There’s a common misconception that having a wedding planner is only for the rich and famous and isn’t for the regular couple planning their wedding. I’m here to tell you that a wedding planner is for anyone planning a wedding, yes there is a cost to go along with it (and yes its obviously cheaper to plan yourself) but the majority of planners have a range of services so that they can offer to a variety of offers to couples and budgets. Wedding planners are also there not just to help you plan the wedding, but they are also a shoulder to cry on, someone you can ask for advice and are ultimately there to allow you the chance to enjoy your engagement and build up to your wedding, instead of stressing and just wishing that the planning would be over already! If you have had any of these thoughts whilst planning your own wedding then this post is for you.
What is a wedding planner?
If you think that you might want to work with a wedding planner then it’s important that you fully understand what their role is and how they can help you, as well as understanding the things that they won’t normally do.
Every wedding planner will be slightly different and may offer different services or different packages to suit different budgets so it’s important that when you are looking for a wedding planner you get a full understanding of exactly what they are offering you before you decide to work with them. Read through any contracts and terms and conditions thoroughly, ask lots of questions and make sure you get anything that you are unclear on explained upfront before you sign anything or hand over any money – you don’t want to get caught out because you made an assumption that turns out to be wrong.
As a base most wedding planners will do the following:
- Help you review your budget and allocate chunks of it to different areas of your wedding based on your desires and their knowledge of cost.
- Create ‘to do’ lists and ‘check sheets’ so everyone involved in your wedding is clear on what they are responsible for and when they need to get it done by.
- Liaise with potential suppliers and venues in order to obtain quotes. Once selected and booked they will then deal with them throughout the planning stage and into your wedding day to make sure everything runs smoothly.
- They may offer support with making travel and accommodation bookings for any guests that require it.
- They will be present on the day overseeing the setup of your venue and ensuring that what you have pictured and planned will come to life.
- On the day they will be involved in all manner of things from problem solving to guest management, to liaising with suppliers and eventually the de-dressing of the venue.
A wedding planners’ role is instrumental in creating the day of your dreams and ensuring that it runs smoothly and that where any problems do arise, they are the ones to resolve them, thus helping to keep the stress away from you.
Think of your wedding planner as your own pocket financial adviser who deals with weddings. They know how much things should cost, what percentage of your budget should be spent on each part of the event and also when each payment should be made in order to secure services or products. They can also stop you making costly mistakes such as ordering flowers that are out of season or booking a band for 3 hours when you only have a 90-minute drink reception! Having someone who is experienced in planning weddings becomes invaluable when it comes to budgeting and making sure you aren’t wasting/losing money.
Coordinates your wedding suppliers
Knowing which suppliers to trust and who will make your wedding perfect is a daunting task. There are so many wedding suppliers out there you may not know where to start, who’s out to scam you and how cheap is too cheap. Once you find a great wedding planner however everything else falls into place. They are there to guide you in the right direction and many will use suppliers they have worked with before and trust. They usually all have a little black book full of the top suppliers we know you will love for every theme of wedding.
If you are someone who hates the thought of all of the backwards and forewords with each and every supplier for your wedding day you can task this to your planner. They’ll keep you updated on the important information regularly and ensure that bills are paid on time but will deal with what can feel like a constant barrage of emails and communication.
Wedding planners are born problem solvers! They are there to solve anything that may come up in the planning or on the day itself, in most cases they will solve the problem without having to worry you both and sort it quietly and quickly so you would never know if anything has gone wrong, especially on the wedding day! One problem that is a common occurrence in wedding planning can be family input. Many brides have to deal with a swarm of requests and ideas from family and friends into what ‘they think’ is best for your wedding. This can obviously be very stressful! A wedding planner will be able to deal with these expectations and show them available options on their ideas. Planners are there to take the stress away from you and be your very own champion problem solvers.
What a wedding planner won’t do.
Ultimately working with a wedding planner is a collaborative relationship. They aren’t going to take over and make all of the decisions for you. You still need to be heavily involved in the process to ensure that you are getting exactly what it is that you want. The wedding planner is there to offer advise based on their experiences, the contacts that they have, and the outline for the day that you have created.
How do you choose a wedding planner to work with?
Perhaps one of the most important things when choosing a wedding planner is finding someone that you like and get on with. All of the knowledge, contacts and experience in the world will mean nothing if you don’t like them and can’t bear to speak to them or be in the same room with them for any length of time.
You and you wedding planner are going to get to know each other pretty well as you are going to be working together for months. You are going to need regular meetings, be that on the phone or in person, to ensure that things are still on track, in regard to both timescale and budget. You need to find someone that you trust, someone that you respect, someone that you can relate to and who can relate to you, and maybe even someone that you can laugh and joke with – remember you’re going to be spending lots of time talking to them.
When you’re looking for a wedding planner don’t be afraid to speak to several, ask lots of questions, and then make an informed decision.