At first, hiring a wedding planner might feel "luxurious”, "unnecessary" or "costly". But what couples don't realize is that there are hidden costs and complications at every turn during the wedding planning process - and a planner can actually help you save money in the long run if you hire a planner early in the process. Many couples skip on hiring a wedding planner in the beginning at an attempt to save money, but ultimately end up hiring a planner around the 6 - 3 month mark when things get crazy and the wedding tasks pile up.
Sure, wedding planners aren't free, but let me let you in on a BIG little secret….
Hiring a wedding planner 2 years or 1 year out when you first get engaged will cost you the same, if not less, as 6 months out or 3 months out. Don't leave that help, that guidance, that support on the table by waiting to book a planner.
If you feel like you can’t afford “wedding planning” assistance, we encourage you to to keep reading and learn more about why a wedding planner can be one of the best investments you can make in your wedding planning process.
In order to save your money, your planner should...
Provide Custom and Realistic Budget Planning
You might have a dollar amount in mind for your wedding, but do you know how you will allocate that money to all the things you’ll need for your wedding? Generic budget templates online on The Knot or WeddingWire do not reflect your priorities or the local market you are getting married in. Basically… they are useless. It is really important to have a custom financial roadmap that lays out the steps of how you are going to build your wedding team and wedding design.
As planners, we sit down with every couple to learn about what is and is not important to them so we can lay out a detailed budget that is realistic to the local market and accomplishes their goals within the numbers they’re comfortable with. This helps couples save money, because with a financial roadmap, you know how much your vision will realistically cost before you spend too much on one vendor. Our custom budget tracker also helps couples keep track and plan for all the big ticket items, as well as the smaller costs couples often forget about.
Advise On Venue Options
When it comes to venues, each one comes with different amenities, terms, conditions, and pricing. One venue that is priced lower might actually cost you more in the long run, depending on its inclusions or limitations.
It is damn near impossible to compare apples to apples and I cannot tell you how many times couples have come to us realizing that their first decision is so unaligned with their budget that they feel like sticking to their budget is a lost cause.
One service we offer is our Venue Hunt service, where we curate a list of potential venues suited to your needs and help point out hidden costs, potential issues, and potential benefits you didn’t think to look for. Your venue choice impacts every other decision, we want to make sure it's the right one for you.
We not only have been to hundreds of venues in the PNW, but we have an entire directory and notes from experience. Our Venue Hunt service we provide starts with your budget and ends with your budget. With our Venue Hunt Add-On or Standalone Venue Hunt Consultation, we create your budget and recommend venues from there, as well as discuss all of the budget implications that come with your top choices. (i.e. additional rentals you’ll need, extra service that might be required, suggested timelines to fit your venue rental, etc).
So when you finally say “yes” to your venue, you are doing so with your eyes wide open and with the confidence that comes with knowing it is setting you up with budget success.
Curate Budget-Appropriate Vendor Recommendations
A wedding planner can help direct you to the best and budget-appropriate vendors, as well as provide advice on which vendors you can save on vs which ones are worth spending money on based on your priorities.
With our couples, we always follow up our budget services with vendor recommendations with all of our wedding planning packages. We work with a variety of vendors, and whenever we have a positive experience with them, we add them to our vendor directory. Our team also has a Vendor Liaison, who helps find and learn more about vendors our couples’ are looking for - with rising costs, we’re always on the lookout for vendors at different price points.
We ONLY recommend vendors because we know they are a great fit for you, style wise, personality wise, and budget wise - we have zero financial skin in the game when it comes to vendor recommendations because we receive Zero kickbacks or referral fees. Something that you should take into consideration when looking for a wedding planner!
Prevent Costly Mistakes and Overspending
Wedding planners have experience and know what works and what doesn’t. We know where to cut corners without sacrificing quality, and we can offer suggestions throughout the planning process for ways to save money without compromising your vision for your wedding day. I started YPB in 2008 during the Great Recession, so we know how to stretch a budget better than anyone!
We can help you avoid costly mistakes that you may not even realize you’re making. For example, a DJ’s package might seem affordable, but they may not include key services that make the difference in your wedding day. A bartender might have a cheap hourly rate, but may not provide all the rental equipment needed for a functional bar.
We offer to read through your vendor contracts before you book with them to catch things before you’re committed to them to avoid costly mistakes. We always encourage our couples to run their ideas through us - not to put a roadblock in your process, but to keep you from overspending on things you don’t need. We are your partner in crime and your main sanity checker. We are the first one to say "not necessary" to help prevent that overspending.
Share Exclusive Discounts to local vendors
An experienced and well-respected planner should be able to offer you exclusive discounts - but not every planner can offer this. We believe full heartedly in creating and fostering genuine partnerships with our vendor friends in the industry, and because of that, many vendors extend exclusive discounts to our couples.
Many vendor partners extend 5% - 20% discounts on services to our couples, all because they’re working with a trusted and experienced planner. Again, we extend this discount directly to our couples, and don’t accept any kickbacks.
Beyond cost savings there are some other very valuable benefits to having a wedding planner by your side during the process and on the wedding day. We could tell you all about it, but we always feel like it’s better told from our past couples:
If you’re looking to have the wedding of your dreams while also staying within budget, hiring a trusted planner is truly one of the best investments you can make. Wedding planning services vary in pricing and services - download our guide, “Questions To Ask Your Planner Before You Book” to ensure you’re hiring a planner that can save you money, along with other benefits, or schedule a consultation with us and ask us anything!
Your Perfect Bridesmaid, or YPB Weddings, is a team of wedding planners based in Portland and Seattle that specializes in personal events and a tailored planning process. Learn more about us and our services.