PARTY DJ AUSTIN
Wedding & Event Planning Tips
Relax, we're here to help!
If you're planning your wedding, you're likely doing a ton of research trying to gather resources, find wedding vendors, and basically realizing that wedding planning a like having another job! We get it. We are in the wedding business and help clients plan their wedding all the time. Many clients have asked us for help and we're always happy to help as much as possible.
We've noticed that we get a lot of similar questions along the way, so we decided to write this article to help answer many of of these questions. We hope this helps to make your wedding planning less stressful. Let's discuss the questions.
1. Will a Wedding Planner Save Me Money?
The number one question we get asked is if having a wedding planner will save you money, overall. The short answer is, it depends. The first thing to think about is your overall budget and how much DIY planning you want to do, if any. If the thought of planning out an entire wedding weekend makes you cringe, then you can't afford not to have a wedding planner!
Wedding planners cost can truly vary, depending on your needs as well as the city or region of the country where your wedding will be taking place. They low cost option is to have a "day-of" (really month-of) coordinator. These planners will come in one month before the wedding and organize all the final details and tie up all the loose ends of your already made plans. The month-of coordination costs can vary, but in our Austin/San Antonio, and central Texas market, the average rate is about $1200 - $1500 for a month-of coordinator. Yes, there are some higher priced and lower priced alternatives, hence the term average.
For a wedding planner that will fully plan your wedding with you, the cost is considerably more. The advantage of having a month-of coordinator or a wedding planner is that they work with numerous vendors and already have a short list of vendors that they rely on. They'll be familiar with prices and vendors within your budget. This may save you money, since they may have a deal worked out with their go-to vendors that may be better than the rate you'd get if you were to approach them on your own. This isn't always the case, but it can be at times.
The bottom line is yes, having a wedding planner may be able to save you some money. The planner will be able to work with your budget to get you the best vendors and services within your budget!
2. Which Wedding Planner Book is Best?
For the DIY couples, many will ask us about any available calendars, worksheets, checklists, or books that can best help them plan their wedding. There are a variety of free and paid resources available on the internet. You can likely find everything you need to plan your wedding, free. The only downfall is that you have to do quite a bit of research to get all your resources. We actually also offer tons of great wedding planning tips on this very blog, to help you plan your perfect wedding day. We have free checklists, timelines, budget spreadsheets, and more. They're free and available to anyone, whether they are our customer or not. Our goal of this blog is to help everyone.
If you don't have the time to do all the research and you want a simple, comprehensive resource, the industry leader, The Knot, has made a great wedding planning book/calendar, called "The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer." This guide took all of the resources out there and put it into a handy calendar to help you plan the big day.
3. Why is Wedding Planning so Stressful?
Wedding planning can be very stressful. There are many details that go into planning and there are a lot of people involved in making your dream wedding a reality. First and foremost, the commitment, alone, is stressful. You've decided to spend the rest of your life with someone! That's a big commitment. Beyond this, weddings can be very expensive, which can also create stress!
Weddings are meant to be a once-in-a-lifetime deal, so understandably, you want your wedding day to be perfect. Every detail matters and because of this, it requires a lot of planning and organization, which can be stressful. Be sure to create a checklist, or a to-do-list, to help you stay organized. Get a calendar or planner and use it. We have a few great blogs on what to do before your wedding, that are sure to help. Check out our "What to do 6-12/18 Months Before Your Wedding" blog for lots of great tips. We also have another article, "What to do 1-6 Months Before Your Wedding" article, which guides you during this time. We're working on condensing all these to one article, and we'll create a calendar style book to help you plan your big day! :) Remember, the Knot has one similar, as well, just click the link above.
The sooner you get started wedding planning, the better. The more time you have to plan your wedding, the better for you, since your deadline won't be so near. Most people spend about 12 months planning their wedding. Sure, it can be done in less time, but that's where the stress comes in. Do yourself a favor and allow more time, if possible.
4. Are Wedding Planners Worth it?
This is a commonly asked question that has a tricky answer. The short answer is yes, absolutely! The tricky part is determining how much you want to be involved in planning your wedding. Your wedding planner will certainly work with you to make your wedding vision come to life. This will be the main advantage of having a planner. Your planner will know exactly who to contact for your every need, have an idea of the cost, and know the best vendors for your needs. This will save you a ton of time, since you won't have to spend countless hours researching and contacting people.
The other tricky part of the answer is determining how much is "worth it" to you. If you're on a tight budget, then every penny counts. Your wedding planner will cost you money, so be sure you have this cost built into your budget. If you just can't afford a planner, you can certainly go the DIY route, but that can certainly be more stressful. Again, the value of having a planner is well worth the cost. We'll discuss the costs in the next section.
5. How Much do Wedding Planners Cost?
Wedding planner costs can vary, depending on where you are and what your going market rate is. For our area (Austin/central Texas) month-of-coordinators hover around $1200 - $1500. For full service wedding planners, the cost can be quite variable. If you're hiring someone new in the business, their fees will be considerably less. We've seen some full service planners charge as little as $1200. Other more experienced planners can range from $4000 - $10,000, or more, depending on who you hire. Some planners charge a 10% of your total budget fee, as well.
Choosing a wedding planner can be difficult. Be sure to read reviews, find out what's included with their services, and ask for references, if you feel you need to.
6. Can Wedding Planning Make You Depressed?
This is a very commonly asked question and issue that many brides and grooms face. For this question, we'll let Diana answer this, since Diana is actually not just the business co-founder and owner, but she's also a licensed therapist! Yes, Jason and Diana both have professional Master's Degrees and they also DJed for many years before, and during college. You won't find any other DJ company owners like them! :) Here's Diana's answer.
I want to be the first to say that wedding planning is hard work! You are doing an amazing job. Now, too much of anything can be bad for you, right? Well, the same goes for wedding planning. Depression can affect people in different ways for a variety of reasons and it is a common mood disorder that can affect the mind and body. Some of the many possible symptoms of depression include sadness, decreased energy, and a lack of interest in activities. Many of these symptoms can be regulated by taking breaks from the wedding planning, and incorporating some self-care or mindfulness activities (even if its for 2-3 minutes per day).
Although it can be tough, try lowering the expectations you have on yourself that everything must be perfect (because there is no such thing as perfect). Don't compare your wedding to everyone else's or the amazing weddings on Pinterest. Remember, this is YOUR wedding. Accept that your friends and family are there to witness your happiness, not to critique your decor or venue - they love you! Sure, the plan is to have everything go as you envisioned it would. Occasionally, things don't go exactly as planned, so leave room for self-compassion and radically accept that you are doing the best you can, and some things are just beyond your control.
One way to help minimize the stress, which can ultimately lead to depression is to hire vendors who have a solid track record of doing a great job, not just in the last few months, but in the last few years! This way, you'll know if they are truly experts in the field and can do an amazing job. Whether it's for a wedding DJ, a photo booth rental, a planner, catering, or any vendor, remember, this is your special day and we encourage you to choose vendors who are going to help you execute your wedding day vision as best as possible!
We hope this article has been helpful and has answered many of the questions you may have. As always, be sure to contact us with any questions you may have and we'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Boots Team
There may have been a place you have been dreaming of for your wedding day since you were a child. But now you are engaged and live all the way across the country! Good news - it’s time for a destination wedding. Destination weddings are fun, if done right, and help people that live all over to meet at one specific location. The only quirk is planning it just right to make sure your wedding goes off without a hitch! Here are some of the best tips for planning a destination wedding you can utilize to get your wedding just right.
It is easy to forget that other states have completely unique weather at certain times of the year. For example, Austin, Texas, may be hot or rainy during the summer months, so a spring or fall wedding is a great time for a Texas wedding. On the other hand, Colorado has snowy winters and windy springs, so in this beautiful state, fall and summer are the best months. That said, if you’re looking to have a wedding at one of the less desirable times, there’s always the option of an indoor venue. This way, you can choose your wedding date regardless of the weather.
Plan (at least) Two Trips Prior to the Wedding
Because you don’t live in the destination that you’ll be planning this major event in, it’s important to plan some visits. The first trip should be to visit wedding venues and speak to other vendors like a great DJ, caterer, florist, etc. It should be at least one year to ensure that you have plenty of options left for your venue. This will help with your timing aspect.
The second trip should be planned around the 6-month mark. At this point, brides likely have their dress chosen and the wedding colors and theme are decided on as well. This trip is a great time to have a hair and makeup trial, that way if you need to figure out a different style option, you have plenty of time to do so. This second trip is also a great time to revisit your venue and get a more detailed idea of how the décor, seating and schedule might pan out. Double-check with all your vendors to be sure you’re still on the same page.
The (optional) third trip should be taken about 1 month prior to the nuptials. For brides that are doing a lot of DIY projects, didn’t like their first hair and makeup trial, or need to do a food tasting, this third trip is necessary. Otherwise, save the travel expense and plan to get to your destination wedding a week ahead of time to organize and set up.
Keep the Guests in Mind
While your wedding should be everything you’ve ever dreamed of, it’s also important to keep your guests in mind, especially if they need to travel. If you plan for a place too expensive, or out of reach, they might not have a good time, or worse, they might not even show up. That’s why you should put as much effort into making it as convenient as possible for them. Maybe put together an all-inclusive package so they know exactly what they have to pay for. Provide accommodations, airport information, rental car options and a variety of things to do.
Hire a pro
Sometimes, wedding planning can be overwhelming. If at some point you feel like you can’t do it, consider hiring a professional. You should feel confident and excited about your wedding. So, let them take on some of the responsibility while you communicate what your dream wedding will be like.
It may seem crazy at times, but always remember that the most important aspect of the wedding is the joining of you and your significant other. Follow these tips for planning a destination wedding and chances are, you’ll have the wedding of your dreams!
Guest Contributor: Abigail golder