No bride wants to add an additional expense to her wedding budget – especially during these tough economic times. She already has to pay for the venue, cake, photographer, decorations and a host of other things, so paying someone to help her organize is the last thing on her mind.
But is hiring a professional wedding planner really an additional expense or is it a necessary investment to be made to keep your sanity?
Doing everything yourself
Working as a wedding photographer in Medellin, I have met several types of brides over the past years. Some brides who were chaotic and completely disorganized and others who are so organized they should have a Masters degree in event planning.
As was the case with Melissa, a bride I recently photographed who managed every detail of her wedding day from a multipage Excel spreadsheet.
Melissa planned her entire wedding with her mother and she says that it was only possible because she was a university student and had a lot of free time, otherwise it would have been impossible.
She met with 15 photographers and 8 wedding planners, visited 5 possible locations, and 8 wedding dress stores where she tried on about 40 dresses. She considers herself lucky for having a lot of free time.
Is it really expensive to hire a wedding planner in Medellin?
Wedding Planners Can Actually Save You Money
Hiring a wedding planner is sort of like hiring a really good accountant to do your taxes at the end of the year. Sure the accountant will charge you to prepare the books, but in the end he/she can save you a lot of money, time and stress.
Although it might seem counterintuitive for a bride to hire a professional wedding planner when she is trying to save money, the wedding planner might actually end up saving her money over all or being a wash.
Many wedding planners have relationships and resources that the average bride doesn’t have. They receive discounts and preferential treatment from providers for being regular/repeat customers.
Not only do they get better prices and treatment, but they have also worked with several suppliers over time and they know which ones deliver the best service and just as importantly – which ones deliver on time.
Wedding Planners Can Save You Time
Catalina Alvarez, the owner of Novia Mia Eventos and one of the top wedding planners in Medellin says that she saves brides much more money than they might think.
She says that for most people time equals money. So although a bride might only calculate the amount they saved on decorations, the wedding dress and other services, she actually saves them a lot more money in terms of time.
The average bride spends about 100-150 hours in a year planning out her big day. Catalina says that by meeting with the couple to figure out exactly what they want, she can help them to make key decisions that would regularly take them months to make on their own.
For example, she can immediately give her top three recommendations for a venue based on the bride’s budget, preferences and wedding date.
Giving up the control – A common misunderstanding
Many brides resist hiring a wedding planner because they don’t want to lose control of their BIG DAY.
They want to be involved in every step of the process and they don’t want decisions being made by someone else without their approval.
Catalina says, “This is a common misunderstanding – A good wedding planner isn’t there to take control over the wedding plans. On the contrary, the wedding planner is there to work with the bride to make the planning and execution process as stress free and fun as possible for her.”
She also says that a wedding planner doesn’t have to handle every aspect of the wedding planning. Some brides opt to book their own venue and get their invitations handmade by their best friends then they hire a wedding planner to help bring all of the moving parts together.
Melissa planned her entire wedding and so can you if you are patient and you have a lot of free time. However, if time is limited, she recommends that every bride hire a planner or at least have someone who will be dedicated to getting everything organized.
She also points out that most wedding planners offer their services as a coordinator on the day of the wedding.
The wedding planner will ensure that everything on the wedding day is well coordinated and runs smoothly – the bridesmaids, musicians, food, and lighting. From her perspective this is an indispensable service that every bride should consider paying for. It allows them to focus on the emotion and grandeur of the day and less on the logistics of the event.