Let’s face it, one of the hardest parts of planning a wedding is that nagging feeling that you may not be getting the most “bang” for your buck. Not everyone is born with the skill (or desire) to haggle their way through their wedding planning. As a Wedding Coordinator in the early 2000’s my Wedding Motto was ‘High End Weddings, on a budget.’ That motto always (and still) seems to ring true to a lot of couples. However, since the 2000’s, many things have raised in cost, everything from minimum wage to food and beverage and it's only natural to see the costs of Weddings to steadily rise with the economy, but what doesn't seem to change are the Couples understanding on the overall Wedding Budget.
The Facebook group “Something Borrowed Something Blue” has become extremely popular for those planning their upcoming nuptials. As I scrolled through the posts, I was struck with how many brides were looking for a vendor and offering a budget that was either very low or very high in comparison to the market. Being properly educated could mean all the difference to the final cost of the wedding.
With over 20 years of experience in the wedding industry, I wanted to share a couple of real and true wedding budget pieces of advice.
1. Hire a Wedding Planner early. I promise it’s not that I am biased, this is just fact. At Jamison Events we help compile, negotiate and create a real life budget that is comparable between the Couples wants, needs and Vendor Costs. Often, couples will start to think about hiring a Wedding Planner for their Day-of needs as the day gets closer, what they don’t realize is how helpful a planner can be leading up to the Wedding, throughout the Vendor negotiations and hiring. Frankly, a really great Planner, with sound vendor connections, should be able to save you at the very least double the amount of money they charge you for their services.
2. Have a true understanding of how pricing works in the wedding world. On Something Borrowed Something Blue, I noticed a post that said, “In need of a Wedding Planner, only need them there 5 hours to do light setup and Ceremony Coordination. Will pay $150.” Of course, there were no comments or engagement on the post because, while the brides intentions may have been good, the pricing is just simply too low. The bride probably thought of a random number (that she thought she could afford) and threw it out there, but budget creation has to be more calculated if you want to truly stick to what you can afford. Otherwise, you'll end up spending too much on one thing, and not enough on another.
3. Compare Shopping can be key. 92% of wedding businesses in our country are considered small businesses. So, this means that a “regular” person, with bills to pay and deadlines to meet, is running their business. The vendor has put thought and care into their pricing, knowing that their time is valuable. Typically the pricing is within their market and comparable to their competition. The absolute best way to understand their value, is to compare shop with other vendors. Reach out to several vendors in the same area, with the same parameters and there you have the ability and tools you need to choose the right vendor. Keep in mind, it’s not just about price- before deciding the vendor ask a couple questions; Did they respond quickly? Do I like their work? Do they understand my Wedding style? How are their reviews?
So, don't be afraid to truly understand the market, immerse yourself with information and be open with your vendors on your intention of sticking to your well planned budget. Best yet, Call Jamison Events, we’d love to sit down with you to discuss how we can develop and help you stick to a reasonable Wedding Budget, that won’t break the bank or your Wedding Dreams.