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It’s crazy that this blog has to be written. But here we are. Reminding people that people are better than chatbots.

Has the entirety of human evolution, from antiquity to the Eras Tour, culminated in the majority of couples enrolling the help of ChatGPT for wedding planning? What are we doing, people?!

If centuries of Greek Philosophy, the Age of Enlightenment, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, the Summer of Love and sixty years of Jeopardy has taught us anything it should be that a glorified build-your-own-adventure book is not a replacement for a human capable of understanding and reasoning, not to mention sympathy and joy.

No internet-based life hack can replace the dedicated expertise of someone who has made it their career to make wedding day dreams come true, but it appears that some couples are trying it anyway.

The numbers in Zola’s 2024 Wedding Trends Report provided plenty of tabloid fodder, claiming that 52% of couples are using AI to plan their wedding. But those conclusions about the data are not entirely accurate. As the great Greek philosopher Aristotle said, “All knowledge should be subject to examination and reason.”

Let’s look closer at the Zola report’s findings, why you might think about using Artificial Intelligence to plan your wedding, why you shouldn’t, and discuss examples of better ways to save time and money while making your wedding plans.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

When Zola put out their report, likely via a press release, they almost certainly crafted a headline with an on-trend and jaw-dropping statistic that would get attention of the media gatekeepers.

Then, in an effort to appear like they’d done their own research and reporting, the (cough) journalists at New York Post went on TikTok and found a woman who said that she used ChatGPT to literally do everything for her wedding. 

Actually examining the numbers in the report tells a different story. When the Zola survey asked respondents, “Are you using, or considering using, any AI tools to support your wedding planning?” 45.82% of respondents chose, “Not likely, I’m not a big fan,” and another 36.02% selected, “Unsure, but haven’t ruled it out.” So, more than 80% of surveyed individuals agree that AI is sketchy but can be somewhat effective if used properly.

If you want to interpret the data in the same manner as Zola, New York Post and at least one NBC reporter, you’d be adding the 36% that were unsure to the mere 11% that said “Very likely” and the 7% that said “Yes” to arrive at the (highly questionable) conclusion that you can use ChatGPT to “eliminate the need and cost for a wedding planner.” 

I disagree with the analysis and the premise. First of all, a wedding planner can work wonders that a computer flat out just can’t, and secondly, hiring a wedding planner doesn’t have to be the budget-buster that some couples fear it is.

Making Sense of the Dollars

The promise of AI is that it will save everyone money. Couples might find themselves thinking that if it can work for greedy mega-corporations and lead to thousands of salary saving layoffs (eventually hundreds of millions), then it must work for saving money on a smaller scale too, right? 

Possibly, but you get what you pay for.

While giving ChatGPT the proper prompts increases the likelihood that it will spit out a useful answer, more often than not, it “speaks” in broad generalities. Ask it to price out the cost of florals for your Labor Day wedding in San Diego with 90 guests and it will give estimates that vary greatly depending on several factors. Have a conversation with a knowledgeable wedding planner though, and they’ll have a real life number from an actual florist and floral designer for your exact needs.

Conversely,  AI won’t be able to give up to date-specific localized answers in black and white. If you think AI will save you time, think again. These unspecific answers will leave you spending hours doing your own research to find the answer a wedding planner would have been able to provide right away. 

ChatGPT, and other AI tools, are limited to what already exists. They can’t imagine new things and create custom experiences.

While the data sets are super huge, AI can’t think for itself nor suggest something unique to your situation. Ingenuity, creation, imagination and the ability to forge new solutions on the fly are uniquely human traits.

Don’t limit yourself to copying what’s been done in the recent past and fed into a computer database that regurgitates what it’s memorized. Instead, it’s better to pay for an expert and get the attention to detail you’re looking for to execute your perfect wedding day.

Why a Wedding Planner Can Save You Time and Money

In fact, hiring a wedding planner can actually help you save money. Wedding planners and day-of coordinators have a lot of connections in the industry and are excellent at managing a budget. They know how to negotiate with vendors to get the best quality for the lowest price.

Wedding planners also have access to trade discounts and have strong relationships in the industry that can reduce your costs. And, one overlooked way a wedding planner can save you money is by helping you avoid unexpected costs associated with planning mistakes and forgotten items.

A chatbot isn’t able to pull strings with industry connections. Relationships formed over years can lead to big time and money savings for you when working with a wedding planner. And fixing all the inaccurate information that AI produces will cost you a bunch of time too. The investigating you’ll have to do to check the work of an AI response is long and exhausting.

Money Saving Alternatives to Using AI to Plan Your Wedding

You don’t have to break the bank to have your dream wedding. From our blog which offers 14 Legit Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding, here are a few ways you can keep costs in check. 


On average, couples save anywhere between 60 and 90% when eloping over having a traditional wedding ceremony.

Avoid Saturdays

Choosing a different day, especially a weekday, can help you save money. Also, you’ll have more options for wedding venues and vendors. 

Nontraditional Venue

Have a memorable wedding in a gorgeous and adventurous setting for less than you might expect! Check out these spots

Micro Weddings for the Win

Planning a wedding can be stressful, but turning your workload over to an overhyped robot is not the best way to lower your blood pressure. Cactus Collective Weddings has helped adventurous couples plan and execute incredible destination adventure weddings for years.

As the original micro wedding experts in Las Vegas, the CCW team will thoughtfully and lovingly walk you through our packages and help pick the one that’s right for you.

Our friendly and responsive team will build you a customized micro wedding that will blow you away and give you memories, photographs, videography and experiences that will be cherished forever.

Rachel + David at Valley of Fire from Cactus Collective Weddings on Vimeo.

With some smart budgeting and a solid plan, you can have everything you want at a budget you can afford. Get in touch with us to give your wedding a human touch today.

McKenzi Taylor
McKenzi Taylor

McKenzi Taylor is America’s go-to elopement and micro wedding expert, often featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times. With over 15 years of wedding photography experience, it was after planning her own Las Vegas elopement in 2016 that McKenzi felt her purpose shift into elopement coordination. She started Cactus Collective Weddings soon after in 2017. Since then, she’s become a WIPA board member, and has helped well over 1000 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills.