How much is your sanity worth

Engagements always start out exciting and new, but that feeling often wears off whenever the reality of all the responsibilities sets in. A wedding can be a logistic nightmare; between setting a budget, sticking to it, arranging for the venue, and catering, guests’ accommodation and gifts, etc. It’s not surprising that the ceremony is usually marked more with stress than merriment.

Many couples, especially those on a tight budget, never think about hiring a wedding planner, assuming it’s a luxury service they don’t need or could never afford. What they don’t realize is that having outside help can save you time, aggravation, and even money. Sure, wedding planners charge you a service fee, but the discounts and expertise they can provide during the planning process, usually more than pay for itself.

If you’re on the fence as to whether you should hire a professional wedding planner, some important questions you can ask yourself to help you decide.

  • Are you way behind on your checklist and schedule? (If you’re trying to plan your wedding without a checklist or schedule, just skip to down below, because you are definitely in need of help!)
  • Have you set a budget but are unsure if you can stay within that budget while hiring vendors that mesh with your personality? (If you haven’t set a budget, again, just skip down, you definitely can’t do this on your own! Or, you are lucky enough to an unlimited budget, where you’ll definitely want help coordinating all of the expensive details.)
  • Do you and your fiancée both work full-time jobs that will prevent you from meeting or corresponding with vendors on weekdays?
  • Can you envision your wedding, but have no idea how to achieve it?
  • Are you just looking in wedding magazines and big-name wedding websites for vendor recommendations? (Hint – most of these “recommended” vendors pay for that title, which means they have a big marketing budget, but doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best.)
  • Do you want to avoid having to ask your bridesmaids to spend hours setting up important details like table cards, centerpieces, etc. on your wedding day?
  • Are you having a short engagement (anything less than 9 months)?
  • Are you having a destination wedding?
  • Are you feeling overwhelmed and wishing you had decided to elope?
  • Do you actually want to enjoy your wedding and not worry that something might go wrong that you can’t fix?

If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, you should at least meet with a wedding planner for a free consultation. It’s easy to assume that if you’re looking to cut your budget, this is an expense to avoid, but keep in mind that hiring someone with experience can help you avoid common, and costly, mistakes that add stress.

One major advantage of hiring a professional wedding planner is that they usually have an established list of local vendors. More specifically, most LGBTQ wedding planners have a network of LGBTQ-friendly resources to recommend who are truly allies to the community; this can work to your benefit because you get reputable services without having to go through the trouble of testing several different companies and risk having some awkward moments.

The average bride spends 250 hours on wedding planning without the help of a professional. The amount of time you spend planning your wedding can be cut dramatically with the help of a wedding planner and the time you do spend planning will be more efficient and not wasted with indecision and inexperience. Wedding planners usually charge between 15-20% of the total wedding budget as a management fee (which usually falls between $2,500 – $5,000). What is your time, not to mention your sanity, worth to you? At $10 – $20 an hour (based on your 250 hours), how can you afford not to hire a wedding planner?

Ashley LaBere
Blogger – Say Yes to the Lez
Owner – Second City Events

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