The question I hear most from new and potential clients is how to avoid making mistakes in planning their wedding. Obviously this question is loaded with lots of answers depending on what part of the process you are talking about. If I were to generalize I would say that they should hire a planner to help avoid making mistakes. Not just any planner though. If they offer to meet you at Starbucks for your consultation, you might want to keep looking. You want to hire only a professional, educated and secure planner that will still be in business when you have your wedding.
Brides think they can get by without a professional planner and use those funds for other critical items for their wedding. What they don’t understand is that planners often save their clients their fee and much more in several ways. First and foremost, we connect the client with vendors that are actually appropriate for their wedding, their budget and their personality. Secondly, we negotiate their contracts to insure all the fat is cut out of the details.
Have you ever seen a hotel catering contract in its first draft? How many times have you seen $25 per car for valet parking? That fee is based on a single person arriving at the hotel and parking their car. If you are spending thousands of dollars with the venue, they need to bite that bullet themselves! We often will get that number down to $7 or $8. That is $17-$18 dollars discounted per car and if you consider 60 cars; well you do the math! The hotel will usually come back and say how they contract with an outside company to provide this service and therefore have no leeway in what is charged! My response…. BULL$&%*!!!!! Pick up the phone and make the arrangements. Don’t worry… they will! It all depends on how badly they want and need your business.
Photographers often create enlargements of the bridal portrait and/or engagement photos for the couple to display at their wedding. You sign a contract for anywhere between $5-10K. Then, they want you to pay a couple thousand dollars more at the last-minute for matting and framing. I realize there is value in having expert framing done, but I assure you there are companies all over your town that will do this service for a fraction of the price. Collect your portraits when they are completed and take them to a frame shop and have them finished. Don’t expect your photographer to pick them up, bring them to the wedding, set them up and retrieve them afterward and deliver them to your home. But really, is that service worth several hundred dollars? Perhaps it is to you, but often, brides are at their financial limit by the time they get to that point!
These are only a couple of things you should look out for when planning your wedding. There is so much more to consider. If you take these and all the other things a wedding planner can handle into account, perhaps you will determine that not only should you hire one, but a good planner might just be a necessity! Would you perform dental surgery on yourself? Have you ever given yourself a haircut? NOT PRETTY! Think about this and multiply it by 5000!