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  • Christina Hubeli

How a Wedding Planner Can Save You Money


wedding planner fixing flowers
Photo: Claudia Jo Photography

If you’re thinking about hiring a wedding planner, there are a plethora of pros that might be running through your head. With an experienced wedding professional to guide you through the process, you’ll be less stressed, stay on track, have someone to manage the details of the day, and so much more. But depending on your specific planning package and budget, a planner’s fee may be high. Is it worth it?


Believe it or not, a planner can actually help you save money – equal to, if not more than, the planning fee. How exactly? Read on for just some of the ways a planner can save you time, money, and stress!


Education


One of the biggest areas of confusion for couples starting out in the wedding planning process is budget. You likely haven’t planned a wedding before and simply don’t know how much certain aspects of weddings cost. Totally understandable! If you come to us with a budget of $30k for 200 guests and expect to have the lavish wedding of your Pinterest dreams, we have to have a conversation about what that is (actually) going to cost you.


From our initial consultation, we talk with you about your budget concerns, give you ranges for what we typically see couples spend on certain vendors in Chicagoland, and provide you with a sample budget to see where we estimate your spending based on your vision. Having this conversation from the start ensures you have realistic expectations about the budget before we start hiring vendors and will make you feel much more comfortable moving forward.


Vendor Booking


There are several different ways a planner will save you money (and time) when tackling vendor booking. First, when looking for a venue, a planner has the experience and knowledge to see past a low venue fee and estimate what choosing a specific venue will actually cost you. For instance, Chicago park district wedding venues typically have low rental fees; however, these venues don’t come with tables, chairs, and other rentals that we’ll have to source through your caterer or a rental company. At the end of the day, a venue like this might end up costing you the same (or more) as a more traditional venue that includes tables, chairs, etc. in the rental.


Moreover, some venues will charge commissions to the other vendors you hired. And those vendors will pass that added charge onto the couple. These commissions are often not immediately apparent to the couple as they’re going through the booking process and can be an unwelcome surge to their spending as the wedding day gets closer. Having this knowledge ahead of time means a planner can help you anticipate these added costs and prepare for them appropriately.


Some venues require that their clients choose their caterer from an exclusive approved list, which can cause an unexpected increase in spending for couples that don’t know the caterers well. In these cases, your planner will be able to tell if the approved caterers fall within your budget or if we’d be looking at a higher cost per person because of the list. Having this proactive insight will help you to avoid spending thousands more than planned.


Speaking of catering, this often eats up a large chunk of the wedding budget and can cause confusion & frustration for couples. As a seasoned wedding pro, a planner will be able to sift through a pages-long catering proposal and tell you what you really need versus the things you can do without.


A planner can also help you navigate what different types of catering actually cost. There’s misinformation floating around the internet about catering (for instance, many couples come to us with the belief that a buffet is always cheaper than a plated meal; when in reality, a buffet often is more expensive because we don’t know definitively who is eating what. We have to account for people eating more than one serving with a buffet, therefore leading to an overall cost). Your planner will help you discern truth from rumor and ultimately ensure that you’re spending your money on aspects of the wedding that are most important to you.


Similarly to catering, when booking a florist, a planner will help you find that sweet spot between what you want and what you need and forecast how it’s going to affect your bottom line. Planners have the tips and tricks for protecting your wedding budget while ensuring we’re landing on a design vision that feels and looks like you.


Ultimately, with all vendors, a planner will match you with a team that fits your budget, vision, and personality as a couple. This truly unlocks a no-pressure vendor booking process that will make you feel so much more comfortable!


Budgeting


Beyond keeping track of your vendor spending, a planner’s vendor relationships can also help you save money. Vendors that work with the planner often may offer the planner’s clients a discount for booking through them. At BURST, we don’t take commissions and instead ask the vendor to apply this as a discount for the client. A trusted vendor partner & a discount? Win-win! Similarly, a planner will know when and how to negotiate with a vendor to secure you a lower fee.


A planner will also help you account for other added costs that aren’t always super obvious at the start of planning, such as gratuity. Tipping your vendors is something your planner will discuss with you from the beginning so that you aren’t spending a few thousand extra dollars than planned days before your wedding.


Likewise, when your vision shifts or you’re interested in adding an additional vendor, a planner can anticipate how this will affect your budget. We always talk about the rabbit hole that Pinterest can be for weddings, especially when it comes to design. If you’re eyeing some tableware upgrades, for instance, your planner can guide you to find the balance between what you can actually afford versus what upgrades are truly going to make the strongest design impact (and therefore are the biggest bang for your buck).



These examples just scratch the surface of how a planner can save you money, along with time and stress! Interested in hearing more? Schedule a free consultation with BURST today!


Schedule a free consultation HERE!