue in an impeccable state. You will need to ensure you include this cost in your estimate.


Applicable Takes

This is also a non-negotiable.


Please understand that this is simply a general guide directed at helping you understand how we create an estimate at Preston Bailey Designs.


Note: It is crucial that you meet with your clients one-on-one to explain this estimate in detail. Also, this is not the planning contract. That is an entirely different contract that we will discuss at a later date.


Any questions? Any comments?






(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)