The cost of today’s average wedding has gotten so high, you might
think that the application of the word “budget” doesn’t apply.
Of course you’d be wrong.
Whether you’re spending $3,000 (far below average, even in the
least expensive areas of the U.S., but I know several people
who’ve done it quite successfully) or you’re spending $30,000
(only a bit about the average cost of a wedding today, so average
means plenty of people spend more), you still need a budget.
A budget isn’t necessarily an attempt to spend less. It’s a plan
for where you’ll spend the money you do spend, regardless of the
I hope you’re among the lucky few who can afford to spare no
expense when planning the wedding of your dreams. On the other
hand, I know some fairly wealthy people, and I don’t know anyone
who didn’t angst to a certain extent over the cost of their
Most people simply can’t afford or just would rather not to empty
their savings and run up their credit for their wedding.
Weddings have this somewhat scary habit of being rapidly followed
by even MORE expensive things to spend your hard-earned money on,
more permanent things, like buying a house and having a baby (or
Trickier still is the fact that many brides (the traditional
planners of weddings) are marrying a bit later in life, when
they’re well ensconced in a career and don’t have their weekdays
free for interviewing wedding vendors and sampling cake.
Do Wedding Planners Cost or Save?
Of course professional wedding planners have to be paid, so in
that way they obviously cost you. However an argument can be
made (and is made, both by wedding planners themselves and by
brides who’ve been happy with their professional planners) that
having a professional wedding planner can save you money in other
areas. An experienced wedding planner is involved in several
weddings each year. This means that they’ll have ongoing
relationships with certain wedding vendors, and it behooves those
vendors to cut the wedding planner a break on prices, so that
she’ll continue to use their services at all of the weddings
she’s involved with.
Not that it affects your budget, but it also behooves wedding
vendors to keep wedding planners happy with the service the
vendor provides. As an individual, you’re not likely to see
these vendors again after you finish your wedding (at least not
for a good long while, preferably not ever). A wedding planner,
on the other hand, will see these vendors again and again; she’s
a repeat customer for them.
Vendors will, of course, value a repeat customer more than a one
-time customer. They will convey this value with financial breaks
and extra-good service. If push comes to shove, they may convey
it by giving a wedding planner something (such as service on a
popular date or that includes a hand-to-find item) that they have
to take away from an individual bride. I know a bride who was
promised a wedding venue for a specific date and then a week
later the venue canceled on her, because they had a “repeat
customer” who wanted that date and was willing to pay extra. My
friend was not given the opportunity to pay extra or to outbid
the repeat customer. She just lost the date.