Your Dream Wedding Planner Awaits
So you are engaged and now mentally creating a list in your head of all of the decisions you will have to make within the next year, what do you do now? I might be slightly biased, being a wedding planner and all, but really the very first thing to do once engaged is to hire yourself a wedding planner. If you want a relaxed planning process, we are there to assist you throughout the planning process and on your big day, one of the most important days of your life. Here are the top eight tips and tricks from me and several other wedding planners about what to know before hiring a wedding planner.
#1 Make Sure You Connect
A good connection is number one. Each planner will have a different personality and way of organizing the details. When the time comes, you should feel completely comfortable when signing the contract and feel like you can trust him or her. You will be working together for several months, so make sure you can communicate and work well together. In the end, it is common for he or she to become good friends with the couple.
#2 Day-Of Coordination Really Does Not Exist
Wedding planners often read inquiries that say, “I just need someone to show up on the day-of.” Although this may be suitable for some planners, I find that there has to be some preliminary work put into logistics and problem solving before the event in order for the day to run as smoothly as possible. Also, getting to know the couples is a main part of why wedding planners do what they do, and this is not really possible to do when just arriving for the day-of. It is helpful for planners to know the couple and their personalities before in order to make the wedding as perfect as possible. We recommend to hire a planner at least three months in advance to avoid these issues.
#3 Venue Coordinator vs. Wedding Coordinator
A common misconception is that a venue coordinator is the same thing as a wedding coordinator, but often times, they have different primary roles despite overlapping duties at times.
A venue coordinator is mainly responsible for details that have to do with the venue specifically: catering, rentals, etc. This coordinator will most likely have limited interaction with other vendors, and sometimes the venue coordinator is not on-site the day of the event. This coordinator is less available to answer questions due to the amount of clients the venues have, compared to the wedding planners, so they are less reliable for your planning needs. Venue managers are on-site to ensure the safety of the building, upkeep facilities and assist with vendor questions pertaining to the venue. If the venue also provides catering or bar service, the venue coordinator will be coordinating food and beverage service and leading the culinary and waitstaff teams including tableware set ups, service flow and keeping a drink in your hand! If your wedding ceremony is at a separate venue from the reception, the venue coordinators responsibilities do not go beyond the venue they work within; meaning they would not assist with any off-site details including getting you and your wedding party down the aisle, nor would they assist with transporting your guests from venue to venue.
On the other hand, when hiring a planner you are hiring someone that has been selected by YOU, who is there advocating for you from start to finish and helping with everything from seating chart questions to dress bustle disasters and will help to ensure that your comfy shoes are under your seat when you need them! A wedding planner is there for all details including the venue duties, along with set-up, overall timeline, vendor management, event design, etc. They are more hands-on throughout the entire planning process and are often more personal and reliable. Hiring an outside planner to coordinate all of the details beyond just what is happening at the venue is extremely important.
#4 Roles and Services
Before signing the contract, make sure you know what is included. Each wedding planner’s services and roles are slightly different in what they offer in their packages, so make sure to ask questions about what you are really looking for and make sure you are going to get what you want for your special day. I have had brides ask me if I will be the one introducing them for their grand entrance, so I think it is important for a planner to let the client know exactly what is included. This should be done in the initial meeting to make sure the planner and the client are a good fit to work together.
#5 Let Your Family Members Be Guests!
Your big day is a moment for you and your family members to enjoy! You both might be thinking that a wedding planner will not fit in your budget, so you assign your family members to man the dessert table, set up the decor, coordinate the vendors, manage the timeline and so on. Hiring a wedding planner does not only alleviate the stress upon the bride and groom, but also helps the family members enjoy the special day with the newlyweds, too! The value of a wedding planner is so important because we get to do the “behind the scenes” work while you dance the night away with your family! Ten to fifty years down the road, your family will remember how much they enjoyed your wedding, instead of playing the “wedding planner” roll. Try to make sure your family members are guests at your wedding and enjoying the day just as much as you are. Hiring a planner is so important for this reason!
#6 Time and Money Savers
I would say one of the top reasons to hire a wedding planner would be because they can save you so much time and money. The best planners know budgeting and where to find exactly what you are looking for to bring your vision to reality. Making sure your planner has knowledge of the industry, design, trends and what is available is crucial in the hiring process. We are experts in time management and event execution, and we spend hours building relationships with our area’s professional vendors and bring them together to create your vision and turn it into reality. We handle all of the details for you so that you can truly enjoy your wedding day.
#7 Pinterest Weddings
If you have been dreaming for a while about your future wedding, being engaged or not, you probably have an elaborate Pinterest board of everything you want your wedding to be. Keeping this in mind, Pinterest weddings are not always realistic weddings. Pinterest is only a great starting place. It is important to keep your Pinterest boards in mind while planning but to not get stuck or upset when maybe your actual wedding does not match up to it. Also, make sure to be cautious about your budget if you want to actually bring your Pinterest boards to life. A wedding planner can help with this!
#8 Bring on the Ideas!
That being said, it is always helpful for a planner to have as much inspiration as possible, so bring us your ideas about details and your must-haves! It is our job to bring your vision to life while being realistic to your needs, wants and budget.
I hope these tips help all engaged couples hire a wedding planner that is perfect for them! Let me know if you have any questions about the wedding and event planning process!
Photo Vendor Credits | Photography by Ava Maria Photography, Planning & Styling by To Be Loved Events & Anela Events, Rentals by Moxie Events | Luxe Rentals, Danner and Soli, and Glass Slipper Rentals, Floral Design by Flowers & Thyme, Venue Deep Woods Events, Calligraphy by To Be Loved Events, Bridal Shop Blush Bridal & Tux Shop, Dress Designer Wtoo by Watters, Videography by KW Productions, Ribbon by Honey Silks & Co, Table Runner by Tono & Co., Vow Booklets by Paper Plum Co.