Real Story From A 1 Elegant Event Bride,
I am a very hands-on, creative, DIY, do my own research, make my own decisions kind of gal. I know what I want, I know what I'm looking for, and I know better than anybody else, dammit!
Okay, so maybe not. See, we hired a wedding planner. It was one of the first things we did, because I know that I can get distracted, and I tend not to follow up on things. So I knew that if the wedding was to run at all smoothly, we'd be better off paying someone to take care of things like calling vendors, asking the questions I'd forget about, and wrangling me — keeping me to a schedule, etc.
My family lives out of state and isn't up for the task of helping me plan, and while I do have two amazing, type-A friends, I've seen them absolutely WRECK themselves at other friends' weddings, and I couldn't do that to them again. I also had a good idea of the value of a wedding planner. So hiring one was something I felt comfortable with.
Mind you, I thought that I would just be directing all my preferred vendors to my planner, and that they would then just coordinate meetings and stuff. I didn't expect my planner to actually make suggestions. In my mind, I wasn't paying her for her opinion — I just needed someone to keep me on track, not cramp my style. Are ya' feeling me? I'm a girl who knows what I want!
So I was a little peeved at first when my planner started suggesting alternate vendors…
"That caterer's cost is a little too high… how about these guys?"
"Have you looked into ______ photographer yet? They're really wonderful people to work with."
"Have you thought about doing _________?"
"We have a resource for getting ___________."
And on and on… I was getting irritated.
One day I had plans to meet with a caterer and a photographer and my planner tagged along, and brought with her a second photographer for us to meet with. The moment the amazing, wedding planner-picked husband and wife photography team commented on my TARDIS-blue nail polish, I was sold — SOLD, I tell you — on a photographer that I would never known about if it wasn't for my planner.
The best part? The photographers are Eight... Hundred.... Dollars... Less. than the not-too-pricy photographer I was dead-set on. $800 is no small amount of dough.
Holy cow, did my wedding coordinator just paid for herself in my saving and then saved me an additional $2,550?
Yes, yes she did.
Then my planner convinced me to talk to a different caterer. The first caterer I picked had a quote of $37.50 per person (alcohol not included, that was another $35 per person). Which I thought that was a fair price…
The second caterer? Can I tell you how much I love this woman? We had a tasting with her. She is SUPER AMAZING! And because she isn't as "established" as my first choice, guess what? Her catering was totally cheaper. $1750 cheaper.
Holy cow, did my wedding coordinator just pay for herself in my saving and then saved me an additional $2,550?
Yes, yes she did.
We are paying our planner/coordinator $2500. So, at this point, getting a coordinator has saved our budget $1500 plus covered her $2500 fee. Our planner has wholesale contacts that will save us money on decor. Our planner has a florist contact who is amazing and will save us money on flowers.
Do you also not really know what EXACTLY a wedding planner does? Well, our 1EE brides are here to enlighten you all. They are saving THOUSANDS of dollars by hiring planners — this bride says, we were shooting for $20,000, now it looks like we will be spending something like $16,000. I know there are a lot of complaints about coordinators and planners not even looking at couples with a budget of less than $40,000. Believe me, I dealt with my fair share of those people looking for our coordinators.
But, the wedding industry is constantly changing, and more and more people are realizing that there is a niche market for lower-budget brides who need coordination help. If you can find one of those kinds of vendors who work with all budgets high and low, JUMP on them — they will save you money.
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Mr. & Mrs. Smith
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Melissa & Lontae'
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