What are the differences between planning a wedding with a $10k budget and planning a wedding with a $100k budget?
As a professional planner, I have planned many events with both types of budgets. Below are common differences we experience no matter what the client’s personality is or the number of guests expected.
Characteristics of weddings with budgets in the $10k range:
- Couples are very budget conscious. The small budget needs to cover a lot of vendors and details especially if they are expecting a large number of guests. Couples are more stressed about the budget than most other planning tasks.
- Couples are usually willing to compromise on what they want to stay within the budget.
- If couples in this budget range hire a wedding planner, they typically only hire for wedding day management.
- If they do hire a wedding planner to help with actual planning, they are often interested in wedding planners who can find the best deals from vendors. Or they are interested in wedding planners who are just getting started and who are very affordable.
- When managing the wedding budget, every single dollar needs to be accounted for. If the floral quote is $50 over budget, there has to be another category where they can cut back.
- Couples tend to take on more DIY (do-it-yourself) projects to save money.
- Friends and family members are often acting as vendors. Aunt Sally may be doing the catering while Uncle Bob is acting as photographer. This is very challenging for a wedding planner since Aunt Sally and Uncle Bob don’t have nearly the experience or knowledge of a professional.
- Budget clients tend to need extra help with setup and cleanup from their wedding day coordinator. There are often DIY projects and purchases that the couple has made on their own. The couple may expect their wedding coordinator to set up these items on the wedding day which can be very time-consuming and may not even be included in the wedding planning package they purchased. There may also be centerpieces, tables, chairs, and linens that need setup if the couple has not hired professional event staff and catering for their wedding.
- There often isn’t room in the budget to hire professional event design help.
Characteristics of weddings with budgets in the $100k range:
- There are many more vendors to book, coordinate, and manage. Higher budgets allow for more details, decor, transportation, and entertainment options.
- The budget almost always has some flexibility and not every dollar needs to be accounted for. The clients want exactly what they desire even if it goes over budget.
- Design is a service that clients want and pay for. Clients spending in this range expect a certain level of design expertise from their wedding planner or designer.
- There are often multiple days of setup for higher budget weddings which requires the wedding planner to be on-site longer.
- Professional vendors are responsible for most of the physical setup of decor and details.
- Couples tend to hire a wedding planner for full-service wedding planning.
- Couples often hire their wedding planner to help with other events such as the rehearsal dinner and day-after brunch.
- The wedding planner has more responsibility with extensive logistics, more vendors, and more details to manage on the wedding day.
Sometimes there are exceptions to these characteristics and weddings with budgets in the middle range such as $50k may have some of each set of characteristics or they may lean strongly in one direction or the other.
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