The concept of a wedding planner and hiring one for that special day used to be seen as a luxury item and only available for the wealthy. Movies like “Father of the Bride” and “The Wedding Planner” portray weddings with multi-thousand dollar wedding cakes and flowers hanging down from the ceilings. In fact, most movies with wedding planners, only showcase an event that in real life would exceed a $100,000 budget.
Now, these same weddings and the details that make them so spectacular, are featured in countless wedding magazines, online articles and of course, Pinterest. Alongside pictures of farmhouse tables draped in garland and charger plates topped with custom menus, are countless articles about how to save money while planning your wedding. In fact, it is not uncommon to see an elaborate reception design pictured in the same article with a title such as “How to Plan a Celebrity Wedding for 5 Cents”.
Instead of having to make countless appointments with venues and vendors, brides and grooms can essentially swipe left, swipe right and plan the details of their entire wedding without leaving the house. The person to person interaction has declined because, let’s be honest, it’s easier to just do everything from a smart phone. Your florist wants to know what colors you like? You send off a Pinterest board with 500 inspirational photos. You want a venue tour but don’t feel like spending an entire day driving around? You go onto the venue’s website and take a virtual tour.
Wedding websites and magazines, both which are still used by thousands of couples, are also changing their marketing tactics. If couples truly want to plan their wedding from their phone, how can the sites and magazines get their business? Easy. They offer a “wedding concierge” program.
If you’re not already familiar with the programs that websites such as The Knot and Wedding Wire have implemented, it’s basically nothing more than a strong filter system masquerading as a wedding planner. The websites are quick to offer a pop-up as soon as you hit their home page to introduce you to some random someone that can sorta kinda maybe but probably not help you plan your wedding. While each site operates a little differently, the gist is all the same: online assistance similar to any website with a live chat feature, except you have no idea who this person is or why they are recommending certain vendors and venues over others to you.
Throughout 2015 and into 2016, these sites began offering the concierge program in various forms. The offers range from assisting a couple with their venue search while others will recommend every last vendor a couple needs. Where’s the problem? Well, to begin with, these recommendations are not based on that concierge having any real experience with the venues or vendors they are recommending. That’s right. They cannot vouch for anyone. So whom is getting recommended? The venues and vendors that pay to be, of course.
These websites, already clogged with banner ads, blinking ads, ads that cost upwards of $1,000 a month, also host pages for venues and vendors in the wedding industry. The cost to advertise on those pages depends on where you want your business placed, if you want hot-button words like “preferred” under your avatar, if you want to be in the first two rows, and so forth. Basically, the more appealing you want your business to look to a couple, the more money you will spend advertising with any given wedding site. On top of that now, venues and vendors are essentially being cut-off before a couple can even see their page because a concierge pops up on the home page to offer assistance. Oh, and if a venue or vendor wants that concierge to recommend them, that will be an additional fee.
But wait, there’s more madness. Who is the person you, the bride or groom, are talking to? Where are they based? What experience do they have? It might surprise couples to know how few of these people have any experience in the wedding industry and that they are not spread out across the country, but typically in one office, in one city, in one state.
That means that couples are getting advice and recommendations from people that have nothing real to say about the venue and vendors being recommended because not only do they lack experience (if they have any at all) but there’s a pretty good chance that they aren’t even in the same time zone. It’s a scam, plain and simple.
But why does it work? Because wedding websites are constantly showcasing dream weddings and sharing articles about how to plan it all for a dollar….and now they can offer a “wedding planner” to everyone, regardless of budget. It’s a false reality and it sets couples up for failure.
The thought of hiring a wedding planner while appealing to many, is quickly ruled out because of how they are portrayed as being only available for the mega-rich. The problem with what these sites are doing, is that they are not offering the product that the couples believe they are getting. It would be like hiring a plumber to come train your dog. Why can’t a couple get an affordable package from a real wedding planner, and why can’t they sit on the couch and use their phone to do it?
The Pocket Planner offers everything and more that those wedding website concierge programs only claim to do. To begin with, every planner in our system is a professional wedding planner with real experience, real knowledge and real venue and vendor recommendations. Your wedding is real, so shouldn’t your planner be real too?
The website is free of advertisements and Pocket Planner recommendations are based on established working relationships that they already have…which also means, you are paired with someone local to your wedding location. You will rest easy knowing that all of the referrals you receive are given based on your details and not based on advertising dollars.
On the big wedding websites, you’ll see the standard recommendations for when you should be planning what based on a 12 month engagement period. You’ll also find pie-charts to illustrate how your budget should break down, and countless other cookie-cutter documents that are absolutely worthless. With our site, and in addition to helping you assemble the best team for your wedding, you’ll receive customized templates prepared by your Pocket Planner. Because we know that not everyone has a 12 month long engagement, not everyone divides their budget the same way, and that every wedding is different, and we prepare the information that YOU need for YOUR wedding.
The best part of all of this? It’s affordable.
Everything that those other sites advertise, we actually deliver on. Our packages have been designed for the couple that wants a professional planner in their corner but doesn’t want to go broke doing so. The website you have been waiting for is finally here and now, you truly can have, a planner in your pocket. A real one.