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What is the real difference between Wedding Planners? This is the question I wish more couples considered asking. Asking about the difference between wedding planners is probably the most critical question a couple can ask. I’m all for making sure time is not wasted and the last thing my team and I would ever want to do is waste your time or money. Weddings take time and if you are not careful, you can find yourself hiring the wrong wedding professional and starting from scratch. Here are some important reasons why asking about the difference between wedding planners is key.

What Is the Difference Between Wedding Planners?

Not all Wedding Planner have the ability to plan a wedding for every couple

Weddings are planned and produce in various fashions. Believe it or not, not ever single wedding planner can plan all types of weddings. More so, not every wedding planner wants to. The wedding world is big and when you blend in cultural weddings, it’s even bigger. That said, offering wedding planning services means understanding each unique couple and what it is they want to experience at their wedding and leading up to it.

Furthermore, many clients today are not just focused on lavish looking weddings. I’ve sat through weddings that were solely designed to show off on Instagram. Imagine looking at your favorite dish. You go to taste it and it’s bland. Dry. Unsatisfying. That’s how a wedding that lacks experience really is.

We want to tap into the sensory neurons because it’s never just about what your wedding looks like nor how much you spent. A well planned wedding touches on unique moments that are shared not only between the couple and their guests, but also between each guest. Weddings have to exceed what you are accustomed to.

Can Wedding Planners Work With Any Budget?

Short and honest answer is no. Many of our couples contact us without having a wedding budget. It’s understandable because they are unfamiliar with what things costs. A good wedding planner will guide the couple into understanding what a wedding budget consists of. To do this requires a planner to look at the trends between their previous clients. If the majority of a planner’s clients had a wedding budget of $100K or even $300K and a couple with $50K approaches them, it’s not as easy as you think. A wedding planner has the experience working at a certain budget level and you want to find someone based on your budget.

I would say both sides do more harm by trying to force working work with a budget they have limited experience with. Many couples will ask well why it is so difficult. A reputable question to ask so let’s answer it using a car as an example. I’m a car maker and I’ve built 5,000 cars. The cost of building each car is $65,000. A friend ask if I could make him a car, but for $25,000. While I am certain that I can do it, it will take time to first figure out how to do it. What parts I can use that fits within that budget? Using the same parts for the $65,000 car is impossible.

There may be some errors along the way. Maybe I think a part would work and once I add it to the car I realize it doesn’t. That’s still a cost and out of whose pocket? You see where this is going?Weddings should not be a trial and error test of time nor money. When you approach a wedding planner at a certain level to work with you, it’s best to ensure they are working from a place they are comfortable at.

BONUS: Wedding Consulting

If you need help identifying a budget, you would do yourself a huge favor by hiring a wedding planner as a consultant. Figure out what your threshold is. Meaning what amount you do not want to exceed. Also no Wedding Planner can give you an exact amount your wedding will cost. We can only give you ranges as prices have so many variables.

Do All Wedding Planners Have the Same Duties and Responsibilities?

Many couples come to the table with the belief that because our title is Wedding Planner, we can do everything expected of us. The reality is, not all Wedding Planners can design the look of your wedding. Many outsource the design responsibilities via a third party. Other Wedding Planners are great at the design side and not logistics at all. Not to mention not all Wedding Planners offer full service wedding planning either. This would mean you want them to do everything your wedding needs to be successful and such services warrant in many cases a higher investment.  

From wedding design, guests relations, budget management, vendor relations, logistics, venue finding, and much more are duties that each have a price attached to it. My company likes to take a more top heavy approach where we provide our clients with all of these and shy away from traditional packages. Everything is custom because every wedding is different requiring different services.

Couples Should Look Deeper Into The Difference Between Wedding Planners

When we have a discovery call, I tend to veer away from listing all the bells and whistle that someone else has probably told them. I focus the first part of the conversation on who the couple actually is. Relationships are important to me and if I don’t feel a connection, there is no reason for us to work together. We have never been in business solely to make money.

I also want to make sure the couple gets an idea of who I am as a person and who my team is before talking about what we do as Wedding Planners. Doing this builds trust, gives couples an idea of what the relationship will look like over the next few months.

I have experienced many couples who don’t take the time during discovery calls to understand the personality and are only focused on capabilities. Booking someone solely believing they are capable and realize you hate their attitude and demeanor after the contract is signed is tragic?

It’s key to look beyond the price of a planner. Yes that is important, but if your goal is to simply hire the person with the lowest fee, you are doing a disservice to yourself and guests. 

Having a Wedding Planner that you can trust means:

  1. Saving money because they are offering you the best vendors for your wedding at a discounted rate
  2. Saving time by hiring someone with experience based on the needs of your wedding
  3. Not being a part of the “weddings are stressful” group
  4. Having someone deliver a high quality experience you’ll never forget

What is The Expected Wedding Planning Fee?

Wedding fees vary and takes into consideration the work a company will do for each couple. We do not believe in flat rates or even dedicated package prices. If we had to pick something, a percentage (15-18%) of a wedding budget would better align with our fee. While this percentage may appear high for some couples, it’s key to take into consideration the industry discounts and savings that you normally would not get in planning on your own. We also come with years of experience where our couples with busy schedules simply can’t allocate more hours to their day for planning.

Equally important, weddings take between 300 to 400 hours to plan. In some cases for luxury weddings we spend 500+ hours in planning and production.

I would ring the alarm if you find a Wedding Planner that seems like you are getting a bargain. In many cases you will never come out as the winner. If I hired a Wedding Planner at a rate of $3000 for a wedding knowing it takes roughly 300 hours, that’s $10 an hour. Doesn’t include their team. Are you willing to trust your wedding under these conditions?

In Conclusion

Wedding planning is never as easy as it is portrayed on TV. The difference between Wedding Planners are many. As the couple, it is wise to dig deep and ask the hard questions. You owe it to yourself to hire the right person that is going to handle your wedding with the care that it deserves. With this in mind, ask for discovery calls. Ask for references and speak to past couples about how they felt. Talk about things outside of what’s on paper. Build the connection with your planner the same way you would with a new friend. Don’t always count on the same planner your friend used to be the best option for you.

Need a Wedding Planner you’ll love? Contact us for our wedding planning process.