The first step in the planning process of a wedding or big event is figuring out the budget. From there, it’s about setting priorities and finding ways to bring all of the elements you want to create your vision within your budget. More and more couples that come to work with me are paying for at least part, if not all of their wedding, so keeping a tight rein on the budget is very important.
It’s often tempting to do this by becoming a DIY (do it yourself) bride or asking friends and family to help out. While this is a great idea in theory, I urge caution when moving forward with this idea. It may sound like a nice idea to have your friend who just bought a really nice camera take all of your pictures, but if you have been visualizing your photos you need to know that the caliber will not be the same with a “friendor” as it will with a real wedding vendor. However, if you really are OK with snap shot style photography then this might be an area you could cut back. Keep in mind that even though someone might have equipment, this doesn’t mean they know how to take pictures from the most flattering angles, using lighting correctly or how to do so without being intrusive.
When you hire a pro, you also have the contract which ensures they will deliver what you are paying them for. I recently had a wedding where the bride was working with a lot of friends and family to help out with different elements, a few of them backed out at the last-minute (including the friend that was going to make the cake! Backed out three days before!). This is an unknown, and nobody thinks it will happen to them but I’ve seen it all. It’s just another thing to keep in mind when setting those priorities.
It all comes down to priorities. DIY may save you money (and I say MAY because this is not always the case. Just ask the bride who had to buy DIY invitations three times over because she didn’t print them correctly or realized a spelling mistake or didn’t like the font!) but the offset is that it will take a lot of time and probably cause you stress. I usually recommend to my couples that they really think hard what is most important to them. Are gorgeous fragrant flowers the element you have always held important, but maybe cake is not as important to you? Or maybe having your day photographed perfectly is a top priority but that limo isn’t really a necessity. Is a live band what you’ve always dreamed of? If so then an “i-pod wedding” might not be your ideal.
The photos from the wedding below illustrate such a point. This chocolate loving couple was all about the cake, but flowers from the local farmers market were just fine for the centerpieces.
Because I am a wedding planner, I have an obvious biased towards the importance of hiring one. But I also want you to consider this. Hiring a professional to help you with your planning should not ultimately ad money to your budget. I work with wedding pros in all budgets, many of whom will give my couples a discount or added value so my fee is absorbed that way. It also saves you time and stress. This is one area where you don’t want a “newbie” or a friend to help you out. They don’t have the experience and professional contacts to do this for you.
And your budget doesn’t have to be big to work with Memorable Events. I have worked with couples with budgets of a few thousand to tens of thousands and all were equally happy. It’s just a matter of working with the budget you have and deciding where it is best spent.