Northern California Wedding Planner | Pricing & Value

How to Plan Your Wedding While on a Budget

Technology has not only changed the way that we communicate but also the way we live our every day lives.  We rely on our phones, devices, social media sites and apps to deliver the information that we are looking for.  Whether you are researching homes in your area for future home buying, or planning a weekend trip or even grocery shopping; you will make decisions based on the desired outcome/experience, cost and value.


As a consumer we see pricing all day, every day.  Do you choose to fill up at a gas station because of it's proximity to your home or workplace, or is it based on the price per gallon? Maybe the staff is friendlier or they carry your favorite beverage.  

How does this relate to the wedding world? Well you are still very much a consumer when it comes to planning your wedding, so when you are starting to research things like "How much do weddings cost" or doing a Google search by area to see the options for DJ's, Wedding Venues, etc in your city etc you may be already forming your opinions or perceived value before ever meeting with the business. 

Even if you decide not to hire a wedding coordinator, Please, please, please use caution when booking services off of Facebook buy%2Fsell groups from people who are throwing their hat into the ring for the cheapest pri.png

We work closely with the event partners that make up the local wedding industry, so we see more than the prices we see the people behind the service. The husband and wife team that provides amazing photo and video while making their couples relax and laugh during their day, the baker who makes a whole new recipe to ensure that the bride with a gluten allergy has the cake of her dreams.  The rental companies who launder, iron & press every linen that goes out their door to make sure it is picture perfect for every event.  There are years of experience, so much wisdom and even more love that is poured in from every angle of a wedding day. 

Our couples can trust that when we refer them to event partners that we recommend it is because of our experiences with them and their reputation for quality, not because of any special discounts, kick-backs or because they are the least expensive.  Budgets are a real thing, but it is extremely important to look at your overall budget and decide where to prioritize your spending.  This doesn't mean ask for discounts or haggle prices, this means being willing to have less coverage in one area and allocating this to another based on your specific priorities.  

Even if you decide not to hire a wedding coordinator, Please, please, please use caution when booking services off of Facebook buy/sell groups from people who are throwing their hat into the ring for the cheapest price.  Your wedding day is not a time that you want to learn the lesson of "getting what you pay for."

Here are our top tips for planning your wedding while on a budget:
1. Set a Budget - That's right, if you are on a "budget" you should know what that budget looks like.  If you are comfortable spending $1200 on flowers make sure that it fits into your budget and how that fits with your rentals, catering or bar funds etc.

2. Keep Your Guest List in Check - No surprise co-workers or inviting the mail man until you have this guest list locked in. Remember your guest count is tied to costs for catering, bar, rentals & decor and sometimes even the price for your venue.  

3. Hire Professionals - Saving $200 on your photography is great, except when the photographer you booked off of Craigslist doesn't have experience with retrieving images of a corrupted SD card or didn't plan adequately for travel time and shows up late.  Look for insured, experienced & capable event partners who you feel can provide the wedding day experience you have envisioned.  Consider making smaller monthly payments so that as you get closer to your wedding date you have paid the balances down.

4. Create Focal Points - Use your decor and your rental budget dollars wisely.  Create a back drop behind your sweetheart table or design an interactive guest area that provides a focal point for guests rather than trying to "over decorate" your entire venue.

5. Choose Guest Experience vs "Stuff" - When you choose a photobooth you are creating an experience and an interactive favor/keepsake for your guests.  We love monogramed coasters as much as anyone else but at the end of the night there will be a lot more coasters left lying around than the photobooth pictures because guests hold on to them.  Glassware is another thing that we see go to waste because guests leave them behind and now you have 120 wine glasses with your name on them that will sit in your garage when you could have allocated that towards something else.

~ Happy Planning!~ 

Northern California Wedding Planner | Choosing The Right Wedding Coordinator

There are a ton of posts on the ol' interwebs highlighting the reasons why you should hire a wedding planner (lots of reasons,) but we won't reinvent the wheel here.  What we will do though, is cover some of the ways to determine what level of service you need and how to choose the right coordinator for you. 

Photo by Wonderfelle Media 

Photo by Wonderfelle Media 

Communication is Key
Just like in any healthy marriage, communication is so important from day one.  How do you communicate with others, and what is your preferred method of communication (planning dashboard, email, phone calls, face time, or in person etc.) Ask your potential wedding planner about how they typically communicate with their couples and mention what your preferences are to see how this aligns with their process.  How quickly are you expected to respond to your coordinator, and vice versa?

Clear Expectations 
No one likes to feel like their needs aren't being met.  How do you envision your wedding planning process? Do you want to be hands on with decision making and details/logistics or would you prefer that your planner works primarily on the details then comes to you for your final decisions/approvals? 

Feeling the Vibe
We work as team of planners not only because of a busy wedding schedule but also because personalities can match up differently and we want to ensure that our couples are feeling the vibes and connecting with their planner.  Typically our couples spend about a year with us give or take, so we get to know each other and connect.  It's literally the best part of what we are so blessed to do.  

Working in the event industry, we have forged relationships with a strong network of event partners from Venues, DJ's, Caterers, Florists and Bakers to name a few.  When our couples ask for recommendations we have the highest confidence in our vendor teams because they have a proven track record of only the best service.  We know who goes above and beyond, who is responsive to emails/requests and is easy to work with.  This saves our clients a lot of time because they aren't starting from scratch when selecting their vendors.  So choosing a planner who has an established reputation is very important.

Relationships and experience seem to go hand in hand, but we break this down because it is easy for anyone to all themselves a wedding planner.  However, until someone has worked their way though weddings and all sorts of logistics, they won't know enough about real life problem solving, managing large crowds or any other stressful aspect.  Read reviews, and feel free to ask for past clients so that you can hear first hand about what to expect. 

When you are planning a wedding it makes sense to want to know the cost up front. "What is this going to cost me?" However when booking vendors of any category we urge you to think of the value first of what the vendor offers, their experience in the industry and reputation.  Booking someone based purely on price can often lead to frustration.  We believe in being cost effective and budget friendly while delivering excellent service for our couples.

We hope that you find your A Team for your wedding day, if you have questions or need assistance feel free to shoot us a note!

~ Happy Planning!~