But it's just some pretty paper: Invitations
A good rule of thumb when budgeting for invitations is this: a decent (read: nice quality, but not necessarily elaborate) invitation should cost around the same price as a greeting card. If you want a custom invitation, you can expect to pay more because you are compensating the artist for her designs, proofs, revisions and edits, assembly and general labor.
All you're doing is pushing a button: Photography & Videography
Photography can easily be one of the most spendy parts of the wedding and for good reason - when all is said and done, that is what you will have left. Also, the final product usually doesn't come out of the camera ready to go - a lot of behind-the-scenes editing and design goes into producing great photos. If you're having video, you can count on hours of editing, including finding the right moments to splice things in, cueing the appropriate music to match, etc.
So you're like JLo in that movie: Wedding Planners
No, I'm not like JLo and wow, did she make my job look easy! Hollywood has a knack for doing that though, don't they? The biggest thing you are paying the planner for is her time - the average wedding takes more than 250 hours to plan and there are only 52 weekends in a year. Both of these facts limit how much we can take on and commit to. It may seem like you are paying the planner for one day, but in reality 250 hours translates into more than six 40-hour work weeks. And that's just for your normal, run-of-the-mill wedding. If you want something unique and special, even more time is involved.
They are just going to die tomorrow anyway: Flowers
When purchasing flowers, you are paying for so many things - the grower's cut (planting, growing, watering, feeding, harvesting), the packaging and shipping of them in a manner that they will not wilt or die on the way to your location, and then the florist's fees (design, watering, prepping them with special concoctions that prolong their lifespan, arranging, delivering, etc).
The time-tested adage "you get what you pay for" has been proven over and over again with weddings. You don't need to break the bank on your wedding or try to keep up with the Joneses - but it is important to go into the wedding planning process with an understanding of where your money is going so that you can best prioritize its use.
Earlier this month she posted a follow up post - you can find it here.
So wedding planners are not only working 12 hours on the wedding day but up to 250 hours before! Even 'day of coordinators' work way more than those 12 hours - I average at least 40 hours on emails, phone calls and meetings per 'day of'wedding. Because that's what it takes to have an event be successful and that's why you hired us!
Just sayin'... :) Happy 4th!