Congratulations on your engagement! One of the first things you might ask yourself is: Do I need a wedding planner?
Well friends the answer to that question is – in a word – yes. Depending on your desired level of involvement and budget, there are options ranging from full-service wedding planning to day-of coordination.
What’s the difference?
A full-service planner will be involved in all aspects of your wedding day design and details. Things like: providing design and color palette proposals, providing vendor recommendations, scheduling and attending appointments, addressing envelopes, tracking RSVPs and more.
A day-of coordinator should actually be considered a month-of coordinator as you will need to check in with this person well before your wedding day. When working with a day-of coordinator, you choose all vendors, finalize details and contracts, and then meet with your coordinator in the weeks leading up to your wedding day to hand everything over. They will then make final contact with your vendors to confirm details, create a day-of wedding timeline, attend and coordinate your rehearsal and then be present on your wedding day to set-up, greet vendors, coordinate your ceremony and any reception details that need to be tended to.
The reality is, planning a wedding is A LOT of work. For many it can be a full-time job ON TOP of a full-time job or school workload and a planner will help alleviate the stresses and allow you to focus on the JOY of getting married.
Michelle from Maffick Events explains just how valuable a planner can be:
A wedding planner will help ensure that your wedding day vision comes to fruition. What if you spend hours crafting the perfect Pinterest-inspired centerpieces, only to arrive at your reception and find they look less than stellar in the lighting of your venue? A planner will work with the venue coordinator to adjust the lights, or even the DJ to see if uplighting is an option. This is just one example of the kind of delay you will not have planned for in your wedding day timeline.
Here are some common reasons couples choose not to hire a planner, and what our pros want you to know:
Cost: We don’t have a wedding planner in the budget.
While it may not seem like spending money on a planner will actually save you money – it will. Planners have gone through the process many times before. They will get to know you and your priorities and will help you best invest your wedding day budget to get the most value for every dollar.
Control: My wedding vision is very specific and I don’t trust anyone else to bring it to life.
You will still have control over all the details you want to.
Plan to get crafty with your bridesmaids and make your centerpieces? Go for it! Planners will understand your vision and what planning elements you enjoy, and then take over to complete the tasks that overwhelm you.
Friend as coordinator: My best friend/maid of honor/cousin, etc., is just going to plan it for us.
Dominique from Wood Violet Events + Styling cannot stress enough how important it is for your loved ones to be able to enjoy your day! They should be celebrating with you – not working FOR you. It’s great to involve your friends and family as you plan, but designating one as wedding planner is a big ask. Even the best planned wedding days come with unexpected surprises and it’s a planner’s job to be working behind the scenes to anticipate and fix any issues.
Here’s a true story from Michelle at Maffick Events:
“I was once a guest at a wedding where the unthinkable happened – the caterers ran out of food!. As I stood in the buffet line with other guests, waiting for the cooks to heat some meatballs pulled out of a back freezer (who knows what those were really for), I couldn’t help but think “please, don’t tell the bride.”
As I returned to my seat, I glanced over at the head table just in time to see a waiter delivering the bad news. I cringed. The look on the bride’s face pained me. It was a mix of surprise, horror, embarrassment, and “…what do I do now?” A wedding planner can help prevent these kinds of unfortunate mishaps. We are happy to recommend reputable vendors if you’re not sure who you want to work with…
That being said – sometimes mistakes happen. Maybe your florist arrives with the wrong color bouquets or delivers them to the wrong location. Perhaps one of the groomsmen realizes too late that he forgot to pack any socks. What if your great uncle Al and his family of 8 never sent their RSVP but show up for the party anyway? These are not things you should have to deal with on your wedding day. A wedding planner or day-of coordinator is there to resolve these unforeseen items that need immediate attention – most of the time without the bride or groom even knowing.”
Simplicity: We’re keeping it simple. There shouldn’t be much for a planner to do.
Again, even an easygoing wedding requires attention to detail. Someone still needs to cue the music, greet vendors, tell the caterer what to do with the extra food, hand out payments and handle all the other various tasks required regardless of wedding size.
Personally, my only regret about my wedding day was not having a day-of coordinator. I didn’t know until that day that there would be so many little details to tend to and decisions to make, and quite frankly, I didn’t want to care about any of those things then. I can’t go back in time but I can help you, future bride-to-be, make sure you are able to fully enjoy your wedding day!
Okay, I’m interested in hiring a wedding planner. Where do I start?
Contact the Love, Madison Weddings Featured Planners! Each offers different packages and price points, so you’re sure to find a planner who you connect with and is within your budget.