Hooray! You are engaged and cannot wait to dive in to planning. The Pinterest wedding world is really exciting and the thought of making your own dreams become a reality is even more exciting.
Ready for some girl talk? Full disclosure – you are about to enter confession zone of a wedding planner. I’m the wedding planner who never thought she needed a wedding planner. I was married eight years ago – just one short year after I launched into my event planning career. I thought I had it all under control and wanted the “control”. Eight years later and over 300 weddings later, I’m smarter and a million times more experienced and NOW fully realize the value of a wedding planner.
If I could gift, at the very least, month of coordination planning, to every bride I would. Because that is not a reality, sadly, I”m here to help you debunk the top five reasons you are saying you don’t need a wedding planner!
Here’s the thing – as you set out to plan your wedding, you know you need a venue, a caterer, a photographer, etc, but when they get to the wedding planner line item, it becomes a negotiable vendor. I’m here to tell you, it should be as much of a must have as your venue!
So here we go – five myths about hiring a wedding planner, debunked by a wedding planner.
1. A Wedding Planner will take control of the planning, and I want to be in control of my planning
I hear ya. I really do. A good planner is a partner, not a dictator. This is your wedding. These are your ideas. A planner will work with you to define your vision and priorities, and then offer guidance based on experience. You can be as hands on as you’d like, but I’m here to tell you – coordinating meetings, staying on top of follow ups, tracking payments, etc. is not the most glamorous part of wedding planning. It’s also the most time consuming. You’ll likely be happy and relieved to hand it off. There is enough on your every day personal and work “to do” list. Wedding planning is a full time job.
2. Wedding Planners are expensive
Have you ever spoken to one about pricing? I actually had the same fear and didn’t even quote one out for my wedding. Biggest mistake ever says the wedding planner and the wedding planner’s mother.
Many planners will have different packages or even customize one for you. An experienced planner houses more knowledge than any single vendor and, while it’s been said time and time again, will SAVE you money and time. We know the questions to ask ahead of time to dodge costly mistakes, we know how to shift expenses in the overall picture based on your priorities and can offer alternative options to get you the end result without breaking the bank. There is no price tag on expertise and peace of mind that one of the most complicated and expensive
days of your life is being held together by a professional who has flawlessly executed weddings time an time again.
3. I want to find my own vendors. I don’t want to hire from my wedding planner’s vendor list
We want you to feel like your vendor team is reflective of you, your style and budget. Wedding planners may have a short list of vendors that they prefer to use for various reasons, but that doesn’t mean you have to use them. Some of my best vendors came from client suggestions. Be prepared for a planner to have the right to vet them out so to speak – to make sure they are legit and professional. After all, as the keeper of your wedding, we are taking the heat if that vendor doesn’t live up to promises.
Many times, you are drawn to a wedding planner for their style, and that style is reflective of the vendors they use. It doesn’t mean you’ll have a cookie cutter wedding – it means you are embarking into known territory. Vendors that are not only creative, but follow through on all promises for your wedding day. A wedding planner is only as good as her vendor team. If my florist isn’t showing up, we’ve got major problems.
So the take away from #3 – a wedding planner will work with you to define your style and budget and then give you options for vendors. Decisions in planning should always be your choice but she will save you countless hours of internet searching with random inquiries for pricing and availability.
4. I know what I want with my design – how could a planner ever know what’s in my head. I want it to be all my idea.
Your planner’s job is to help you make those visions a reality. You can drive the design and should, but do you know how to make it a reality? Your planner will be able to pair you with vendors who will deliver that aesthetic and design. Your planner will be able to build on your design foundation by offering enhancements, supporting ideas, alternatives that will lead to a truly unique wedding that is beyond anything you ever imagined OR saw on Pinterest.
5. I don’t need help. I have family and friends who will help, and I have lots of time in my schedule
Are you sure? Doesn’t everyone want to be AT your wedding rather than WORKING your wedding? Here’s some hard advice from a planner – no they won’t – they won’t help. They will promise and they really have honest intentions, but time slips away, life is busy and who’s left tying ribbon at midnight the night before her wedding? You. They may help here and there, and they really do want to help, but the reality is, time and time again, a client will confess a family member is not pulling their weight as promised.
When it comes to your own personal schedule and availability for planning, think long and hard about how much you really want to take on yourself and how much of your normal life you want to give up. Do you want to be organizing phone calls, answering emails, researching vendors when you get home at night? Wedding planning is a full time job. The time commitment is more than you can ever imagine. So many brides reach a stress and exhaustion level toward the end
of planning, that ultimately causes stress on their relationships and causes them to wish it was just all over with. As a planner, that breaks my heart. Often times, you are planning over a year for a 5-6 hour ceremony/reception time frame. You deserve to have fun while planning. It lasts WAY longer than your wedding day. Planning is part of the process.
Now you are asking – how do I find the right planner?
That, my friends, is a great question. As with any vendor, if it’s not the right planner, it can make your planning experience and wedding day more stress than without. After all, reducing stress is the reason you should hire a planner.
I’ve sadly seen wedding planning situations that were not great as well. It’s so important you check references and get a good handle on your wedding planner’s experience. You are hiring them for their expertise, not their pretty pictures. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Also, ask your venue, florist or photographer for a planner recommendation. They are all very involved in planning and will likely steer you to one who they know will take good care of you and your day. A good wedding planner will have solid reputation with vendors and venues.
Make sure you are choosing a planner that is a good fit for you, personality-wise. Ask them how they approach the vendor selection process, ask how much they will do vs. what you will do, ask how they approach design. Will they be with you the entire wedding day? Will they be in touch with all of your vendors the week of the wedding to make sure logistics are well taken care of? There is a planner for everyone.
Hiring a wedding planner is still not for everyone, and if there is one thing about planning a wedding is that you have to make decisions that are right for you.