How my wedding planner saved me so much money that she paid for herself, and then some

Guest post by rosesinister
Photo of wedding planner Kelli Bielema from Shindig Events by Barbie Hull.
Photo of wedding planner Kelli Bielema from Shindig Events by Barbie Hull.

I am a very hands-on, creative, DIY, do my own research, make my own decisions kind of gal. I know what I want, I know what I'm looking for, and I know better than anybody else, dammit!

…Right?

Okay, so maybe not. See, we hired a wedding planner. It was one of the first things we did, because I know that I can get distracted, and I tend not to follow up on things. So I knew that if the wedding was to run at all smoothly, we'd be better off paying someone to take care of things like calling vendors, asking the questions I'd forget about, and wrangling me — keeping me to a schedule, etc.

My family lives out of state and isn't up for the task of helping me plan, and while I do have two amazing, type-A friends, I've seen them absolutely WRECK themselves at other friends' weddings, and I couldn't do that to them again. I also had a good idea of the value of a wedding planner. So hiring one was something I felt comfortable with.

Mind you, I thought that I would just be directing all my preferred vendors to my planner, and that they would then just coordinate meetings and stuff. I didn't expect my planner to actually make suggestions. In my mind, I wasn't paying her for her opinion — I just needed someone to keep me on track, not cramp my style. Are ya' feeling me? I'm a girl who knows what I want!

So I was a little peeved at first when my planner started suggesting alternate vendors…

  • “That caterer's cost is a little too high… how about these guys?”
  • “Have you looked into ______ photographer yet? They're really wonderful people to work with.”
  • “Have you thought about doing _________?”
  • “We have a resource for getting ___________.”

And on and on… I was getting irritated.

One day I had plans to meet with a caterer and a photographer and my planner tagged along, and brought with her a second photographer for us to meet with. The moment the amazing, wedding planner-picked husband and wife photography team commented on my TARDIS-blue nail polish, I was sold — SOLD, I tell you — on a photographer that I would never known about if it wasn't for my planner.

The best part? The photographers are Eight. Hundred. Dollars. Less. than the not-too-pricy photographer I was dead-set on. $800 is no small amount of dough.

Holy cow, did my wedding coordinator just save me $2,550? Yes, yes she did.

Then my planner convinced me to talk to a different caterer. The first caterer I picked had a quote of $37.50 per person (alcohol not included, that was another $35 per person). I thought that was fair…

The second caterer? Can I tell you how much I love this woman? We had a tasting with her. She is SUPER AMAZING! And because she isn't as “established” as my first choice, guess what? She's totally cheaper. $1750 cheaper.

Holy cow, did my wedding coordinator just save me $2,550? Yes, yes she did.

We are not even paying our coordinator $2000. So, at this point, getting a coordinator has saved our budget $1500. Our coordinator has wholesale contacts that will save us money on decor. Our coordinator has a florist contact who is amazing and will save us money on flowers.

I am saving THOUSANDS of dollars by hiring planners — we were shooting for $20,000, now it looks like we will be spending something like $16,000. I know there are a lot of complaints about coordinators not even looking at couples with a budget of less than $40,000. Believe me, I dealt with my fair share of those people looking for our coordinators.

But, the wedding industry is constantly changing, and more and more people are realizing that there is a niche market for lower-budget brides who need coordination help. If you can find one of those kinds of vendors, JUMP on them — they will save you money.

You can find a great wedding planner in your area by checking the Offbeat Bride Vendor Guide!

Meet your new BFF wedding vendor

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Comments on How my wedding planner saved me so much money that she paid for herself, and then some

  1. AHHHmazing article! We love our brides and tell them the same thing at their first meeting- we will save you money, AND get you some amazing vendors. I was so happy to find this article. Thank you so much for sharing!!!! 🙂

  2. Love love love all of this information in this article! I am so passionate about wedding and event planning that I do it for free for my family, friends, and co-workers! 🙂 Go gettem girls!

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