NJ Wedding Planners and You
By GEOFF CAPLAN
The typical wedding expense has increased to the point that you would assume the term "budget" is no longer applicable.
You'd be mistaken, of course.
You Need a Budget
Whether you spend $3,000 (far below average, even in the least costly locations in the United States), or $30,000 (just slightly more than the average cost of a wedding nowadays, but average implies lots of others spend more), you still need a budget.
A budget isn't always an effort to cut down on spending. It's a strategy for deciding where you'll spend the money you do have, regardless of how much of it you have.
Perhaps you are fortunate to go all out while arranging your ideal wedding. On the other hand, we know some highly affluent individuals, and we don't know anybody who hasn't worried about the expense of their wedding to some amount.
Most folks cannot afford or choose not to deplete their money or run up their credit for their wedding.
Weddings have the unnerving propensity of being quickly followed by even more costly things to spend your hard-earned money on, such as purchasing a home and having a kid (or two).
Even more challenging is that many brides (traditional wedding planners) marry later in life when they are well established in their careers and don't have their weekdays free to meet wedding providers and sample cake.
Do Wedding Planners Increase or Decrease the Cost of Your Wedding?
Professional wedding planners, of course, must be compensated, so they will undoubtedly cost you. There is an argument o be made that hiring a professional wedding planner may save you money in other areas. Every year, a skilled wedding planner like Michelle Perez is engaged in many weddings. This means she will have continuous connections with particular wedding suppliers and venues. It's in the best interests of those vendors to provide the wedding planner a price deal so she'll continue to employ their services at all of the weddings she's associated with.
It may not influence your budget, but it is in the best interests of the planner with suppliers to keep wedding planners satisfied with the services they give. Individually, you're unlikely to see these suppliers again after your wedding (at least not for a long time, if ever). A wedding planner will see these suppliers again; she is a return client for them.
Vendors Appreciate NJ Wedding Planners
A recurring client is more valuable to a vendor than a new customer. This value will be communicated via cash incentives and extra-good service. If need be, they may indicate it by offering a wedding planner something (such as service on a popular day or a hard-to-find item) that they must take away from a specific bride. We know a lady who was promised a wedding location for a particular date, but the venue canceled on her a week later because they had a "repeat client" who wanted that day and was ready to pay more. My companion was not offered the option of paying more or outbidding the returning client. She had just missed a date.
Locate a wedding planner who has a good reputation (with both brides and local providers). You can get the best of both worlds: It means access to a wedding planner who can effortlessly find top-tier providers and negotiate great deals for you.
Even if you have a fantastic wedding planner on your side, you should still do your research and consult with the coordinator with a specific budget in mind. If the planner cannot appropriately manage expenses, you always must give your cost-reducing suggestions. If your wedding planner does not stay within your budget, she blames you, but you are still out of pocket. The additional expense is not paid for by the planner!
There is one area where a good planner will undoubtedly save you time. Hiring a wedding planner will need you to devote considerably fewer hours to arranging and assuring the specifics of your wedding than not hiring one.
The dilemma is whether you have more time or more money to put into your wedding. You are the one who can provide an answer.
How Much Is It?
Wedding planners might be paid in one of three ways:
o A portion of your wedding's overall cost
o A fee per hour
· A one-time price for a particular service
Although it is the least frequent, there are sellers that employ the last of these alternatives. The % fee creates a massive conflict of interest for the planner. In other words, the higher the expense of your wedding, the higher the planner's cost. That is not how it should be. Most planners are ethical and depend on recommendations. Please provide your wedding planner with an incentive for staying under budget.
An hourly charge overcomes the difficulty that the percentage fee generates, but it creates a different problem. When you pay a wedding planner (or any vendor) by the hour, they have little incentive to work quickly, and you do not influence this. You can't tell how long it should take since you aren't doing it. If you're dealing with a wedding planner that charges by the hour, establish a maximum number (or range) of hours you'll pay for while ensuring that the maximum you set is an acceptable length of time to organize the complete wedding.
Planners that charge a fixed cost for each service they perform present you with many options. You're not required to pay them to arrange every detail of your wedding. If you want them to handle the venue and catering while you hire your cousin's band and have your mother create your dress, you have more flexibility in just paying for the services you need. In addition, by charging a flat price per service, the planner preserves the conventional (and desired) aims of doing the task swiftly and affordably. They are not compensated extra if they fail to meet one of these objectives, as with the other payment schemes.
Planners dislike this payment arrangement because they are afraid that your wedding will be exceptionally problematic, and they will have to bear the expense of dealing with it. Wedding planners, in particular, who are new to the business, may feel uneasy estimating how much time and effort it would take to offer the services you desire in advance. If you provide this payment structure to a wedding planner who usually charges differently, make it clear that you are aware of this worry and believe it is appropriate. Discuss your willingness to pay additional costs (likely by the hour) if an exceptional event happens that is beyond the planner's control. As with other wedding planners, seek references and chat with this brides-who-have-gone-before-you about precisely what the wedding planner did and did not do for each service she offered.
Remember that a wedding planner typically charges customers in one manner does not imply they cannot be compensated in another. The majority of wedding planners are independent contractors who choose their payment terms.
Perhaps they've always charged percentages in the past, but that doesn't mean they can't agree to a flat cost for particular services for your wedding if that's the only way you're ready to pay. Of course, you should be aware that this also implies that they have the option to walk away and not accept you as a customer if they do not agree to the payment structure you like.
Negotiate with a wedding planner in the same way that you would with any other provider. Remember that you are employing them. They are the people you have recruited to work for you. You possess all of the cards. Take these into consideration.
Michelle Perez of Knot Just Wedding Events has been in the wedding planner business most of her life. She is the perfect person to speak with. Call Michelle today at 732-735-3189.