I was a budget bride, but still had a wedding planner. For me it was very useful!
- With her help I found an AMAZING caterer in So Cal that gave 3 wonderful meal options (that friends are still talking about!) for only $13 per person. I wouldn’t have found her on my own.
- She referred me to a photographer that was amazing and that I very doubtfully would have looked at had I been on my own.
- She got me in touch with a baker that was able to make my cake dreams come true for an amazing price!
- She did my flowers for me at cost.
- My linens (including table cloth, overlay, and runner), dishes, silverware, glasses, etc, were all provided by her free of charge.
- And last of all her staff was WONDERFUL at my reception – setting everything up, making sure it was all moving smoothly, cleaning up afterwards.
Every other caterer that I talked to or looked at, was either going to be 2x’s (or more) more expensive then my caterer, or they would only give pasta for the price I got (I had tri-tip, pasta bar, bbq chicken, mashed potato bar, and won-tons with sweet chili sauce!) and the price for mine also included servers for the night which was again less expensive then other places I’d looked at. I’d guess that this alone saved us 2-3x’s the cost of the price of my planner.
Our photographer might not have been a cost benefit on cold hard paper, but he was a blessing to us nevertheless! My husband doesn’t like having his photo taken, but our photographer was such a neat and fun person that my husband really was able to unwind and have fun! But then again, if you factor in some of the things that weren’t in the contract – he spent 3 hours with us at our engagement picture session instead of the 1.5 in the contract; the contract gave us 6 hours of his time for the ceremony/reception, but he was amazing and ended up spending 6 hours on our ceremony day alone with another 5-6 hours for our reception day! I think this too would have ended up saving us 2x’s (or more) the amount of the cost of our wedding planner.
Our baker took our hopeful vision for our cake and made it a reality. We’d talk to several bakers and while some of them thought it could be done, the price was higher (in some cases MUCH higher). He also included an awesome cake stand free of charge that was just what I wanted and retailed for something like $200! I don’t have a good grasp on what the true savings was on this, but I’d say over all that we probably saved a $300-400 (including the cake stand) with this baker over what I might have found on my own.
Flowers are EXPENSIVE! I think if I’d not have had my planner, I would have really blown my budget with this, or ended up trying to DIY it. All of our personal flowers plus some of the ones on the tables at the reception came to a total of $161 (which is what a lot of brides pay for just the bridal bouquet!) and she did a great job of arranging them!
I just did a quickie pricing of what it would have cost us to rent what our wedding planner provided for us for linens, overlays, table runners, china, flatware, glasses, and 12″ tiled mirrors. The linens, overlays, and table runners alone would have cost us $300 to rent (less if we bought, but then we would have had to steam press them and other stuff that costs time and money). The plates, glasses, flatware, and chargers added in another close to $300, and the tiled mirrors would have been about $50 for all that we needed. So again, just in this, she saved me enough to cover her own fee!
And then, last of all, there was set up and clean up. I don’t know how to price this out, but since we didn’t have to deal with the stress or time involved in it, I think it has to be factored in.
Like I said, I was a budget bride. My final figures were at $6600 for my wedding (not including honeymoon, dress, or rings) and my wedding planner was $600 of that budget. I don’t think we could have managed it for as low as we did without her help (or without compromising a LOT on our guest list and ceremony location).
Last word on this: My planner wasn’t perfect, and if I had it to do over again, I’d be much more specific on what I wanted her to do. BUT, overall, looking at the figures and the final picture of how things went, I have minimal complaints, and much high praise for her and what she was able to help me accomplish! I’d hire her again in a heartbeat.
Oh and as a note to those that say they want to be in charge too much to give it over to someone else, my planner was a full planner not just a DOC, but I did most of the actual planning myself because that’s what I wanted to do. She helped me with the things I needed help in and left alone the things I wanted to do on my own. I think that has a lot to do with the personality of the person you hire.