Oooooh it's been a minute since I blogged but I had a wave of inspiration from the recent enquiries I have been getting and a rash of questions that keep cropping up. This Portugal wedding planning series will go into more detail about how I operate as a Portugal wedding planner and explain how I approach aspects of my planning with my couples.
Disclaimer: This is entirely written from my perspective as a wedding planner and no one else's. I cannot speak on how other planners do their wedding planning and do not pass judgments on this! As wedding planning is not a traditionally taught craft, you'll find a fair bit of variation in how each planner does things, so the best thing is to do your research and choose the planner that has the best processes for you. This series is to give you insight into my process in particular.
Photo by Phil Drinkwater
So.... Define Budget Management
This is a very common question so I felt this topic was a great place to start!
Budget management means different things to different planners as I explained before but my specific budget management comprises of two things.
1. Budget Plan
After our very first planning session when we get into the nitty gritty of your wants and needs for your wedding in Portugal, I create a budget plan for where I think your budget should be allocated in line with your priorities. We will use this budget plan as a guide throughout the wedding planning process and this budget breakdown will be visible at all times to both of us via my planning software.
2. Budgetary Advice and Guidance
As my clients, you will always pay vendors directly so my job in managing your budget is to suggest vendors that are within or under the original budget plan. Occasionally, if ideas change or the original budget is tight, we will get a quote that is slightly over budget. If this happens, I will be very transparent in saying that the quote is over budget and we can either:
a) shop around for cheaper options
b) go ahead with this slightly higher quote but I can save the money from other areas
c) go ahead with the higher quote because it is in line with your wants. If I can't save the money in other areas then you will be made aware and it will be up to you whether to allocate more fund to cover it or we can shop for cheaper options.
This is entirely in your control. I make no executive decisions when it comes to your money. At every juncture, you know where your money is going, how much we're saving, how much we're spending, what the payment schedule is and where we are with your budget overall. I like to make it as easy and clear as possible!
Photo by Rebel and Romance
What Budget Management is Not
Budget management (with me) is not sending me your full budget for me to distribute and pay suppliers from my accounts. I know that some wedding planners may do this and it is completely up to you whether this is a service you would want, but as a policy I don't do this for two reasons:
1. Planning as a partnership
A core part of my planning philosophy is that I like my couples to be in control of the planning process, and therefore, their purse strings. Though I may be driving the ship, you are still the captain. A huge part of this control, I feel, is paying your suppliers directly and having contracts in your name.
2. I am not an expert in account management
Now to be honest, not only is complete account control not in line with my philosophy, it's also not an area of expertise for me. I like to be very honest and open about my capabilities. I can do alot of things but account management for 10 couples at one time is not one of them! Therefore, I wouldn't feel comfortable taking your money to distribute to vendors. There are planners who happily do this service and they may suit you better if this is a service you would want.
I hope you found this tid bit on my budget management processes as a destination wedding planner in Portugal helpful for you!
Next time we'll talk about supplier sourcing, how I do it and what you could expect.
Ta ta for now,