Are Wedding Planners A Waste Of Money? Nope, We Can Save You Money.
Well the answer wasn't going to be yes! That would be a great way to put myself out of business! But I digress...
Since starting Redamancy I have heard from countless people who think that Wedding Planners are a complete waste of time and money. I'm not talking about strangers trolling me with abusive emails; subject line "YOUR JOB IS A JOKE". I'm talking about friends, family, couples who are planning their own weddings, and other business folk at networking events. I'd run out of fingers if I tried to count on both hands the amount of times I've been mingling at a business soiree and had to explain why there is absolutely a market for what I do. Which immediately precedes the question "You're a bit young aren't you?" Although that one is a compliment and I'll absolutely take it.
I will accept that for some people wedding planners are unnecessary, irrelevant, and a waste of time. If you are just as wedding-obsessed as me, and don't find the process particularly stressful then I can completely understand why you'd be baffled as to why some people hire someone who can help them out with something you find so enjoyable. But no two people were created equally - and thank goodness for that! (Otherwise there would be two Donald Trump's out there and we definitely do not need that).
I cannot however accept that we are a waste of money. And here is why...
Imagine your boss at work asks you to plan a corporate event for 150 people which has to last for about 12 hours. There needs to be enough food to cater for everyone, as well as entertainment, wine that doesn't blow the budget, and not a single point where something isn't happening so that people might be bored. You have no experience of planning such a thing and yet it's going to be a hugely important day for a lot of the company stakeholders. Oh and you have to do it on top of the 9-5 job that you already have. You'll have to work nights and weekends on the project for months on end just to get it ready, you'll definitely get stressed and snap at your friends, and your partner will be slightly bored of you banging on about every detail. Scared yet? Would you have the slightest clue as to where to begin? Would you feel slightly relieved if someone came along and said they'd take it off your hands for a small fee and you can go back to just working your job (which is tiring enough, right?) having a social life, and sleep-filled nights? Of course you would.
Planning a wedding is no different; I have literally just described the wedding planning process above. The average time to plan a wedding is 200 hours. Notice that I used the word 'average' - that means that for some people it takes far longer than that. Let's say the majority of people in this country work a 40 hour week. 200 hours is 5 flat-out weeks working 9-5 with no lunch break. Do you have 5 weeks to take off work to solely concentrate on planning your wedding? So when do you fit that in? If you have a 9-5 job which sees you getting home at about 6pm and then you have to cook dinner, go to the gym because you want to look killer in your dress - (although if that's a priority then you may want to read this), and you really want to watch a box set you've started. When do you fit in 200 hours of wedding planning? At the weekend, of course.
So how much time do you think you'll have to see your friends, go to the cinema, have a mini-break if you have to travel to see a different supplier every weekend? A menu tasting, or a meeting with your cake designer doesn't take half an hour. And it might take you meeting quite a few before you even hit on the right ones. Bye life.
So let's say for arguments sake that you and your partner spend 5 hours each weekend planning a wedding (and 5 hours is a long time... that's 10 episodes of Corrie back-to-back). Doing your research about suppliers, going to venue visits and then meeting with different vendors to knuckle down exactly what you do and don't want. To get 200 hours worth of planning using just the weekends - the only real time you have available - would mean you spending 40 weekends on planning. That's almost all the weekends in a year. When do you normally do all of the fun things you can't do during the week? You catch my drift, and I think I've probably made my point now.
That is where a wedding planner comes in nice and handy. We swoop in with our notebooks and our budget planners and our Little Black Book of contacts, and we sort it out for you. We do the admin, we email to ask the questions you don't want to ask, and we find all of the people to supply the things you want. We provide you back the hours you wouldn't have without us, and you still get your dream day at the end of it. It's not stressful for us; do you know how many of these we've planned? Every problem you're facing we'll have dealt with before. You can change the decor as many times as you want, but fundamentally all weddings work the same way and to us it's second-nature.
"But", I hear all of the people at those damned networking events cry, "I bet you cost so much money". Okay so first off, we're not loan sharks. We're not promising to bail you out of some time-debt only to loan you time at an extortionate rate and then whack 50% interest on top. Most people who work in the wedding industry tend to be good-hearted, decent people who actually just want to help. I genuinely know many wedding pro's, myself included, who left the Legal scene because it was too cut-throat and political. We just want to help you out, end of. But we would also like to pay our bills and be able to afford to go dutch with our partners on date night.
So yes, it's not a free service. But what if we know all of the people in the industry who do what you want but charge less for it than the people you've identified, only because they are a little bit less established. Less-established does not mean less-good or less-professional either. It means they haven't been in the industry for as long as someone else. That's just a matter of time. Time does not dictate skill; talent dictates skill.
How do you tend to find these more expensive, established suppliers? I'm going to guess Google. And I'm going to give you a little lesson on how Google works for those who don't know. So let's say you want a wedding caterer, you load up Google and you type in "wedding caterer in Newcastle", for example. The people who appear on the first page are people who have been in the business for longer, they've probably been some of the first people into the industry and they have been there ever since - which means they've had a lot of visitors to their site. Possibly not because they're the best but because their site has been there a long time. Now the people who may have been in the industry for a year, and be michelin-standard but at a decent price (because they are a bit less established and need to get their foot in the door) have significantly less visitors to their site because they are on page 6 due to 'new status'. And everyone knows no-one ventures past page 1 of Google unless they are desperate for an answer. These hidden gems are sitting there waiting to be found whilst the people on the first page continue scooping up the jobs because they're easily found on search engines.
So who knows about these people who provide amazing-quality unique food at a fraction of the price of other suppliers? Wedding planners! How do we know about these people? Because we've networked with them, we've got to know them and we've tasted their food. The recommendation is a good, trustworthy one and might save you about £2000. If we repeat the same process with a photographer and a stationer we may have saved you £7-8k. Are you willing to pay me £3,000 if you get to keep £5,000 of the money you wouldn't have back if it wasn't for me? I'll bet you are.
So I've saved you money and paid for my own work at the same time. Not only that, but because I'm doing the leg work I've got you back your social life; you can still go the gym and watch box sets and have dinner with your friends, and you're not going to be so fixated on your wedding planning that you develop post-wedding depression at the end of it (which you can read about here ). And you're not paying any extra for this because I saved you money that you were happy to spend on your wedding in the first place and paid for myself anyway. Does this sound like an amazing deal yet?!
So, I'll ask the question again? Are wedding planners a waste of money? Find one of the people I've spoken to at a networking event and ask them now? After hearing the above spiel from me themselves I'm sure they can now vouch for the wedding planning industry as a whole. If you would like a wedding planner to literally do everything I have just detailed above you can contact me here!
Thank you and goodnight!