Your wedding planner plays a major role in keeping your budget in check. In fact, a good planner may even secure enough vendor discounts to offset the cost of his or her services. Find planners who bring steady business to vendors you like; these are the ones who will be able to save you money. Talk to planners about your budget, and make sure they're willing to work within these financial parameters. Ask about their experience negotiating vendor contracts, and have them describe any great deals they've secured for previous clients. While you shouldn't expect enough deals and freebies to substantially slash the bottom line, the right planner will be able to help you stretch your wedding budget further.
Beware of planners who don't seem committed to your budget. If they try to gloss over this topic or aren't willing to talk about potential discounts, find a planner who will.