Creating your dream wedding involves months of meticulous planning and loads of lists. Not to mention the stress and anxiety that comes along with finding the right wedding dress, wedding cake, bridesmaids dresses, wedding venue, theme, decor, furniture, lights, hiring a wedding photographer, designing your wedding menu, save the dates, and wedding invitations – right down to picking your wedding band sizes.
And to be frank – that’s only a small portion of what planning a wedding includes. For a detailed list to help you understand what you can expect when you organise your wedding, see our article The Ultimate Checklist for Weddings in 2020, to help guide you along.
Having hundreds of items on your list that all need to be discussed, considered and hired with your other half will create one of the most stressful periods in your lifetime – all for a day that’s meant to be about celebrating!
So, hiring a wedding planner, despite the toll on your wedding budget, helps so many couples create their dream wedding whilst alleviating a lot of the stress that comes along with the planning process. Hiring a wedding planner that has experience creating weddings with the kind of style, theme or venue you have in mind also creates a major advantage for pulling off the wedding you had always envisioned – which means you’ll be overjoyed on your special wedding day.
What Affects The Cost of your Wedding Planner?
Wedding planners come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all with portfolios to match their areas of expertise. But the most crucial differences come to the parts of your wedding they will and won’t plan, depending on the package you choose.
Most commonly, there are two types of wedding planners. Full service wedding planners, and day-of coordinators.
As the name suggests, one will plan your wedding for months leading up until you tie the knot, whilst the other takes care of some of the vital infrastructure surrounding the “day of” your wedding. Often, choosing one of these two kinds of planners can will help soften the blow to your wedding budget, and might mean you have a couple extra rands to spend on a honeymoon package. However it’s not uncommon for couples to hire a day-of coordinator and a wedding planner for a large wedding to make sure everything is on track for the timeline of their wedding preparation and on the wedding day.
A full service wedding planner will often incur a percentage cost of your overall wedding budget, especially if you’re planning on a multiple day wedding celebration, or will ask you to book their services and pay a retainer fee. The size of your wedding will have a great influence over the price of your wedding planner. If you’re planning a traditional wedding in a small chapel with classic decor and furniture, a wedding planner will set you back less than if you were to plan your wedding as a weekend away, with special venues and a large guest list.
Generally, a wedding planner could set you back around R35 000 – R85 000, but it’s not unusual for a planner to cost a lot more especially for international couples. International couples often organise and enjoy multiple events over the course of a few days to celebrate their wedding – and where better to celebrate a stunning wedding than scenic South Africa, with a good exchange rate in hand?
A day-of coordinator is a budget option for ensuring the smooth running of your wedding on the day. They most commonly keep in contact with the wedding suppliers for elements crucial to your wedding as the date nears. Usually, you can hire a day-of coordinator to either step in on the day, to make sure your wedding ceremony runs seamlessly, but it’s also common for the day-of coordinator to step in during the last month leading up to your wedding day. Starting with a month left allows them to get in contact with all the vendors you’ve organised and make sure they provide on their promises. A day-of coordinator will make sure your entertainment arrives on the day, your caterers prepare and bring the right courses, the wedding cake arrives, and assist with any other last minute issues that may arise in the final weeks leading up to your wedding day.
Couple’s can also choose from a variety of other planning services that could suit their budget. Some might feel an event designer or stylist is what’s needed for their venue, whilst they’re comfortable coordinating the wedding ceremony and reception on the day. Others might have designed their wedding to a tee, and now just need the right vendors to supply equipment and cater for guests on their wedding. Using a planner with a vendor scouting and referral option can be a huge time and money saver for couples, as vendors typically hike up their prices as soon as the word “wedding” is mentioned. Having reputable wedding suppliers, with reasonable hiring rates, that deliver what you need on the day of your wedding is imperative.
Can a Wedding Planner Save You Money?
Finding the right wedding suppliers for decor, furniture, lights, linen, tableware, glasses, crockery, flowers, food, and any other finicky last minute items can be a real challenge – and searching for hours online can yield fruitless, expensive results.
Wedding planners, especially ones with years of experience, are versed in planning weddings to suit a variety of wedding themes with varying food options, floral arrangements, lighting, implementing wedding decor ideas and are used to hiring a lot of equipment to bring a bride’s vision for her wedding day into reality.
So, they’ve built up an extensive list of contacts that might offer your planner a discount, or at least the standard rate, for hiring certain items – whilst planning a wedding alone means you’ll probably experience a wallet-war over hiring items after you mention they’re for your wedding day.
Wedding planners are also used to dealing with issues on the wedding day, and more importantly, finding quick and well-priced solutions to unexpected issues that may arise.
What other advantages do I have when hiring a Wedding Planner?
One of the best assets a wedding planner can have, aside for a keen eye for design and passion for planning weddings, is experience. This experience, as mentioned, can help with hiring large and small scale items for your wedding, but it’s also a vital element in curating the vision behind your wedding.
For your dream wedding, you might have envisioned a lavish wedding venue, with striking lights, stunning floral centerpieces, regal decor options, all based around a whimsical wedding theme with a modern look and feel. Or, you might have dreamed of an outdoor wedding, on the beach, with light colours, colourful floral arrangements, crisp linen with wooden tables and chairs to fit a rustic style wedding.
However, tailoring your vision to something that’s achievable within your budget and time frame can be a complete nightmare – especially if you want every aspect of your wedding ceremony and reception to be absolutely beautiful. It helps to have advice on what works and what doesn’t, and even where you can improve or maximise the look and feel of your wedding day to match your intended theme to a tee.
Planners are there for you to bounce your ideas off of – whether it’s wedding theme ideas, wedding venue ideas, wedding cake ideas, the design of your wedding menu or offering wedding table decor ideas. They’ll even assist with seating plans, wedding suppliers, save the dates, wedding invitations and the running of your wedding ceremonies and wedding reception. Having sound advice on your side from someone versed in creating the perfect weddings that bring newlyweds loads of joy, can create a huge advantage in the process of planning your wedding.
Wedding planners will also work to create and capture your most memorable moments. Whether it’s walking down the aisle, showcasing your unity ceremony or getting the perfect picture of the happy couple in a serene setting on the special day – your wedding planner can work with your wedding photographer, for example, to make sure the moments you share on your wedding day are captured timelessly and last for a lifetime.
Finding a Reputable Wedding Planner
Finding a wedding planner can be a slight challenge. You need someone who has experience working with the theme and style of the wedding day you’re aiming to achieve. You also need someone you feel comfortable communicating with so you can have confidence that your wedding planner will create the wedding you always imagined.
Many couples start their search online and end up scrolling through loads of pages only to be overwhelmed by various portfolios, open on tons of tabs, making it hard to keep track of which planners they prefer by the end of an evening spent researching. So, to aid your wedding planning process, have a look over our Ultimate List of Wedding Planners for Cape Town, versed in creating stunning weddings, suiting a variety of styles, tastes and wedding venues.
Creating the ideal wedding for you and your partner will be a challenge. It takes months of planning and conferring with valued family and close friends, to settle on everything from the style of your wedding day, the flowers you might order, right up to the layout of your tableware on the day and which courses to should serve to your guests. That’s without choosing a wedding dress, the groom’s suit or the wedding rings you and your partner will wear for a lifetime. And all of these elements have to fit within your wedding budget.
Sounding like a cumbersome task? With so many moving parts, from big decisions to tiny creative choices, you might’ve already considered hiring a wedding planner.
If it’s within your wedding budget, it’ll make the lives of you and your partner a lot less stressful in the months leading up to your wedding. You can have more time to focus on the fun aspects of planning your wedding and making sure your vision comes to life, rather than haggling prices for everything from venues to the design of your wedding invitations.
So, start organizing your wedding budget and see if you can factor in a wedding planner! And if you’re stuck on where to start with your wedding budget, have a look at our Wedding Budget Calculator to get an idea of what you’re likely to spend.