Credit: Blake Loates Photography
Today, lets talk about differences between the “budget planner” and a professional wedding planner.
The job of a wedding planner, think anyone can do it? Well I’m here to tell you no, not everyone can do it. It’s not like JLo portrays it, or even close to how the shows on TLC or Slice illustrate it. Just because the person likes weddings and planned their own means absolutely nothing. It is a completely different pressure, a whole different set of circumstances and issues when it’s not your own wedding and your name is on the line. Someone who doesn’t have a business formally set up, may not care what you think;however, when a business and brand has been formed, their is reputation on the line.
We all know weddings are expensive and you’re going to have to trim somewhere, but you need to be aware of what kind of situation you are getting yourself into, a wedding is an investment of sorts. You see a Kijiji ad, a Facebook link, or even a Google ad, you spot a planner for $500 – seems like a fantastic deal, but think about it. How much money do you make an hour? The average wedding planner puts in 20-30 hours for “day of coordination”, didn’t know that did you? So lets calculate that, let’s say 30 hours, they are charging $16.60 per hour. But wait, that doesn’t include any of their overhead costs such as marketing, website, business supplies, education, taxes, etc. How much can that business be making, will it be around in a year or go out of business?
When you are comparing planners consider:
- How many years of experience?
- Education – Are they certified, how about Event Management, anything else that may be beneficial?
- Is this their full time job, or just a hobby? (would you hire a lawyer who, does it on the side?)
- How many weddings per year, and how many weddings they have done in total?
- Compare packages to packages – line by line.
- Do a references/testimonials search on the internet. (don’t just take a friends word that they are great, ensure you do your research. We all know ‘somebody’ doesn’t mean we’ve used their services and can provide an accurate testimony.)
- Are they licensed and insured to do business?
I have heard horror story after horror story of budget wedding planners losing items, making brides cry, missing entire ceremonies because they didn’t properly allot for the correct amount of time to set up the reception etc. I really want to prevent you from making the same mistakes other brides have made, by not fully doing their research before making a decision based on price alone.
I don’t recommend a typical “day of coordination” – there is no such thing as handing over an entire event in one meeting, not even a two hour meeting. Why? Because things come up, and things change. It’s easier to meet a few times, and ensure that the planner and the reception manager, and bride and groom are all on the same page. It’s impossible to do that in one two hour meeting.
If you’re paying more for a wedding planner, you’re usually receiving more experience and education.
Julianne Cragg | Edmonton Wedding Planner
A Modern Proposal Event Planning