Do you know how many hours the average bride spends planning her wedding? Take a guess without cheating and looking ahead… A wedding can take 700 hours of planning.
Wow! That seems crazy doesn’t it, especially with most of our lives being hectic already? However, some couples still venture out to plan their wedding without a planner thinking this is an exaggerated statistic. Believe me, it’s not because you have to factor in the fact that chances are you don’t get married on a regular basis so you’re not familiar with all the services you need and where to find them. Most couples start out believing that planning their wedding will be fun and romantic, unaware of the stress and frustration that can build as the big day gets closer and things remain undone.
At first you gather ideas from bridal magazines, bridal shows, the Internet, etc. and then start shopping for those perfect items that you just have to have for your wedding day, but are you thinking of your budget? Probably not. All you know is that you need those flowers, venue, photographer and so on. Many couples make the mistake of not establishing a full budget amount. They figure that if the average photographer charges $3500.00 then that’s what they have to pay even if they have $20,000.00 to spend total.
Planners work with a full budget amount which we then break down into percentages to determine an average amount to spend in each expense category. For example the couple who wants to spend $20,000.00 should spend approximately $2400.00 on photography. You may say, “ I want this photographer and that’s his fee so I’ll have to make it happen”. Now you have a choice… If you are planning your wedding on your own you can try to negotiate and maybe get a small discount but if you hire a professional wedding planner they can most likely negotiate down to fit your budget.
Obviously some vendors don’t budge but most of them see a planner as a good source of repeat business and are willing to negotiate more flexibly. In General, planners have established relationships with reputable vendors and through these relationships are able to save their clients a significant amount of money on services and rentals. They can also vouch for the quality of the vendors’ work and level of professionalism.
Planning a wedding has many details, from the ceremony to the attire, the décor, not to mention tracking the vendors. After the initial engagement and wedding planning euphoria is over then planning can become a drag where brides and their families just want to get it over with. This is a sad stage to be in when you’re planning such a special day. Most brides feel this frustrated when they have difficulty creating their vision for the day or can’t find the items they want in their budget or are simply exhausted from not having a moment to rest and enjoy their engagement.
It’s a planner’s job to meet with the couple, understand their vision or help them develop one when needed and from that moment on make their planning as effortless as possible. Planners serve as guides, financial managers, consultants, mediators and constant source of reassurance.
As a planner it is my job to keep my couple organized and on track so that everything runs smooth. Making sure that any request is researched and accomplished followed by presenting it to them for approval. This saves you the leg work… a large part of those 700 hours we spoke about earlier, remember?
My advice to all couples is to consider using a planner at whatever degree fits you best. I always recommend that every wedding should have a planner on that day because your family, friends and mostly you don’t want to deal with emergencies, last minute changes or any type of surprise. You want your wedding day to be as relaxing and organized as possible from the time you start getting ready that morning all the way until your last dance.
Cari Turner GRAND OCCASIONS Event Planning
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