It's a crazy idea, isn't it? The idea that paying an Event Planner can save you money on your event feels counter-intuitive, but it's not.
Saving money on a big event isn't easy without looking like you've skimped. Guests will know... there's just something that feels homemade and amateur about it, right? You know what I mean, even if you can't put your finger on it. The flowers are sparse, the linens are plain, the lighting is harsh... it's something. When you're on a tight budget, you do what you can and sometimes that's all you can do, right? Wrong!
That's what a planner will fix. A good planner can use vendor relationships to get you upgrades or even donations (for non profit events). When you call a vendor, it's a one-off and you'll get the rack price. An event planner will often get a preferred price on rentals or services based on volume. I have some vendors that I work with so often, that I can tell them the budget and they will make it work for that price. Also, when a vendor has a good working relationship with the planner, they know that future business from the planner depends on each event's performance, so they will often go above and beyond, not just to please the client, but to please the planner.
An experienced planner will know where you should spend the money for the biggest bang for your buck. I've done weddings on relatively low budgets that have been covered by bridal magazines because they look so luxurious, but what they didn't notice was where we saved money. Maybe we reused the flowers from the ceremony at the reception, or using less expensive paper for the menu cards. We'll know that in June it's not dark out till much later, so maybe don't spend the money on lighting the outside of the reception, but lighting inside is crucial. It's relatively inexpensive and makes the party look richer. It's the details that we know guests notice that we'll put the emphasis, and tell you where to save your money. Not everything you see on websites, blogs or pinterest are worth the money and time you will spend.
You can be saved from making other costly mistakes, too. Often times I work with clients who have done the annual event themselves for years and have decided to outsource to me. That's when I get to hear the best horror stories of vendors that didn't show up, wasted money on invitations that couldn't be sent because of mistakes, overpriced a/v because of added services they didn't need. Your planner will know the reputations of vendors in the area (or be able to ask their vast network about their reputations) to make sure it's someone you can count on. Your planner will know the common pitfalls an mistakes made at every step and look out for them for you. They will look over your contracts to make sure it includes everything you need and nothing you don't. Planners do this for a living, so they know what to look for.
So, while it may seem like you don't want to spend the money because you think you can do it yourself, you can save yourself money and the hastle of the details that go into the planning of your next event, by leaving it to the professionals!