Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How a wedding planner is a financial investment

and a giveaway too!

Anyone can tell you easily that having a wedding planner just makes things easier. Obviously, that's probably one of the main reasons you're considering having one. That's because before you got engaged, you already had a pretty full schedule. Adding a +200 hour project to your plate is probably not going to fit in easily. Well, maybe it would if you could plan it one hour a day for six and a half months. Not possible; wouldn't that be something though?

Okay, so besides the time saved, let's talk a bit about some things that are a benefit financially. I always get asked,
"Exactly how can you save me money?"
My answer is the same,
"I can't guarantee any specific savings, but I can tell you some things that seem to be pretty consistent"

With that said...
1. Wedding planners, especially those who also do design work, often have "stuff". Stuff left from previous weddings. What does that mean to you? That means that the rehearsal dinner and/or welcome reception (that you forgot to budget decor for- oops) might actually turn out to be amazing because your wedding planner happens to have some custom linens that a previous bride didn't want, a dozen very cool lanterns that would make perfect centerpieces, about 100 luminaries to light the path. So when interviewing your potential wedding planner, ask if she has "stuff"! Note: I am in no way saying that you should only hire a planner who has "stuff". It's just a nice little budget booster if she/he does.

2. Wedding planners know the key to contracts is not the fine print, it's the missing print. Everyone knows to read the fine print. If you don't know what is missing, you don't know what you'll be paying for later down the road. It's a planners responsibility to draw your attention to these things. Example: Let's say you are having an outdoor welcome reception in the evening. An event for which you are paying a $500 site fee. Your contract says that this includes the space, chairs, tables, linen, set-up and breakdown. Sounds all inclusive right? Wrong. There's a list of at least six things that I can think of off the top of my head that you are going to need for this event. And nope, they aren't free. So what is going to happen? A couple weeks before the event, you'll get a call from your venue saying,
"Did you want to get _____? Because you're going to need it. Yes, we can provide it at a cost of $$$$$"

Every professional planner should be able to do this for you.

3. Your wedding planner knows when to call it a night. How many weddings do you go to a year? Your wedding planner goes to lots of them. Because we've experienced it so many times, we can tell when your guests have just about had all the fun they can. So when you've been able to enjoy all the champagne, and you're having a great time on the dance floor, we're watching the door, and who is walking out of it- we know what the sign is. The time has come when we walk up to you and say, it's time for the last dance per your contracted end time. Well, you're still having a great time, and you turn around and see there are still 30 people having a great time. So perhaps you say,
"No way wedding planner, we're still having a great time, look at the dance floor!"
It's at this moment that we're going to save you $$$$. Because we've seen "the sign", and know that the cost for you to add on that additional hour to the bar, band, and venue is going to be $$$$ for just an hour. And if you were to extend that hour, within 15 minutes, there will only be 8 people left. So basically what it comes down to is that we're not going to let you make a rash decision that will cost you a great deal money that you could be spending extending your honeymoon 3 days instead! So drink your champagne, we'll watch your back (and your wallet!).

4. Myth: Super small or "intimate weddings" (under 20 guests) don't need wedding planners. Myth with a capital M. While many people are having small weddings because they like the intimacy of it, many people are doing it because it is just so much less expensive. Here's what I can say- it's the small weddings that planners are often able to get the best deals for their clients. It's these weddings where we can pull from different resources that we can't do for larger events. Why? Just one reason: because we can do so much of the work ourselves instead of having to outsource. This is just one reason, but boy do I have a list for this one!

5. Believe it or not, not all the really good and well priced vendors are where you are looking for vendors. An established wedding planner knows many many professionals, beyond the current popularity list. You're going to have to trust us on this one- but this is usually the Ace!

This is just a short list of benefits, but I thought it would be a good time to share this kind of information.

How about I save you $5 right now? Send a comment, and we'll draw 3 names to send the current issue of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons to! I'll announce the winners on Thursday.

101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons