heather vickery

Planning Tips, Your Event Career

How to Narrow Down the Wedding Guest List (Part 2)

This week, our QC Event School tutor, Heather Vickery, provides us with tips on narrowing down the guest list and saving money. Heather is the Owner and Event Director of Greatest Expectations Special Events and Weddings, one of Chicago’s most celebrated event planning and design firms. In part two of her blog series, Heather shares more tips on narrowing down the wedding guest list and saving money.

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Some areas that I would never, ever short change (and let’s face it, this is as important as the areas you can cut back on) are photography (no, your friend cannot take the same quality photos!) and videography. I also urge couples to hire a professional DJ or band. Having someone to emcee the event is priceless and an iPod playlist will not cut it!

event organizing

As you can see, there are many ways to creatively approach cost savings. When you present these concepts to your clients, they will be impressed with your knowledge and experience. It shows that you have thoughtfully considered all of their options and are truly working to keep them on budget. That said, it is your responsibility as the planner to educate your clients on what things really cost and ensure they set a realistic budget. Each wedding is different and pricing can vary from city to city but in downtown Chicago, where my business is based, you simply cannot have a sit-down dinner for 150 with dancing on a Saturday night for much less than $50,000 total — and many clients spend a significant amount more than that.

wedding coordinator

Be sure to ask your clients realistic questions so you can help them properly budget. When I am faced with a difficult budget situation, I always as my clients what their three “must have” items are and I promise they can have those things as long as they are flexible on everything else. I also ask what is really not that important to them. There is no reason to spend a lot of time, money and energy items that the client truly does not care about.

So remember, ask questions, give suggestions and be creative. Your clients will thank you for it.

Did you miss part one of this blog series? Catch up on more of Heather’s money-saving tips here!

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