Become a Top Wedding Planner – Plan a Wedding on a $5000 Budget


Can you plan a “laid-back Caribbean vibe” wedding on a budget of $5000?

This is what the wedding designers on last week’s TLC television show, “Battle of the Wedding Designers,” were asked to do. Three Southern California wedding designers battled each other for the opportunity to give a couple the wedding on their dreams on their $5000 budget. The designers had to present a theme, ceremony site, reception area, food, flowers and cake.

The first designer, Linda Ly, chose the theme, “City Chic Meets Bahama Bliss”. Her venue was the Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach, California. The couple loved the view of the beach from the rooftop ceremony site Linda presented until a helicopter flew overhead and they realized that the noise would ruin the romantic feeling of their wedding. The were also concerned that the outdoor space was windy and cold. (These are things you need to think about if you plan an outdoor wedding.)

Due to budget constraints and the way she allocated the money, Linda was only able to present a light menu of small “tasting” foods which the bride and groom felt was inadequte for their guests. And while they liked the signature cocktails she had created and named after them, the fact that those were the only cocktails they could offer their guests disturbed them.

The wedding cake was a big hit, the groom thought it tasted incredibly good. To save money, the beautiful cake was made of styrofoam. Only the cake they would cut into during the cake cutting ceremony would be real.  The guests would actually be eating from less-expensive sheet cakes cut in another room. (Planners often suggest this as a way to save money.)

Wedding designer Summer Simmons (I could not find a website for her) chose the theme,”Tropical Nightclub Romance.” She selected the all-inclusive venue, The Mark for Events, in Los Angeles. (All-inclusive venues often help save time and money.) The bride and groom loved the ceremony design ideas with rose petals and hurricane lamps lining the aisle, palm trees (rented to save money) at the altar and curtains that allowed the bride to make a grand entrance.

The rum bar stocked with bottles of inexpensive juices and rum was a big hit but the designer missed the mark on the cake. To save money, instead of one large wedding cake, she presented “cake shots,” individual glasses filled with cake. The couple didn’t know what it was and was concerned their guest would not either.

The third wedding designer, Michael Willms, presented the “Chateau Uber Chic” theme. By calling in lots of favors from his connections in the wedding business, he was able to design a grand wedding on a $5000 budget.

He presented his ideas by giving the couple a taste of what it would be like to have a wedding at his venue, Taglyan Hall, in Hollywood. He greeted them outside with a Calypso band. He handed the bride a bouquet and had her practice walking down the aisle to her groom as a piano played in the background. (Helping a bride visualize what it would feel like to work with you will help you get more clients.)

The reception site was a grand ballroom with an amazing chandelier. Drinks were red or white wine and some hard liquors. The cake, which looked like a stack of Tiffany boxes, also got good reviews.

Spoiler alert!

The winner was Michael. No one thought he could keep within the budget but by selecting vendors whom he knew, he was able to do it.

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3 Responses to “Become a Top Wedding Planner – Plan a Wedding on a $5000 Budget”


    Hi There!
    I’m Summer Simmons. Thanks for watching!
    My company email is:



    Hi Summer,

    Thanks for reading my blog post.




    What a pleasure it was to work on the show, I’m Michael Willms, and I had a blast making the couple’s day and experience special. Thanks so much for watching!

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