Extreme Chic on a Shoestring – Are you saving or sacrificing?

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“We’re on a tight budget.”

Yes, I know (but I don’t say it out loud). Times are tough, money is tight, and everyone is trying to save a buck. But lately, I’ve been hearing this way too much.
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And you wouldn’t believe the trends I’m starting to see! Flower-less centerpieces, DIY linen installations, sub-par vendors, and more! It sounds funny, but in the end, it’s really not.

Maybe you’d like to poll the guests from a recent wedding that I coordinated (notice I said coordinated, NOT planned). The bride contacted me to help her with the reception design and we put together a great look for her. However, she insisted that she wanted the reception to be ‘cocktail style’ – meaning that she wanted the guests to mingle – therefore she only ordered 100 chairs for 200 people…. Hmmmm…. I think you can see where I’m going with this.

“What’s your budget?” I ask. Rarely do I receive a truthful answer, that is, until I quote a price. It’s not a problem because I know my services are not inexpensive. I charge what I’m worth: I’m an educated, experienced, nationally recognized industry professional. I work with clients and couples who realize that what I bring to the event planning process is more than the ability to create a memorable day – I help them create amazing and memorable moments. I am a specialist; it’s like comparing stitches to brain surgery. Shopping Cart

Anyway, I do appreciate that many people are on a budget. Whenever possible I do the best I can to meet them where they’d like to be. After all, I love what I do, so for me there’s a lot more to it than the paycheck.

In a previous post, I wrote about how Brides and Grooms can protect themselves while shopping for vendors. Check it out – there is a lot of good advice there. This post centers on something different; it’s about being realistic. There seems to be a trend towards style over substance. Let’s go back to my story about the bride with the 200 guests. Do you think those guests cared how good the room looked when they realized they might have to stand for the rest of the evening? Nope – they bailed at their first opportunity. Do you think they felt valued and appreciated? Nope.

It’s my responsibility to tell my clients if something won’t work, or doesn’t work well. I educate them. What I’m seeing lately is so many people (future brides and grooms, potential clients) who are out of touch with what things cost being serviced by vendors who want to say yes (because they need the business) – this is not exactly a recipe for success.

My free advice for today is this: If you truly can’t afford the wedding of your dreams – put it off and save more money. If you want to save an extreme amount of money without cutting corners, scale back your guest list, move up your wedding date and consider a week-day event. Also, if you’re planning a wedding or special event be a good host! – that’s just good manners.

About The Author

Elisa

Planner | Designer | Speaker I've been planning for as long as I can remember! When I was younger, I planned birthday parties for my siblings and surprise anniversary parties for my parents. I spent many years in the Hospitality industry and also studied Interior Design. I couldn’t have guessed that my creative and organizational talents would lead me to a career in event planning...seriously! "To love what you do and feel that it matters - how could anything be more fun?" - Katherine Graham

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2 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    Great advice. In this economy we could use a lot more posts like this one!

  2. 2

    It seems to be such a delicate line trying to meet both client expectations and get back in return what you worth is as a wedding planner. I couldn’t agree more though with your last paragraph and to put off the wedding until you can afford what it is you truly dream of without compromise.

    Cheers!



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