In this era of cutting back and pinching pennies, it’s only natural for brides to look at what costs they can cut from the budget. And since most of us have been planning our wedding since we were, oh I don’t know …… FOUR!!!! …… we tend to think “oh, it’s just a wedding! Anyone can throw one of those together!” So it’s also natural to think a wedding planner is just an extra expense.
Want to know what I think? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.
“In today’s economy” (a phrase I’ve come to hate more and more each day), it is more important than ever to have a wedding planner.
Planners are the ones who actually SAVE you money:
· They review your contracts to be sure that what you THINK you’re getting is what you’re actually getting.
· They have a huge Rolodex of wedding vendors and can match you up to the ones who can do what you want on the budget you have.
· When touring a venue, the bride is caught up in the emotion of the moment and is only seeing how pretty everything will look. The planner is looking at parking spaces, what condition the restrooms are and where they are located, how and where the bar and the caterer will set up, and are there enough outlets for the DJ and the caterer’s carving station?
· When a bride is talking to the caterer, the bride is in turmoil trying to decide between chicken and fish. The planner is asking what the server/guest ratio is and how much is the cost of each server?
Let me share some stories on how planners have helped brides.
- Bride hires wedding planner after selecting the venue but before signing the venue contract. When planner reviews the contract, she finds the bride has contracted for the use of the building ONLY. Bride thought she was getting tables, chairs, linens and lots of other things that the bride thought “were always included” at a reception. The planner saved the bride over $6000 on a bad contract. Well worth the $2000 the bride paid the planner.
- Bride decides to forego the professional planner and use her best friend, who after all, was a bridesmaid three times, so she knows ALL about planning weddings! The friend failed to take note of the facility’s $2000 fee for turning on the air conditioning and the newly married couple had to come up with this money at the very, VERY last minute, which was a severe cut into their honeymoon fund.
- The band hired by the bride was telling bride and planner where they would be setting up, what time they would be there and where the wives’ table would be. Planner corrected band member by showing him the already-decided place they would set up, giving him the actual time he would be there and asked him what he meant by a wives’ table? Band member says, “Oh the wives always come to all of our gigs.”
Planner told him this was not a “gig”, this was a wedding, the wives were not on the guest list, and there would be no wives table because there would be no wives. Band member began to argue the point. Planner fired the band and hired a professional DJ. Bride was relieved.
When times are good and people have good jobs, they don’t worry about costs as much. I’m not saying they don’t comparison shop, but they tend to buy bells and whistles instead of staying in a budget. It’s easy to plan a wedding when you’re not paying attention to every penny.
When times are tough, a couple just can’t afford last minute surprises. But they’ve never planned a party for 200+ people before and there are questions they just don’t know to ask. An event planner knows those questions and when he/she asks them, the bride saves money.
As a caterer, I’m always relieved to see a professional planner walk into the room. I know the details are going to be handled, things will run on schedule, and it will be a very pleasant event for everyone.
If you have a tight budget, you NEED a wedding planner. Today, more than ever, it’s the best investment you can make in your wedding.
Remember, it’s your wedding. You have ONE SHOT to get it right. Get a professional on your side who is going to be looking out for you on your very special day.