I was hesitant to write this post because, as a wedding planner, I don’t want to sound biased or come across like a sales pitch, BUT after planning my daughter’s wedding and experiencing the horrors I went through, I realized that it is necessary to inform couples on the IMPORTANCE OF A WEDDING PLANNER! Yes, I know I am a planner and I thought I could handle it. I had the help of family and one life-saving friend, and everything went smoothly until the day of. That’s when the dam broke and I almost did myself! I forgot little things that I do weekly at other people’s weddings, because I was stressed that MY baby girl was getting married. I didn’t even get to hair and make-up until 5:25 and she was going down the aisle at 6PM! It was still a beautiful wedding and everything turned out well, but if I had to do it over, I would hire a wedding planner!
There are many wedding horror stories, out there on the www. Do your research and have the wedding you DESERVE! But remember, there is a huge difference between a venue coordinator and a legitimate wedding planner. Check out this article by Lelia Khaila, entitled
What is the difference between a “wedding planner” and “wedding coordinator”? A wedding planner and wedding coordinator are essentially the same thing. The main difference is between the role of a “day-of coordinator” and a planner.
A day-of coordinator usually begins services close to the wedding date, after the couple has hired all their vendors and secured their venue. Their role is to be in charge of the actual wedding by managing all the details the bride and groom have spent months planning. They make sure that everything comes together exactly as the couple imagined. A coordinator allows the couple, wedding party, and guests to enjoy their special day without the stress. Think of a “day-of coordinator” as a general contractor or a symphony conductor.
A wedding planner’s role goes beyond the day-of the wedding duties. A planner will work with the couple for up to a year before the big day helping with everything from design creation, budget management, stationary/invitations, suggestions for and booking of venues, contract negotiation or review, and coordination of everything the day of the wedding. A wedding planner is there to help reduce stress by managing and organizing all the details from start to finish. This is a great option for couples who want assurance that they are hiring reliable vendors and getting the most for their budget or those who have demanding lifestyles and schedules.
A wedding planner is there for YOU. It’s YOUR day and YOU deserve the best! A planner will not make decisions for you or take away the fun of planning, but she will be there to help you make informed decisions and to ensure that your plan is executed accordingly.
Why Hire a Wedding Planner?
I don’t need a wedding planner because….
I can’t afford a planner. It’s just not in my budget. Think about the amount of money you allocate to feeding your guests, hiring the photographer to take the perfect photos, and choosing a DJ that will get the party started. Despite this, couples tend to skimp when it comes to hiring a planner that will orchestrate the whole wedding day! It’s like having a car filled with passengers, but no driver or GPS! So why do some couples stop at hiring the planner. In reality, a planner can SAVE YOU TIME & MONEY! Planners have relationships with vendors and venues since they work on many weddings so they can give you economies of scale. They can also help you put together a realistic budget. In the end, the money and time saved might be greater than the cost of the planner, so you basically got the planner for FREE!
The venue coordinator & catering manager assured me that I don’t need to hire a planner because they can handle it. All I have to say is read Leila’s article above. The bottom line: venue coordinators are there because they are hired by the venue to maintain and manage the venue only (i.e. food, rentals, staff, etc…). They work for the venue, not for you. Their main goal is to ensure the facility runs smoothly. So if you arrive and your flower arrangements are wrong or guests can’t figure out where they are supposed to sit, don’t look at the venue coordinator to help you out because they won’t have any idea on what you wanted.
Shouldn’t the vendors be able to manage themselves since they work weddings all the time? According to feedback from vendors with whom I have worked, there is a huge difference between a wedding with a planner vs. one without, but with a venue coordinator. Not only are the finishing touches and design usually better, but the flow of the event and communication between the parties is also better (i.e. the photographer will be ready for photos and not out in the cocktail area when the DJ plays the song for the Grand Entrance). Although it’s your day, think about the vendors you have hired. What will help make both your lives and their lives easier? A wedding planner!
So in the end, a wedding planner/coordinator WILL:
· Convert your vision into a reality
· Guarantee that you make the most informed decisions when hiring vendors and signing contracts
· Ensure that your special day runs smoothly by management of the timeline and troubleshooting
· Manage vendors, guests, and all the details
· Help you SAVE MONEY
· Be a resource of knowledge, a sounding board for decisions, a mediator, a therapist, and a stress reducer!
A wedding planner is there to help YOU design your big day and ensure that YOUR big day is everything you dreamed of and more!