The number one thing married acquaintances say upon learning what I do is, "I wish I had a planner when I got married. I was so stressed."
What's the biggest cause of stress when planning a wedding? The budget.
How much money is there anyway?
From whom? To spend on what? It costs WHAT?!
Every Last Detail shared an awesome infographic:
infographic design by PostFilm Design, via Every Last Detail
(Keep in mind those figures are based on a wedding of about 143 guests in the USA, but they're not entirely out of whack with Canadian averages.)
Every couple will have different priorities - and varying number of guests - and this will skew the wedding budget significantly. For example, maybe your vineyard venue and their 5-star chef is eating up the budget. Or the guest list has quadrupled and the cost of a sit-down meal versus a cocktail reception is starting to seem overwhelming. Don't give up and elope just yet.
While we often seem like magical fairy godmothers, we are not. Not exactly.
Your planner will deliver the hard truth occasionally. (I may have referred to myself as "Dream Crusher" once or twice.)
It's our job to say so if your budget and your ideal wedding are unrealistic, or when a do-it-yourself project is better left to a trained professional. Never fear, after we've gently burst your bubble, we'll will provide solutions.
A planner will present you with options to allocate your funds wisely, navigate your priorities and help you decide where best to compromise or find savings and alternatives. They will also bring to light expenses you, or that pretty budget spreadsheet you found on Pinterest, have overlooked.
In planning my own wedding, my must-have "costly" items (besides the obvious, dinner for 160) were photography and cinematography. Being such a sentimental sap, I felt that the photos and video are all we would have left after the big day so I was looking for vendors in this category that I absolutely loved and trusted. I also feel you get what you pay for. This is certainly an investment category, not my first recommendation to look for extreme savings. Once photo and video were checked off the list, I was looking for a few opportunities to balance the budget. In our case we opted to serve our wedding cake for dessert instead of later on. Realizing what fabulous memories we'll have with the photo and video, I decided a photo booth would be overkill and slashed it from the wish list. More savings!
There are planners and packages to suit every price-point so don't assume they're only for weddings with 6-figure budgets. Don't sweat the money, get help. Most importantly, keep your eye on the prize: marrying the love of your life.