Less than 20% of brides hire a wedding planner...That is a sad number. I say that because while many will bemoan the added cost of hiring one, can you imagine the cost of NOT HIRING ONE? I think the misconception out there is that wedding planners eat up half of your budget, which isn't true. You're paying for EXPERIENCE, and for their rolodex, which often comes with special deals and discounts through arrangements they have with vendors. Remember, vendors are more eager to lower prices to wedding planners than one-off brides that they will never see again. Also, it's not uncommon for industry vendors to post higher cost rates for the individual person, versus a planner, who's going to throw business their way indefinitely.