WHY IS A WEDDING PLANNER SO EXPENSIVE?

WHY IS A WEDDING PLANNER SO EXPENSIVE?

Photos by Amy Meyerott Photo and Cinema

WHY IS A WEDDING PLANNER SO EXPENSIVE?

Wedding planning is just a hobby for organized girls who like to decorate, right?
Maybe for some, but for the countless lady bosses we work with, it’s our living. 
It’s our passion.
It’s our love for people, for service, for celebrations.

So why is it so expensive if we enjoy it so much?

First off, expensive is a perception, + sometimes an uneducated opinion. Not in a bad way uneducated, but legit not knowing all the work + time that goes into our jobs.

In fact, the cost of wedding services for all parts of the industry surprises many of our clients. 
“The flowers cost what?”
Well the flowers are grown in California (or in another part of the world) which means someone takes care of that land, fertilizes it, waters it, carefully picks the flowers + packages them.
Then they are flown here.
They are picked up at the airport usually on Monday or Tuesday.
They are processed at the design studio.
Then they become these gorgeous bouquets, centerpieces, installments (not by magical fairies, but by real people mind you- but we think they are pretty magical).
Next they are hand delivered carefully + thoughtfully to your event. 
Unloaded + set up.
All the while keeping them alive + pretty! 
Look how many people played a role in making that beautiful centerpiece you have been eyeing on Pinterest! 

Just like anything, time is money honey!
And we would like to shed light on the popular topic of why wedding planning services cost what they do.

What made you reach out to us? 
Was it our portfolio?
Our pretty, easy to navigate website?
Our social media feed?
Someone referred us?
We showed up on Google or a wedding planning site?

Those beautiful, super detailed weddings you see in our portfolio took a countless hours creating + coordinating with a team of vendors + plus our own staff to execute that weekend starting with rehearsal + ending when the last vendor leaves the event. (But wedding weekend sometimes starts as early as Monday, depending on when load in begins)

That website cost money to build.
That social media feed takes time + thoughtfulness to create.
To rank on the first few pages of google starts with SEO (search engine optimization) + most likely paid advertising. 
Same if you found us on the Knot, Every Last Detail, or The Perfect Wedding Guide. Yup, we paid to be there so you can find us. 

If you heard about us from a friend – chances are they can tell you exactly what is was like to work with us, how hands on we are, what a peace of mind we brought, that we know all the right people + how to manage challenging situations so that the couple + their families could be present + enjoy their day. 

In addition to our time, here are just a few expenses that come with running a wedding planning business:

  • Insurance (business and staff)
  • Accountant 
  • Attorney to write contracts 
  • Business insurance 
  • Logo design 
  • Advertising 
  • Professional headshots 
  • Customer Relationship Management systems
  • Quickbooks
  • Graphic design
  • Education + training 
  • Printer ink, staples + paper 
  • Stamps
  • Clipboards 
  • Domain registration + hosting 
  • Business registration
  • Those cute hats + red heart sunnies that are a part of our brand
  • The scissors, sewing kits, deodorant, breath mints, the blister blocks that save many a tootsie with that fill our wedding day emergency kit along with loads of other things we’ve learned are needed on wedding days 
  • Time to meet you, answer emails, design, edit, work on your behalf communicating with vendors
  • Office space, internet, phone, electric
  • Computers
  • Desk + chair 
  • Vehicles to get to your event + gas + insurance
  • Staff on Wedding Weekend

And on top of all of that, we have to pay for the most un-fun thing ever: taxes which is roughly 25-30% of what the biz brings in. 

Let’s talk about hours invested. 
We typically have 3 team members on-site on wedding weekend. That is approximately 45-50 hours alone.While most of our weddings, are between 100-150 hours, at an absolute minimum we spend 40 hours planning a wedding. So nearly 100 hours of time is invested into one wedding. 

“Why so many hours?”
“Can’t you cut that down?”
“I’ve done all the planning myself, I just need an extra set of hands on my wedding day.”

The easiest way to explain this is: think of your finals in school.
They cover a semester or even a year of learning. 
As your planner, we can’t be responsible for your whole year of planning + be expected to know it front to back, just by showing up on wedding day with a clip board. Although that would totally rule + allow us to book lots more weddings a year!
We have to review everything you’ve done, learn your vision, develop your time line, run through your checklist to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything, communicate with your vendors, develop lay outs + get answers to the questions that you haven’t thought of since you haven’t planned a wedding before. All of that takes time. 

To break it down even further, you are paying for our experience + service. 
My 16 years spent learning + working events is worth more than someone who planned their own wedding + started an instagram account for their business. Although I am super happy that they discovered their passion in life + started a business. Live your dream sister! I am merely saying that there is a difference as to why we charge differently. 

The countless stellar reviews on the World Wide Web + Wedding p\Planner of the Year awards are why we cost what we cost. 

Whew! It all adds up pretty quickly you see. 

Keep in mind we are also in business to make money.
While we love people + giving back + our work is very joyful, we still want to make a living from it. 
We have rent + mortgages, car payments + car insurance.
We need to feed our families + go on that trip to the Ozarks. 

As much as I would like to say we are all millionaires in the wedding industry, we aren’t. Most of us are regular folks, making the magic happen because people + their happiness is our passion. 
We work through out the week + long hours on the weekends (missing soccer games + family dinners + birthdays + sometimes holidays) because we seriously LOVE what we do so much. 

I do know this though, we definitely charge what we are worth, we charge for the value of our service + the time invested in your wedding day. If you don’t believe us, check out our testimonials. Two common lines you will see are: best money spent + worth every penny. 

And while we are always so excited when an inquiry comes through or when we schedule consultations, we know that we are not the best fit for everyone. We may not be your style, you may not jive with our overly excited personalities + we may not be in your budget. I suppose that is half the fun: finding our couples, creating + executing their happily ever afters + staying best friends forever. Because if there is anything you have learned about SSD from our website, social media or reputation, it’s that we are all about family + you are stuck with us even after the wedding!

Shout out to all the lovelies who made these pictures happen!
Hair + Makeup – The Glam Fam
Bridal Attire – Mia Grace Bridal
Cake – Cake House Design
Catering – 23 City Blocks Catering
Photo Booth – Enooble Photo Booth
Florals – Steven Mueller Florist
Grooms + Groomsmen attire – Savvi Formalwear
Ceremony – Faith Family Church
Photography – Amy Meyerott Photo and Cinema
Additional Decor – An Affair To Remember + Exclusive Events, Inc.
Stationary – Unique Moments + Hand-Lettering by Stephanie
Venue – Silver Oaks Chateau

St. Louis Bride Shoot – Sheep!

St. Louis Bride Shoot – Sheep!

Photos by Shadow + Light Photography

St. Louis Bride Shoot

Sheep!

When the sweet Amy Meyerott of Shadow + Light called me the first week in March her first question was: do you like to travel?

Um duh.
Calgon take me away
I’m leaving on a jet plane …
And you know I have THE cutest luggage for such occasions.

“Amy, where are we going?”

“Silver Oaks Chateau if Nancy {Slade, the editor of St. Louis bride magazine} likes my idea for a French inspired cover shoot… and I want you to be my planner to pull it all together.”

Say whhhaaaaaa????

Legit I’m looking around the room (while I’m on the phone) to make sure she is talking about me. To me.

You see, one of my goals this year was to be published in a magazine so this felt a lil unbelievable. I mean did you see the last fairy tale inspired shoot in St. Louis Bride? That is some serious talent… I am still in awe of the ladies who pulled that together. #girlcrush

It turns out Amy was talking about me so once I got my bearings back she said so here’s my inspiration: French blue and peach ….

She said way more details after the announced color palate but I was already lost in my own thoughts…

You see as a child with an imagination that often got me in trouble, I dreamt up the most dreamy wedding (well in my 8 year old mind it was dreamy) with those exact colors. Peach bridesmaids dresses with puff sleeves, big white hats (like the one I wore to Easter Sunday because clearly fancy hats are for special occasions), light blue suits and a particular farm animal that will forever have my heart.

Coincidently my bedroom was shades of peach and light blue and also adorned with stenciled sheep on the wall, sheep sheets, a giant sheep that I stored my jammies inside (you know the animals with the pockets on their bellies from the 80’s???). So as a kid I wasn’t that clever but inspired by my surroundings!

Amy is probably still talking at this point about silk ribbon and floral arrangements when I blurt out: “We must have a sheep with a little bell around its neck! This is so meant to be it’s like a dream come true!”

“A sheep?”

“Yes a sheep. As in lamb. As in Mary had a little lamb, except our names aren’t Mary.”

It’s a sheep thing, you wouldn’t understand.

And most people didn’t, until you fast forward to the day that magazine hit newsstands and then there’s absolutely no question that the sheep didn’t belong. It was like a bride like Bo Peep graced the pages of that mag with her sheep, named Linn from Wildflower Farm in Ditmer, Missouri, and it seemed absolutely normal that 4 little flower girls in daisy floral crowns and tulle skirts played ring around the rosey with a fluffy black lamb!

After months of planning it was one of the most rewarding things to watch this shoot come to life and then to see it in print!!! Ahhh! I am still crying!!

Shout out to our main crew of ladies who humored the raspberry berets idea!

Enjoy these gorgeous images by my love Amy and the flipping best team we worked with that day…

I’m a pack rat, dumpster diver, save anything and everything sentimentalist at heart so I am proud and honored to say we pulled some of my most favorite things from storage to bring this table to life.

Special thank you to red lipstick Amanda (bc she’s always wearing it) from Ces and Judy’s for putting up with my daily sheep squeals for months and teaching me how to say crocumbouche!

Participating Vendors
Photography – Shadow + Light Photography
Location – Silver Oaks Chateau
Florals – Les Bouquets
Catering – Ces + Judy’s Catering 
Cake – La Patisserie Choquette 
Hair + Make Up – Beauty by Whitney
Calligraphy – RSVPeasCalligraphy 
Rentals – An Affair to Remember 
Classic Car – Best Transportation
Men’s Attire – Savile Row Custom Clothiers
Wedding Gowns – Town + Country Bridal, Clarice’s Bridal, Frew’s, Sincerely Yours, Fleur de Lis, The Ultimate Bride, Simply Elegant Bridal, Berrybridge 
Flower Girls TuTus – Birdee’s Closet at Local Lucy’s 
Models – West Model Management 
Jewelry – Genovese Jewelers + Timekeepers 
Sheep – Linn from Wild Flower Farm, Dittmer, MO