Planning a wedding comes with a lot of unknown territory for the bride and groom, which is why working with a wedding planner—who knows the industry and has been through this many times before—makes things far easier. But is it true that having the help of a wedding planner will actually save you money in addition to time and stress? The short answer: It's complicated. Here, we're taking a look at how the help of a professional wedding planner might be able to save you some money on your big day.
Realistic Budget Planning
"A planner adds a lot of value by creating realistic budgets for clients based on their preferences," says Tzo Ai Ang, owner of Ang Weddings and Events. She starts the planning process by taking a look at the budget her clients give her, then helps them allocate funds for each element of the day based on their priorities. A couple planning their own wedding may have to rely on made-up numbers when creating a budget, but a planner is able to offer a reasonable range of costs for each line item. Having a realistic budget in place from the start avoids confusion and frustration later on.
Wedding planners often bring repeat business to the vendors they work well with and trust to impress their clients. Does that mean you get a bulk discount from these vendors? No. What it does mean is that your wedding planner knows who to go to that'll be the best fit for your style and personality, and who can give you exactly what you want based on the budget you've set forth.
Cost Saving Tips
Wedding planners who've been in the industry for a number of years know exactly what couples can do to cut costs, and they're happy to share these tips with their clients. For Ang, that means advising couples to do things like cut their guest list, get married on a Friday or Sunday, or choose an off-peak wedding date. Plus, they know when a vendor comes back with a quote that's too high or is outside of the couple's budget range.
Contract and Negotiation Skills
Not only do seasoned wedding planners know what red flags to look out in a contract, but they also know when and how to negotiate on your behalf. This is especially helpful when you're booking a venue or hotel blocks.
Avoid Last Minute Surprise Costs
Elizabeth McKellar, wedding planner and designer of The Nouveau Romantics, says that couples who are not using a wedding planner should remember to set aside a buffer fund to accommodate last-minute costs that may come up in the final weeks and days leading up to the wedding. When working with a wedding planner, couples are less likely to need this buffer, as everything has been accounted for ahead of time, including a backup plan for inclement weather.