Ever thought about how much easier it would be to hire a wedding planner? Believe it or not you do not have to be a celebrity to be able to hire a wedding planner and it doesn’t need to be expensive.  Many American couples use a wedding planner to help them plan their big day and it is certainly growing more and more popular here in the UK.

We aim to tackle some of the questions we, as wedding planners, regularly get asked by our brides on a budget. We can hopefully dispel some of those myths that wedding planners are expensive and only for the very wealthy.  We also outline some of the areas where wedding planners can be a valuable resource for all couples and can help you save time and stress prior to and on your big day.

How much will I get charged for an initial consultation?

With us and with most other respected wedding planners, absolutely nothing at all!  Wedding planners should offer you a free face to face consultation to discuss all aspects of your wedding day and after this consultation you will usually be sent a proposal including their fee and the services they will provide for this.

What are the typical fees for wedding planning?

Wedding planners charge either a fixed percentage, typically from 15% of your wedding budget if you are having full wedding planning or, a fixed fee for managing certain elements of your wedding day.  A basic supplier search with us for example, would cost from £100 and Wedding Day Management from  £500. In some cases we have worked with our brides to provide partial wedding planning and we would quote on this based on their individual needs. We work with our brides to find the best solution for them.

 When do I usually pay my wedding planner?

The fees wedding planners charge for any wedding planning would usually be divided up over the planning period in which they are working; wedding planners would not usually ask for all of their fee at once.

Do wedding planners have a minimum charge?

You may find some wedding planners will have a minimum charge but The Black Sheep Wedding Company will consider helping plan your wedding whatever your budget and advise you if what you want to do can be achieved within this budget.  For us it is more about delivering for you a unique, individual and memorable day and making the best of what you can afford.

Do wedding planners accept commissions and discounts?

Some wedding planners, who, if like us and are members of a reputable organisation like the UKAWP (UK Association of Wedding Planners) definitely do not accept commissions and discounts from suppliers for themselves. Any discounts or commissions they negotiate will be passed onto you.

Is hiring a wedding planner worth it?

You need to consider your individual circumstances and what a wedding planner could potentially do for you. The average wedding from recent reports suggest it takes around 250 hours to plan the average wedding – that’s nearly five hours a week based on a 12 month timeline!  Time like this is not easy to find if you work over 40 hours a week and/or have a family or a partner to support.   A huge amount of wedding planning administration needs to take place in the week during working hours so it can be difficult for a full time couple to find this time in their busy schedule.

So what can a wedding planner do that I can’t?

A wedding planner already has a huge network of tried and tested venues, suppliers and contacts which will save you time and worry. In our case we also enjoy the challenge to be creative and different, so will take the time to hunt for more unusual venues and suppliers that suit your wishes and individual personalities, this sometimes amounts to some very significant cost savings. If you are not the creative or arty type then we can help you with design and decoration and help pull a style or theme together.  A wedding planner is also like a bridesmaid, who doesn’t give you grief! We are there to support you emotionally and help you right up until and during your wedding day.  Wedding planners are also experts in project management so can help with tasks such as scheduling, managing suppliers and helping you manage your budget.

Where do I start looking for a wedding planner?

We recommend contacting perhaps three or four wedding planners, find out if they can help with your wedding then arrange an initial consultation with those you like the sound of.  Make sure you check with any wedding planner if they are available on your wedding date and if they cover the area where you want to get married prior to meeting them for the first time to save you time and potential disappointment at a later date.  We also recommend asking if they have a minimum charge.

The Black Sheep Wedding Company is a professional wedding planning service based in Surrey that caters for all budgets and prides itself in delivering unique, individual and memorable weddings. Please contact us for a free consultation.