Solving a Dilemma: Should You Hire a Wedding Planner?
Engaged and over the moon? It’s the most exciting thing, knowing that two people loving each other are sure they want to spend the rest of their lives together.
Freeze that thought and keep it in your mind throughout the entire process. There will probably come a moment when you acquire that infamous bridezilla vibe and simply forget what this event is all about.
Anyway, you have the most important ingredient to the happiest day, it’s your spouse, now, do you need a wedding planner as well?
On top of tens of thousands of dollars, spending extra 2-3 thousand may seem like a bit of a stretch, so do we really need them, and why (not)?
Your wedding planner knows their job well: you want that wedding venue in Houston? No problem, they’ll arrange a meeting. Want to take your whole set of family and friends to a destination, or juggle various locations in your town? Deal. Everything will be as smooth as possible.
Get the Basics: Why They Cost as Much as They Do
Officially, you are paying for an incessant correspondence with gazillion vendors, dealing with endless yet indispensable paperwork… then wedding image, behind-the-scenes activities to make sure no wrenches are thrown, and all fire situations are put off timely. Plus some post-wedding activities, such as handling rented items and making sure all is clean.
Unofficially, you are paying for something you can’t put a price tag on- peace of mind. Stress-free preparations and ultimately, a relaxed wedding day. Joy oh joy!
Now, I’m not saying that you are about to have the crappiest day ever if you don’t hire a planner, it’s just a fact that for certain types of weddings and people, it’s an absolute must.
Here’s the thing: If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll have a hard time relinquishing control. But then again, you look for a planner of the same flock.
On the other hand, if you have a full-time job, and demanding at that, you’ll either use all your lunch breaks organizing your own wedding, or you won’t sleep, doing the same thing. Organizing a wedding is like having a part-time job.
Then, if you have in mind a grand ceremony with a lot of guests, many of whom are outoftowners, it’s wise to consider a planner.
Also, if you have tons of decor to be relocated. Dispensing placement cards is a time-consuming dull job that has to be done- now imagine moving it as well.
Lastly- if you’re not that good with money and can’t stay within a budget, call a planner, it’s their job to keep you from overspending and unrealistic endeavors.
A List of What a Planner Does
- they are a liaison between you and the vendors- researching, communicating, logistics, going through the extensive paperwork, service coordination;
- Creating the floor plan, taking into consideration the space and the number of guests;
- Coordinating and overseeing the ceremony: giving the music cues, making sure everybody is standing where they should, making sure that audio/video equipment is fully functioning;
- Outlining the timeline of a wedding day and making sure everyone’s following through: from the early morning preparations and schedules to transportation and set up and ceremony timetable;
If You Decide to Hire one, This Is What You Should Know
You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person, and are about to communicate more than with your best friend. For several months, maybe a year. You can’t just pick any random person because you like their Instagram page. That’s a good start, but your personalities need to match.
You need to make sure they’re a big fat yes. It’s like choosing a partner on a smaller scale.
Your budget is important. Decide what’s important and then skimp on the rest. Make sure you’re happy with the workmanship. “Hire the best vendors you can afford in your budget”, says a wedding expert.
“They plan so you don’t have to”. And troubleshoot on your behalf.
Ins and Outs of DIY
On the other hand, if you know you have expert organizational skills and just know you’ve got it, it’s completely fine to do it (sort of) solo. You’ll need a pair (or two) of helping hands of your partner, or friend of a friend. With good organization and realistic expectations, you can do it.
When I say “well-organized”, I basically mean you’re capable of prioritizing.
It’s perfectly understandable that you’d want to buy that dream dress like yesterday, but hold on.
First set the date, then decide on the guest list, then book the venue.
Or maybe you’d want to make a music list without having decided if you’d actually hire a band or a DJ. Or, have your cake topper done instead of reading all the contracts with million vendors.
The rule of thumb is: finish the official stuff, hire all the professionals (cake bakers, music, photographer…), then go attire shopping, cake tasting and deciding on a color scheme for invitations.
You don’t need to bleed the details alone. There are a lot of online tools for wedding planning, they may be of great help.
Anyway, always have a backup plan for everything. Imagine all possible cancellations and postponements. They won’t happen, but just in case, have a person help you, should things go awry.
Also, try finding a venue that offers prepackaged services.
Bottom line, if you want to DIY, make sure it’s for the right reasons, not because you think a planner is there to trick you- offer their regular services under the shroud of a “tailor-made” experience.
Or, you can hire a pro for a limited time, just to set you off on the right track, or for the wedding day. It’s your call.
Many will opt for a wedding planner to save money and sanity.
But if you want to do it alone, and you know what it entails, go for it. Act like a pro with the proper mindset and have a blast.
It can be just as perfect, as long as you keep in mind what this day is all about: the celebration of the union of two people who decided to make it for life.
That’s perfection in itself.
AuthorBio: James Barnes is an experienced wedding organizer and blogger at theannexevents.com. He specialized in organizing outdoor wedding events.When he isn’t writing about weddings and marital life, David usually goes swimming or playing squash.