Monday, March 22, 2010

The Half

So last week I mentioned that I was featured on the Budget Bride blog for 5280 magazine. She asked me to write a post and I did, I really did and it was super long. She obviously couldn't use it all, so I wanted to post it here. Happy Reading!

I once heard that the two biggest purchases you make in life are a house and a car. A close third is your wedding. Usually when you are buying a house, you enlist the help of a real estate agent to help you find your house and guide you through the process of buying, which can be very confusing to the typical buyer. When you buy a car, you speak with a sales representative. They are to give you details regarding the car, as well as other cars, and they help you put together a deal. When you are doing either of these for the first time, there is a lot you may not know or understand and you are spending a good chunk of change – so it can be very over- whelming, so you hire someone to walk you through it (not for the car, just the house J).

Now, let’s put this perspective of your wedding day. Your wedding day will probably be the biggest party you will every throw. There are so many particulars that need to be taken care of. If you haven’t done it (or even if you have), there are details and questions you may not know the answer to or even know where to start looking. You are spending quite a bit of money, why would you risk not having a professional help you through the process? You wouldn’t do it with a house or car, why do it with your wedding day? A planner will be able to help you through the planning process and answer questions that will, undoubtedly, come up along the way.

Wedding planners usually charge a flat fee for their packages and they will offer a few different levels of service. You need to determine what you need in a planner – a full package, partial and day of. The full package encompasses the whole planning process from start to finish, the partial usually comes in in the middle of planning, and the day of (should really be last-2-months-before-you-get-married package) helps to tie up loose ends.

The fee for each package will be determined by what level of service you are looking for. Each planner will charge a different rate – some high, some middle and some low. So how do you pick?

There are three reasons why wedding planners charge what they do. Here they are:

Expertise and Experience
A wedding planner is an expert in weddings. She has done more weddings than the bride and groom have, hopefully, and she knows the ins and outs of planning one. It takes a lot of time to plan a wedding (some estimates are 250 hours), and if you have a full time job on top of that, you will be running around like crazy. This is her job – to plan your wedding and help you in any way possible. She can assist you with your budget and tell you where you need to cut things. She is up to date on costs/going rates and can tell if you if you may be overpaying a vendor. She can help your narrow down the style you want for your wedding; she sees the whole picture. She will be able to make sure the planning process is smooth and stress free. Your planner is there for YOU. She does not have allegiance to anyone except for the bride and groom – she are always on your side. Finally, she has connections with awesome vendors. She is able to help you weed through all of the vendors out there and tell you the ones that will match your style best (and your budget). She will save you time (and time is money right?) by doing all the research for you and presenting you with the best options.

Reason 2 and 3 coming later this week...

Picture provided by Dana Romanoff