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Everyone loves a bargain! And when are you more likely to look for a bargain than when you are planning on making a big purchase? Whether it’s a car, an entertainment system or a camera, chances are that you want to do a bit of research to determine what the best model is for the best price.
This practice should be no different when you are looking for a wedding planner.
The average cost of a wedding in Canada is $25,000. That’s a LOT of money to invest and chances are you will have to trim up on a few wedding expenses to stay within budget. However, I am here to explain why hiring a budget wedding planner could end up costing a lot more than if you had hired a professional in the first place.
If you’re getting married (congratulations!) and are starting to research all-things-wedding, then no doubt you have already checked out websites like Kijiji looking for décor, vendors and services. While sites like Kijiji are great for finding bargains, they’re also a free bulletin board for self-described “professionals” to get your business.
Aside from the usual red flags (no company website, a hotmail address, no business materials), you should also be looking at their pricing as an indicator as to whether or not these so-called professional planners are actually qualified to be entrusted with your special day.
For example, I am always told about “wedding planners” who charge $400-$500 (or less…yikes!) for Wedding Day Coordination. While this may sound like an absolute steal, let’s do the math:
For us WPIC certified planners, what’s known as a “Day Of Coordination” actually doesn’t just include your wedding day. We are doing a bunch of work behind the scenes in preparation of your wedding day. We are contacting all of your vendors to confirm everything they contractually agreed to provide you with; and if we are not familiar with the vendor that you have booked, we may contact a reliable vendor that we know of and ask them to be on stand-by in the event that your chosen vendor fails to show up. We are also creating your wedding day timeline and itinerary for you and coordinating your rehearsal. In total (including being there on your wedding day), we are putting in 40 hours or more for your “Day Of” coordination.
Photo by Nikko Lim
If we only charged $400 for this service that means that we are only making $10/hr, which is slightly above Alberta’s minimum wage (less than minimum wage in Ontario). At this point, you should be asking yourself: “How is this business making money?” And that’s a great question!!
The main goal of all businesses is to make money. So if you are hiring a wedding planner who is willing to work for minimum wage, what level of service will you be getting? And if their business is not making money, will they even be in business by the time your wedding rolls around?
The bottom line is: You Get What You Pay For. Anyone can claim to be a wedding planner and take out an ad on Kijiji or start a page on Facebook. However, it is education, past experience, professionalism and industry connections that set professional planners apart from the “weekend warriors” who are just out to make a quick buck.
Would you hire a wedding dress maker who has no formal training or experience other than “I watch a lot of Project Runway”?
When it comes to your wedding day, who would you rather have in your corner?
About Christina Frizzell, WPICC - After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree and living abroad in London, England, Christina returned home to Edmonton and created Sweet Bliss Weddings. Christina believes that a wedding should be a reflection of who you are, both as individuals and as a couple, and will help you incorporate those personal touches that will leave your guests talking about your wedding for years to come. She is also the first and only Wedding Planner in Alberta to be certified by the Gay Wedding Institute.