I recently participated in a Wedding Expo and I found a lot of Brides asking me how, exactly, could I save them money? And it’s a valid question. I mean logically it doesn’t make much sense as the costs to hire one is just adding to the budget. Wedding Planners are considered a “luxury” or an “unnecessary” cost and for some weddings – I would agree with that. However, I believe that the majority of weddings do actually need a Wedding Planner for several reasons (which I have a couple of blog posts about and here’s also a post by Business Insider if you’re interested) but one of the big reasons is cost saving. Speaking from experience, I didn’t have a Wedding Planner at my wedding and that’s one thing I regret not spending money on – and I’m a DAMN good planner so for me to say something like that has some weight… let me explain.
In the columns below, I’m going to give a side by side comparison cost analysis of without and with a planner for 3 categories. This will be based on a real wedding enquiry I have and for privacy reasons, I will change the Brides’ name to Rochelle.
| DISCLAIMER |
Every wedding is different so yours may not fit exactly like this. I’m using Rochelle’s as an example of how I could save her money knowing what she’s looking at hiring for vendors and what she wants to have at her wedding.
Without a Planner
VENUE – Ceremony and Reception – $180pp
Looking at a beautiful Hotel on the coast that overlooks the water. Very convenient as the Venue has everything including;
- 1 hour of ceremony time
- 5 hours of reception time
- 1/2 hour of canapes and pre dinner drinks
- Your choice of a 3 course meal served alternatively
- 5 hour wine and beer package including tea and coffee
- Cake cutting
- 40 white garden chairs
- White skirted signing table
- Red carpet runner
- Fairy Lights package – bridal table, cake table and draping behind bridal table.
- Reception floral centerpieces for each table
- Reception chairs including your choice of sashes and chair cover
- White pressed table linen with white linen napkins
- Crockery, cutlery, glassware
- A personalised on the day wedding coordinator
- One night complimentary stay at the Hotel for the Bride and Groom
With a Planner
VENUE – Ceremony and Reception – $128pp
After speaking to Rochelle, I noticed that she liked a relaxed, lively, family vibe with lots of chilling and dancing. She wanted it to be a simple, earthy and rustic, on trend, elegant and beautiful. The Venue she wanted didn’t supply that vibe or style she was looking for.
So I can get her a beautiful private estate for these following inclusions;
- Unlimited use of the whole estate from 10am Saturday till 12pm Sunday the next day
- Venue hire for a 5 acre estate
- Complimentary parking for up to 80 cars
- 3 course alternate meal including bread rolls and french butter
- Cake cutting
- A dedicated wedding planner and coordinator for your whole wedding process
- One night complimentary stay on the estate for the Bride and Groom
- Beverage package – it’s a private event so you can buy wholesale alcohol and serve it which I’ve estimated and included in the price above
Saves you $52pp with an extensive amount of extra time to celebrate your wedding affair, a fully dedicated wedding planner for your whole process. Estimated at 100 guests – you’ll be SAVING $5,200. You do loose out on canapes and the venue’s decorations but you’ll have plenty of money left over to style it yourself or to even hire a stylist.
PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER – $5650
Mid range wedding photographer and videographer from the same company to save on costs and efficiency.
- Pre & Post wedding consult
- 10 hours of full coverage
- 2 photographers
- 1 videographer
- 1x 3-5 min wedding highlight trailer – digital only
- 800+ photos of your day
- 2 complimentary a3 prints of your favourite wedding photos
- Wedding album download with no watermarks
PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER – $5,000
I firmly believe in hiring a high end photographer as their photos last a LIFETIME and the better the photographer – the better your poses are, the more natural you look and the more fun you have! On a day that is go go go – you want someone who supports you every step of the way and trust me when I say, your photographer NEVER leaves you the whole day. Rochelle didn’t want a videographer. She only wanted a cute video she could share with her grandparents who aren’t able to come to the wedding. So with Rochelle’s needs – this quote is based on a high quality Photographer and a low end Videographer from two different companies.
- Pre & Post wedding consult
- 10 hours of full coverage
- Bespoke hardwood delivery and keepsake box
- Vera Wang or Royal Doulton Framed Print
- Secure online gallery & social portal
- $400 album credit
- Full editing and colour grading
- 5-20 min highlight reel
- 30-60 min full ceremony and speeches cut
- 20-60 seconds for social media
- One Photographer and Two Cinematographers
Saves you $650 with more video content, higher photo quality, one extra videographer but you don’t have a second photographer.
HIRE ITEMS / STYLIST – $920
This category is more complicated as there’s lots of details and factors that need to go into this. So for this exercise we will just do the table. Rochelle wants grey plates with gold cutlery and blush pink napkins. Let’s say she sources these things herself and doesn’t hire a stylist. All these estimates are for 100 guests.
- Matte Grey Plates – $1.50 each – $150
- Gold Cutlery – 16 pcs set $25 each – $625
- Pink Napkins – $1.45 each – $145
You may have to pay extra for the venue to wash the plates and cutlery or you may have to take it home and do it yourself. Additionally, with gold cutlery you’ll need to wash it straight away and not soak it otherwise the gold will fade faster. And who wants their mothers, fathers, family, friends ect… to be cleaning cutlery on the wedding day.
HIRE ITEMS / STYLIST – $500
If you hire a stylist or a planner with this stuff, some will provide it absolutely free because they already have it and you’ll just need to pay for the cleaning costs and their service. Usually theirs is better quality as well so they look better and add to the wedding experience.
- Matte Grey Plates – $0.50 each – $50
- Gold Cutlery – $4 a set – $400
- Pink Napkins – $0.50 each – $50
Saves you $420 and you’ll get a Stylist or Planner on board as well to help you make your wedding aesthetic beautiful!
So just using these 3 as an example (We’d be here till next Tuesday if I kept going and I don’t want to give away all my secrets hehe 😉 ) I calculated our totals. And if my fee is 10% of the wedding budget (as an example – this is not the case for every wedding)… here are the wedding totals estimated at 100 guests.
Shocking huh?! Now if that’s only for 3 categories of things… imagine the savings for your whole wedding…
WITHOUT A PLANNER
Venue – $180pp = $18,000
Photographer and Videographer – $5,650
Hire Items/Stylist – $920
TOTAL = $24,570
WITH A PLANNER
Venue – $128pp = $12,800
Photographer and Videographer – $5,000
Hire Items/Stylist – $500
Wedding Planner – $1830
TOTAL = $20, 130 saves you $4,440