I came across this infographic this weekend on Credit Sesame and was a little disturbed by what I saw.
Information like this always gives me a little bit of a knot in my stomach because people see this and get unrealistic expectations. We’ll touch more on that later, but the first thing that stuck out to me was the fact that it didn’t mention wedding planners or coordinators anywhere in the information. After all it does mention ways to save money and pay for your big day, but they left out the most important resource a bride could employee!
Of course hiring a wedding planner is a luxury expense for your big day. However, it is an affordable luxury that is worthwhile even for brides on a budget. A good wedding planner should be able to help you actually save money on your wedding. Whether it be through actual discounts, or money-saving advice featuring tips and tricks. A professional planner has the experience and knowledge that a one time bride might not know. For example:
I once had a bride who wanted to rent 150 milk glass bud vases for $4 each. Instead, I forwarded her to etsy where she found a dealer who sold them for $1 each. When she finished she was able to turn around and sale them on craigslist. Instead of paying $600 plus tax and delivery charges she ended up paying around $200, and making it back once everything was said and done! And that’s only one of the many ways I helped that bride protect her budget, and that’s where the real value of a wedding planner comes from.
Have a look at this post by friends of Vera Green: Catie Ronquillo Photography it’s a great perspective on the value in a wedding planner.
Now, as for cute infographics like this one and the expectations that they set. True, the AVERAGE cost of a wedding is about $27,000 in the US. There are two key words here, AVERAGE and US. This is a NATIONWIDE average. The average could be more or it could be less for your location. This should be one of the first pieces of information you gather when you begin your wedding planning process.
Note that this number is an AVERAGE. This scares me because when people see the word average wedding they automatically associate themselves with being average. “I’m normal, so I must be average an average bride. That budget will work for me. Which is fine, but then they pour through wedding blogs they immediately believe that the weddings they look as are also “average”. And while I’m sure there are some great budget weddings featured on these blogs, most cost much more than the numbers cited in the image above. The whole reason that these weddings get selected for publication is they are specifically NOT AVERAGE!
Stay tuned tomorrow for a post where I will offer a real life comparison of these numbers and how to best estimate a budget that fits your wants, income, and priorities.