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Your Budget & Your Wedding Professionals: Helping Them Meet Successfully

Aug 17, 2007
Do you know the single most common way brides shoot themselves in the foot when they meet with wedding professionals? I'll give you a hint. It's also one of the most common tips you find in most wedding planning books about what you should say when dealing with a wedding professional. Unfortunately, it is, for the most part, bad advice.

That's right... The most common line wedding professionals hear is, "I'm on a budget." And all too often by saying those four short words their relationship is suddenly not what it could be and occasionally it will prompt the professional to decide the bride is not one they want to deal with at all.

So, why is it bad advice to tell a bride to say that to a wedding professional?

* It's bad advice because nearly every bride says it, so it runs off like water on a duck. At best, it's a waste of time and breath.

* It's bad advice because it attempts to put the professional in the awkward position of deciding what's important to you - the bride.

* And it's bad advice because it insults the professional's intelligence - and you don't want to establish any business relationship by first insulting the one you will be working with. It's not worth it, especially when you are talking about your wedding day.

Any reputable business person in the wedding industry knows that unless you're a Hollywood starlet, everyone is on a budget. Yes, some might be tighter than others, but everyone is limited in what they can spend. The question is not are you limited, but what are your priorities? The second question, and only you can answer this, is how to fit your priorities into your budget.

The trick is for you to figure out how to spend what you have. Don't put the wedding professional in the tight spot of doing that for you. There is no way the professional can know how important their discipline is to you compared to the flowers, photography, cake, etc. They can't know your ultimate priorities. You have come to them; they have to assume that you have placed a priority on their part of the wedding planning process in order to give you a top quality product. Anything less would be to shortchange you.

Advocates of using the, "I'm on a budget" phrase claim that it will protect you from the 'hard sell' professionals who might try to push you into something you don't want in your wedding. I understand that. In my experience, however, those kinds of people will push anyway. Besides, aren't you better served by knowing what you do want for your big day than by hiding behind four words?

What's the answer?

* Take the time to prioritize so you know exactly what elements you want in your wedding.

This is true of the big items like whether you want a limo to whisk you away from the reception or would rather put the money keepsake jewelry for your wedding cake to make your reception sparkle, or flowers, or catering.

It's also true of the details of each item. Certain flowers are more expensive because they have to be flown into the area where you are getting married. Is it important that you have those particular flowers? Maybe it is, but the fact that your resources are limited means that you will have to cut back on something else. The same is true for wedding location or your cake design.

* Take the time and effort to research each discipline you want in your wedding and discover what is realistic for your budget.

In every discipline there are aspects that drive the cost up. By determining what they are you can decide in advance what you want to pay for.

This is one area where an experienced wedding planner can be worth every penny you pay them. With their time in the industry comes familiarity with the various disciplines that make up a typical wedding. They know that some things which look dramatic are relatively simple while other designs that might look simple are extremely time consuming and therefore will raise the price you will have to pay for that touch. Maybe it's worth it. Maybe it's not, but only you can decide. Research and / or experience in the field will help you solve those issues before it becomes a problem for your budget.

It is work, but it will save you grief, frustration, and money when you begin to meet with your wedding professionals - a lot more than those four common words.
About the Author
Jeanette Shinn is a wedding professional with over a dozen years experience making dreams come alive. Find tips and accessories from cake jewelry to Cinderella Themed Wedding Favors options at http://www.ExcitingWeddingFavors.com.
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