Knock 20 People Off Of Your Guest List
Seriously, when you consider how much a wedding really costs, the number of guests directly impacts the bottom line. Depending on your food and beverage costs, you could be spending $150 per guest, easily.
Its actually easier than you think to cut your wedding guest list. These days, inviting people out of obligation is less of a priority. Couples are realizing it takes a lot for someone to earn a coveted spot on their invite list.
If you were to cut 20 people off your guest list, assuming a per person food and beverage cost of $150, youll save an instant $3,000 that can go toward your wedding planners fees.
In addition to food and beverage, there are other costs that depend on your guest count, such as favors, stationery, centerpieces and rentals . Assuming these extras cost about $45 per guest, by removing 20 guests you can save an additional $900 that can go toward your wedding planners fees.
Don’t Forget That They’re Business Professionals
Aside from peak wedding season, planners usually keep normal business hours, so don’t expect them to answer your texts at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday. Better yet, swap the texts for emails instead. “Texts get lost or missed, are easy to misconstrue, and are too casual for the planning process,” says Book. “We want to keep organized files and communication records, and there’s more space to explain a question or idea in an email.” If you’re going to call your planner, schedule a time instead of just picking up the phone. “If we have you on our schedule, we can make sure to be in the office with access to any files we might needwhich means the call will be much more productive,” Book adds.
Finally, know when the wedding season is. If it’s the end of June and your planner is totally booked for the next six weeks, avoid calling or texting over the weekends. Chances are, he or she is helping another couple down the aisle and will be giving them his or her full attentionthe same full attention you’ll want on your own wedding day.
What New Approaches Have You Incorporated Because Of Covid
Covid demanded that planners learn new skill sets, like an increased ability to pivot, having back up plans for their back up plan, and taking a more proactive role in guiding couples. Weve learned to encourage clients to book a multifaceted venue that offers several alternatives, like indoor and outdoor spaces with tenting options, so if we need to pivot at the last minutes, we dont need to find another space, said Guerdy Abraira, the owner of Guerdy Design in Miami and Brooklyn. In case we go back to size restrictions, invites to A-list guests are sent two months earlier so they can respond first, or we layer the invitation distribution process.
Ms. Abraira also encourages couples to use Paperless Post as a message board for guests to check weekly, daily or even hourly for updates. If the couple is having a destination that Ms. Abraira needs to fly to, she will secures a local backup team who will be available in person to execute her vision. I now have a Zoom back up for guests, or for me if travel restrictions make it impossible to be there, she said.
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Do I Need Specific Skills And Qualifications
There are no particular qualifications required to become a wedding planner – it’s much more important to gain experience. You won’t be hired to plan somebody’s wedding if you don’t have a history of successfully organising events.
You may be able to get some experience by planning your own wedding or those of friends and family. Another option is to search for local wedding planners and ask them for work experience or opportunities to shadow them.
While not essential, an academic background in hospitality and event management will help you develop the right skillset. Find out about event management courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. If you choose the university route, get involved in societies and clubs and be proactive in organising their events.
For specific tutoring in wedding planning, short and online courses are available through organisations such as:
If you intend to be self-employed, look for courses that include modules on setting up and running a business. Learn more about self-employment.
You’ll need to have these key skills if you want to be a successful wedding planner:
When To Hire A Wedding Planner: You Need Support
So youve heard maybe a horror story or two about wedding planning gone wrong, but you still arent really convinced that a planner is the right decision for you. Your worries and fears are totally valid. This is a process you have never gone through before. Its totally unknown and intimidating. You want it to go perfectly. What if having a wedding planner ruins your expectation of wedding planning!? Let me debunk for you a couple of the common misconceptions about hiring a wedding planner.
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What Is A Wedding Planner
A wedding planner is a professional service provider whose job it is to organize and execute all the details of a couples wedding. A wedding planner can be contracted at any stage in the wedding planning process to help to any degree the couple is willing to pay for. Wedding planning is similar to event planning in that a planning team handles the coordination of multiple wedding elements including catering, venue, guests, entertainment, decor, transportation and more. Anyone who has ever been involved in a wedding can confirm that wedding planning is hard work. Experience brings wisdom when it comes to avoiding or resolving day-of challenges. There is no legal regulatory body that oversees or certifies wedding planning as an industry. Anyone who chooses can call themselves a wedding planner. When looking for a wedding planner, be sure to read reviews, and make smart hiring decisions by asking about licenses and insurance.
Why Finding The Best Wedding Vendor Is Critical
For wedding planners like you, youll be heavily dependent on the wedding vendors. Theywill take care of the catering, wedding arrangements and mostly everythingrelated to the wedding while you manage the whole wedding. If youre to come upwith an exceptional wedding, you need skilled vendors to back you up!
In addition to that, professional wedding planners would give you superior services and meet with the high standards while keeping up with the budget. Theyll also tend to work with you long-term, and you can rely on their expertise for the event. Also, theyll know exactly when and how to get things done you dont have to worry much about their work.
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Do Make The Extra Investment
You might be tempted to go with a slightly less expensive option so that you can keep some extra money in your budget, but the planner whose rate is $2,000 more may actually save you money in the long run. “Planners with higher fees usually have fewer clients and more experience . They’ll help you spend smarter, and you’ll get so much more out of the process,” Book explains. “It’s like the 10% – 90% rule. Ten percent of your efforts will impact 90 percent of your gain.”
Although there are many benefits to relying on your stalwart wedding planner, the planner-couple relationship is still one that begets mutual respect and, yes, sometimes, boundaries. How do you know when “making the most of your planner” becomes “taking advantage”? Here are a few things Book advises clients not to do.
Make Sure You Feel Comfortable With Them
Your videographer is going to be with your and your fiancé for every step of the way throughout your big day, which is why its crucial that your energy and personalities are compatible. Are they likeable? Are they easy-going, yet professional? Do you feel comfortable around them? These are important things to note because every nuance of your big day will show up on film. You want to be able to be yourself on your wedding and have that shine through the camera lens.
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Where To Find A Wedding Planner
How do I go about finding a wedding planner?
Start with friends who have recently married — and were pleased with their weddings — for the names of their planners. If you’ve booked your reception site, ask your reception site manager for planner suggestions. A planner who knows your venue will have a better idea of lighting and electricity needs, sore spots that need to be covered, the best way to layout the room and any logistical or design details that may not be obvious. Also, use local wedding magazines, websites, and blogs, as well as city guides, to find the names of planners in your area.
It Depends On The Kind Of Wedding You Want Planned
A wedding day is a happy but also complicated day filled with many moving partsnot to mention the added pressure of having to be a perfect occasion. Weddings are also a big business. Not surprisingly, as in many industries, a whole profession of advisors exists, generically known as wedding planners. Though not newthe oldest planner trade organization dates back to the 1950sthese nuptial consultants are increasingly in demand as wedding celebrations grow ever more elaborate, involved, and individualized.
Heres what you need to know about how wedding planners work and if hiring one is worth it for your big day.
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How To Find The Perfect Wedding Planner: 5 Steps To Success
Choosing a wedding planner is a hard decision to make, and a very important one! Check out our advice on how to choose the best planner for you.
So, youve announced your engagement, and now its time to start planning the wedding, but where to begin? Youve opted to take advantage of the services that wedding planners can offer so that they can help you prepare the celebration youve always dreamed of, but how do you really know if a wedding planner is right for you? Today, well reveal to you the key questions that are absolutely essential to ask when meeting with a professional wedding planner for the first time.
Research Or Get Social
The next step for brides is to research wedding planners in their area. Local planners have better connections with wedding vendorsmaybe even existing relationshipsand can recommend venues based on price or preference. For out-of-town brides, a wedding planner who works in the chosen location is even more of an asset.
Brides with time constraints can turn to friends, relatives, or social media for recommendations on choosing the ideal wedding planner. With a few names to work with, the bride can then check out each planners portfolio and skill set.
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Curate Your Online Presence
In the multibillion-dollar wedding industry, theres ample opportunity for entrepreneurs, but the competition is stiff. To keep up or better yet, get ahead carefully curate and maintain your online presence.
Regularly update your website and social accounts to showcase your work. And while youre at it, make sure its easy for potential clients to find you. You can do that by:
- Using niche-specific hashtags on Instagram
- Making your website easy to find through organic search by using SEO best practices
- Ensuring your website is easy to navigate and has a clear contact me or book appointment button , so brides and grooms can easily schedule a consultation.
Youll also want to join sites like Wedding Wire or The Knot. You will likely have to pay for your listing, but it will put you in front of a wider audience of engaged couples actively looking for vendors in their area.
For Fab Invitations That Won’t Break The Bank: Minted
Minted works with indie artists and graphic designers to offer chic, ready-made invites, save-the-dates, ceremony programs, and escort cards. Templates can also be customizeddown to the card size and paper stock. On a tight budget? Print your suite at home or take the file to a local copy shop. Minted also offers a bespoke invitation design in case you don’t have an illustrator on speed dial but still want a hand-drawn map of Nantucket or a watercolor rendering of you and your fiancé.
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Make Your Costs Clear
Lets face it: Budget is a major factor in wedding decisions. Weddings are expensive, and most of your prospective clients will be budget-conscious. Be upfront with your costs early on, so clients know what to expect.
With Square Invoices, you can even send estimates, so potential clients know the value of what youre offering. You can also attach photos and contracts to your estimates for better, more organised record keeping.
If youre clear with your costs, youll attract the clients you want, and theyll appreciate your transparency.
A Wedding Planner Can Save You Money
A wedding planner can often neutralize their own cost just based on the savings they rack up for you throughout your planning process.
Wedding planners have connections, know the best deals and can identify when something is worth what it costs or if you should move on. They are budget ninjas in all things wedding related. They know how to negotiate with vendors when appropriate and get the best quality for the best price across the board. They also typically get trade discounts from companies they have good relationships with. Some planners will pass those discounts directly on to you for even more cost savings.
Keep in mind this added value of a wedding planner when youre considering whether or not you can afford one.
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Find Your Best Fit By Asking The Right Questions
The best way to know if youre booking the right service for your needs is to simply ask questions upfront!
Whether you are opting for a full planning service or an on-the-day coordinator, its important to ask the relevant questions so you know exactly what your package includes.
You should definitely ask about anything that might incur an additional cost. This usually relates to any tasks that are going to result in extra time, travel and resources for your wedding planner.
Site inspections and venue walk-throughs are a perfect example. If you have chosen a venue that is outside of your planners local area, it may mean an additional travel fee for site inspections.
The same rule applies to ceremony rehearsals the day before your wedding, or any suppliers that may need to start setting up a day prior . If you need your planner to be onsite for any additional days to meet with these suppliers, this could also mean an extra fee.
Before making a decision on either service, you should also ask for a consultation either in person or over the phone. An initial consultation is the best way to decide if your planner is going to be a good fit for you and your partner.
Youll also get a sense of how you connect on a personal level. Do they make you feel at ease and excited about your big day? Or does something feel off?