Let’s Talk Weddings –how to differentiate between Wedding Planning Services…
Before I even start, I would like to highlight that not every wedding planner does the same job or offer the same service, so please be aware.
A wedding planner is someone that helps couples to plan and organized all the aspects that take place during their wedding day. It is a professional, experienced individual who does this activity as a full-time job for a fee, and has the know-how to understand the elements and dynamics of the wedding industry because they are part of it. This know-how, allows them to offer the best possible advice to their clients and it is crucial when helping them to take decisions about their wedding or sorting out issues if they arise.
Thus, we can differentiate between a professional with knowledge, skills, relationships and experience from anyone else who claims to be a wedding planner but does it occasionally, perhaps as a part time job, knows little about the industry or anyone who works within it, offers limited skills to do anything original and lacks experience outside of their comfort zone.
Frequently these wedding planners, offer their services for a fraction of an industry standard fee. Such ridiculous fees only make sense on these scenarios. A) This individual either has no clue and needs to learn from mistakes (happening at your wedding) so they charge little. B) this individual needs to do so many weddings a year to add up to a living salary, that has a limited time to dedicate to each wedding. C) This individual gets paid indirectly through commissions that you pay when contracting services (without disclosing this to you!)
Often these wedding planners offer you their planning services free of charge, but their real job is actually a venue manager, a caterer, a photographer or wedding celebrant, just to mention some examples. C) stills applies here and they will be taking back handers!
If you think you are getting a great deal, having someone plan your wedding for almost nothing or free of charge, but they are not a professional wedding planner, please think again and consider what someone with unbiased knowledge could do for you!
If you still don’t see it, it is like when you are building a house, instead of contracting a professional architect to advise on the build, letting the person that sells you the central heating to do it instead!
Moving on, wedding planners are therefore professionals and they have knowledge. So let’s summarize what kind of knowledge am I refering to.
Professional Wedding Planners know venues, catering companies, photographers, musician, furniture contractors, lighting specialists … and every other professional that make weddings a great event.
And this knowledge is built not found on google, but through face to face relationships, based on experiences from previous weddings, on connections with other wedding professionals. A full-time wedding planner makes an effort to meet other professionals in the industry, so she/ he can gain knowledge that benefits their clients. This knowledge affects directly the quality of the wedding itself, so it is very important to add time and effort to it. And it is not a part time job.
In addition to quality, it also affects budget. Knowing who is who in this industry allows weddings planners to differentiate between services that to the untrained eyes seems similar, but in reality, they are not.
Wedding planners have skills and experience to plan and coordinate.
We already have explained how important knowledge is, however without skills to apply it, it is somehow useless.
How can a wedding planner, helps their client to work out the weddings elements when from the beginning, the creation of an idea, their already lack the skills to apply that knowledge. How can she implement those plans without the skilled hand to create or to visualize the elements of the plan?
Experience is another tricky one. Skills without experience, is a long shot that might work but might as well not work, and let’s be honest how many weddings are you going to have in your life.
Weddings are usually stressful environments to work at. Everyone knows that. You’ve got a dozen professionals trying to carry out their job, with a space and time limitation, maintain a high pace during lots of hours and their absolute conviction that their job is the most important one. You’ve got also unpredictable elements, such as wind, rain, or heat. Or much more predictable such as delays, drunk people, or uncontrolled emotions, …
In this environment experience is essential, otherwise your wedding planner will be part of the chaos, instead of the coordinator. A wedding planner is a manager that enables people to work together for the best outcome, not someone who affects the overall mood of the wedding with authority and stress.
If you are unsure whether your wedding planner has experience or not, compare their rates with other wedding planning professionals. The less they charge, it is likely the less experience they have. Let’s be honest a pair of cheap shoes hurt your feet. A bad wedding planner could ruin your wedding day!
In experienced wedding planners charge little money in order to gain weddings, and subsequently, experience. They do everything for a single fee, including aspects that do not have much to do with your wedding day.
They can’t charge normal fees because they are not consolidated wedding planner yet. Experienced wedding planners charge more or less the same. They know how many hours wedding planning involves, and they are serious professionals who are passionate about their jobs.
So now you know why there is such different range of prices for wedding planning services, fooling yourself is no longer an option.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!