Thursday, May 5, 2022
We know how it feels - you’re newly engaged in Chicago and have begun the wedding planning process yourself. Things start to feel a little stressful; maybe you’re balancing family opinions and obligations with your own desires and aren’t sure how to proceed. Or maybe you’re stuck trying to figure out whether you should spend a significant portion of your budget on your wedding gown or that deposit on your Chicago wedding venue. Do you really need that troublesome sister-in-law to-be to be a bridesmaid? Like we said - we get it.
Check out our last article: 7 Things to Know before Hiring a Chicago Wedding Planner >>
When things start to get stressful, you might find yourself wondering if you should hire a Chicago wedding planner for your big day. After all, wouldn’t that make it easier, or at least take some of the pressure off?
Good question! The answer is likely yes - having a Chicago wedding planner definitely spreads out the workload, reduces stress, offers reassurance that you’re not forgetting something major, and is likely to enable a more relaxed wedding day. But how to choose a wedding planner in Chicago? And what costs are associated? You’re in the right place to learn more - read on!
First, let’s check - do you really need a Chicago wedding planner? If not, what are the extra tasks and responsibilities that you’ll be taking on? What things should you consider to know you’re making the right choice?
If you have a small wedding budget, it’s common to have the conception that you can’t afford a Chicago wedding planner. Is this true? If you’re experiencing wedding planning yourself with a limited wedding budget and you’re hoping to have an intimate wedding in, for example, a restaurant, do you still need a wedding planner in Chicago?
Our answer? Micro wedding packages in Chicago, and weddings with smaller budgets are actually still absolutely good candidates for hiring a wedding planner. The reason? A Chicago wedding planner can actually help you to save money on your wedding, from your vendors to your venue!
A good wedding planner in Naperville can help you to hire high-quality wedding vendors in Chicago at an industry discount. Great wedding planners work with top-notch wedding vendors in the city and therefore build wonderful relationships. We love to pass on the discounts to our clients and we work to save them money and time when it comes to the vendor selection process. Cha-ching!
Ok, but what if you really like to do wedding planning, and don’t mind running things behind the scenes on your wedding day? This is an instance that you may desire not to hire a wedding planner, but we urge you to consider this decision strongly. You can always reach out to us for a complimentary consultation or check out our Day-of Wedding Coordination Chicago package.
If you’re doing all the wedding planning yourself, you’re almost definitely going to have built up some expectations for how the day is going to go. Expectations are ok to have, but if things come up unexpectedly, you’re more likely to have to address them yourself. You may not have that industry-experienced advocate to have your back and handle the issue. You and your bridal party may be distracted on that big day and not fully able to relax and enjoy yourself.
Even if you’re a type-A person who likes to go over the nitty-gritty details, we feel it’s best to consider the option of hiring a wedding planner in Chicago and taking advantage of their Chicago wedding packages. You can hire a more limited planner who helps just on the big day, or a month-of planner who can provide support or help you bounce ideas around as the planning comes to a close. Just like you, Chicago wedding planners are not one-size-fits-all, so it’s important to consider your options and seek an appropriate match.
According to this article, the average cost of a US wedding in 2022 is approximately $30,400, and most fall between $29K and $31K. The article points out that this number varies by region, season, day of the week, and style of the wedding, but it is a good ballpark amount for planning and comparing budgets.
What factors contribute to the cost of Chicago wedding? The cost of the venue, food service, engagement and wedding rings, wedding cake, bar service and waitstaff, event rentals, music, florals and decorations, wedding gown and tux or suit, stationary/invitations/thank yous, photographer or videographer and more all contribute to this cost. Not to mention hair and makeup, wedding favors or gifts, tips for service providers, and planning or coordination costs. Check out our wedding faqs to learn more >>
Developing an accurate sense of your wedding budget is critical in the beginning phase of your wedding planning process. From there, you can prioritize what aspects of your wedding are most important.
For example, you may have dreamed since you were small about your dream wedding gown, but perhaps your gluten-free partner-to-be is pushing for a soft-serve machine at your wedding reception. That means that you won’t need to budget for an elaborate wedding cake, and you can avoid the cake-cutting fee as well, leaving you a bit to spare on your dress.
Or perhaps music is extremely important to you and your favorite live band is coming in over-budget. What can you consider adjusting to make it happen?
These decisions aren’t ones you’ll need to make until further in the process, and having a Chicago wedding planner who is well-established in the event planning industry may allow for some extra savings due to the network among planners and vendors - just another reason to consider working with a high-quality wedding planner in Naperville.
Is your venue providing you with a venue coordinator? You may be wondering, then, if it’s necessary to have a wedding planner in Chicago in addition to the services of the venue coordinator. A venue coordinator is employed by the venue, not you, so therefore likely has the venue's best interest in mind. Additionally, most of the time, the venue coordinator is not aware of all the details you have planned, while your wedding planner will have your back no matter what, will know all the aspects of your wedding and will be by your side every step of the way.
When seeking to hire a Chicago wedding planner, it is very helpful to know what sorts of weddings each potential planner has worked on in the past. Some planners prefer to work with clients who are envisioning large, traditional celebrations, and will be able to provide feedback on adequately outfitted venues, catering companies, or music providers to fit the scene. Others love working with couples for their micro wedding packages Chicago or elopements, or intimate ceremonies in small spaces, and these skills may mesh with your desires to result in the perfect wedding day.
If you’re looking for a particular skill set, such as knowledge of Indian weddings, an Indian wedding planner in Chicago, or a wedding planner who understands microweddings, or even destination weddings, planners with this type of experience will be able to provide valuable feedback and opinions throughout the process. They may even have a network of great vendors that will contribute high-quality services, decorations, music, or more to your wedding or reception.
As you begin to research wedding planners in Chicago, it can feel like there are unending options for wedding planning packages being offered. For most planners, services range from least-involved to most-involved, often with a few in-between options. So many options is a good thing - it means that each client has a good chance of finding that perfect fit for service.
One of the most popular wedding planning packages is the Day-Of Coordination package, especially in the Chicago wedding market! For those brides and grooms in Chicago who have already made up their minds about their venue and vendors, and just are hoping to secure help on the big day itself, top wedding planners in Chicago provide day-of coordination. This is also known as wedding management. What does a wedding coordinator do? Along with double-checking all of your details - from the minute-by-minute timeline to the seating chart - these wedding coordinator packages include all kinds of support on the big day itself, ensuring that the behind-the-scenes are running according to plan. This means that you can relax and enjoy the excitement without worry and stress, ensuring a fully-present experience.
Partial wedding planning packages are a bit more involved. With more collaboration between the planner and the couple in preparation for the day, these packages may include assistance with the selection of some of the vendors, support on the wedding party wardrobe, and oversight of a larger portion of the lead-up to the big day. More meetings are likely to take place, and more back-and-forth is probably going to occur. You’ll still be managing the heavy lifting, for the most part, but you’ll have someone to bounce ideas around, provide feedback, and then manage the big day itself.
For Chicago brides and grooms who are planning more elaborate events, are heavily limited by their schedules and can’t devote the time it takes to do significant planning themselves, or who wish for support from the very start, it’s a good idea to consider a full wedding planning package with a reputable Chicago wedding planner.
Full wedding planning packages usually include the help of a professional full-service planner to help you decide on your vision for the day, work to contract with top-notch vendors, settle on a venue, work out any kinks in your budget, and provide assistance with all of the other aspects of planning and carrying out your big day. These services are perfect for busy couples who are overwhelmed by their vision and are unsure how to proceed, and full-service wedding planning packages provide reassurance, direction, and the collaboration of an experienced professional to ensure that the entire process is smooth and stress-free.
Are you from outside of Chicago and therefore planning a destination wedding? Or perhaps you’re hoping to say your I-do’s on a beach in Hawaii or maybe in Italy. If any of these are the case, or if the idea of having a destination wedding is intriguing to you, consider working with a wedding planner in Chicago who specializes in or at least offers destination wedding planning services.
The skills required to plan a wedding elsewhere, or to work with a couple and guests who are not as intimately familiar with a location are very different than the skills offered by typical planners. Wedding planners in Chicago who are versed in destination planning will be more comfortable working with travel agents, scheduling transportation requirements, and even just scheduling virtual meetings than a regular planner, and the outcomes are likely to be of a higher quality.
Some wedding planners offer add-on or a la carte services as part of their Chicago wedding packages. These may include planning your bachelorette party (or helping your maid of honor to do so), or helping to make that dream honeymoon into reality. It may also include offering design consulting, or other miscellaneous services that may arise. If there’s something you need help planning and you’re not sure what comes next, check with your wedding planner - they’re frequently highly-skilled in organizing diverse groups, working with hotels and venues, thinking out the details of events of all kinds, and may be able to support you so that your needs are met and your expectations are exceeded.
As you move through the wedding preparation journey, we hope that this article has provided you with some perspectives about working with wedding planners in Chicago. There are so many types of planners - from Day of Coordination packages that provide assistance with day-of needs and management to full-service destination wedding planners, there’s something for every couple.
Regarding costs, we mentioned that although it may come as a surprise, working with an experienced Chicago wedding planner may actually save you money. By allowing you access to their network of vendors, planners may be able to pass on big cost-cutting savings due to their industry contacts, and that is a win-win for everyone involved. Whether you’re opting for a small or intimate ceremony, a large traditional Indian reception, a destination wedding, or a one-of-a-kind elopement, we invite you to consider working with a professional wedding planner in Chicago to make your dreams come true.