WeddingWire's Cost Guide Dilemma
I applaud WeddingWire's Cost Guide because for a good portion of the website, it does offer some really great wedding tips for couples. Here are some wedding planning tips that can really help you with your budget that WeddingWire reports:
36% of Wedding Photographers offer engagement shoots into their prices.
32% of Wedding Videographers offer drone services.
6 months or less is the average turnaround time for a bridal gown
46% of limousine drives require at least a 3 hour minimum
To me those are really incredible statistics that you want to know about. It really does help you understand what vendors require when booking them. WeddingWire even goes into detail answering what is included in services from Wedding Pros. However, that should be where WeddingWire stops reporting.
Why do I feel this way? I'm glad you asked. When it comes to budgeting couples should be informed that what is stated on WeddingWire does not mean it will apply to them by any means. WeddingWire has taken a national average and reported that to the thousands of couples who will read this and possibly think it applies to them. Yes it's very easy for you to think this way because this is coming from a national brand that has a lot of clout in the wedding industry. What they say should be correct, right? Well not always.
They do not go into specifics with their projections. Take a Washington, DC Wedding Planner like myself for example. WeddingWire states our average cost is $1,000-$2,500. They never really tell you as the couple what that gets you. They do not tell you what all of the DC weddings looked like, their guests counts, how much decor they had, and any other specific needs.
I'll break it down even further and you tell me if this is fair. It typically takes a planner 250 hours to plan your wedding. That's 6.25 weeks of work. If you paid a planner $2,500 for 250 hours that's $10 an hour not including them paying their team. Talk about equal pay.
This guide makes you as the couple think most DC couples spend $1,000-$2,500 on their wedding. That may be the case, but are you most couples? Do you desire your wedding to look and feel like most couples? Do you know what type of venues most couples used? Do you know how much work most couples put into their wedding that you may or may not be willing to do to get to that price point? Do you know how many guests attending the weddings at each price point? So many unanswered questions left by WeddingWire that can confuse you.
Here's the biggest problem with WeddingWire and their Cost Guide. They give you a very tiny one line disclaimer. Sort of like the contract with the very small fine print that people tend to bypass every time.
Weddings vary in so many ways due to:
What you have chosen to plan yourselves
Day of the week
Types of Flowers (in and out of season)
...and the list goes on.
By no means am I saying to disregard what WeddingWire is reporting on the statistical side. I surely am not trying to advocate that you pay more than what you are able to afford when hiring a DC Wedding Planner or any other Wedding Professional.
You should only use this Cost Guide as a way to help you build your wedding budget and understand what could be included in wedding services. You can also use our Wedding Planning Blueprint to solve a lot of issues before hiring anyone.
Yes there are many locations where this guide is spot on. Not all, however.
WeddingWire has a good resource to inform you of what to look out for when planning your wedding and hiring vendors. But I strongly urge you to speak with a Wedding Pro to ask them average costs. We know who good wedding professionals are and we know what their prices are for good work. We will never group in any service that does not have the same or higher standard and quality of service as we do. That is what you won't get from WeddingWire. You cannot see the reviews, but we can tell you who to hire.