Do I really need a wedding planner?
"Do I really need a wedding planner?"
This is the question that I see posted weekly in bridal planning groups on facebook.
Google predicts the question for couples in the search bar before they can get the "we" typed out on "wedding."
It's the first question your Maid of Honor, Mother in Law and probably even your fiancé are going to ask when you begin to write out the budget and evaluate the price tag associated with hiring someone to professionally plan your wedding.
So do you? As much as I would love to give the definitive "Of course you do!" answer to assist in pushing the success of my own individual agenda, the answer is that it really does depend on a lot of different factors.
A mentor from the Ritz Carlton once told me "When planning weddings you will always pay, it's just will you be paying with time, or will you be paying with money?"
This is the truest statement that I have heard so far in my career. The answer is yes, you can plan your own wedding. There are paper planners that will walk you through the checklists, you can assign tasks to friends and family members, but at the end of the day you will always end up having to manage the process to ensure that your vision and all of the pieces that are integral to the success of that vision are going to seamlessly come together without your assistance on the biggest day of your life.
This is how a lot of my brides begin. All of the confidence in the world, trailblazing ahead as they confidently begin to walk the road of design and coordination of all the pieces that are going to bring their Pinterest wedding to life.
So then, you may ask, how have I managed to stay in business? What would push a bride that began so confidently to throw her hands up and finally say "That's it! I'm done!"?
The answer is quite simple. Planning a wedding from the ground up is hard work. Building relationships with suppliers and vendors is hard work. Keeping track of who you have spoken to, toured with, met with, received quotes from, checked availability with and reviewed contracts for is hard work!
This is where a wedding planner will become the most valuable friend you have ever had in your life. We have already sourced that chair before, and if we haven't, we know who has. We have seen that flower in person and know the color and whether it will clash against your maid of honor's shoes. We have toured that church, stood in that barn, hung that drapery and worked with that photographer. We have the experience. We have the connections. We have the secrets to make your wedding the seamless and magical day that it was intended to be.
"But wedding planners are expensive!"
You are right! Planners are expensive. But, allow us to dig into the benefits of why it is worth it to consider the upfront investment in a planner.
Firstly, wedding planners are going to be able to level set your expectations. The weddings that you see on Pinterest and in wedding magazines are very often stylized shoots that are the result of the collaboration of a lot of different vendors bonding together to create something magical that defines the beauty of their product. These are expensive events! This does not mean that your event cannot be equally as beautiful as these picturesque events that you see on social media, but you will need someone to guide you and set realistic expectations on what will fit within your budget.
An important point you might say! How am going to fit you into my already stretched budget?!
Wedding planners have the knowledge and the relationships to be able to work with vendors to bring the vision and expectations of your event to life without always busting your budget. Let's explore this further. A wedding planner has relationships within the event planning community that can help you to find additional savings, find flexibility on minimum orders, and creatively work with busy vendors to find solutions for budgetary needs and more!
Why? Why do wedding planners have this magical ability to find the savings and stretch your budget like you can't? It all comes down to symbiotic relationships. Wedding planners build relationships with their preferred vendors and bring them business. In turn, these vendors make time and go the extra mile for their clients to ensure the success of the wedding planner. Makes sense right?
So in the end, most wedding planners often cover a significant portion of their own fee within the savings and value that they are able to generate for you with their preferred vendors.
Let's touch on the second reason that a wedding planner is a smart investment. On the day of your wedding, time is going to move incredibly fast. You will be getting ready, greeting family, taking photos, laughing, crying, hugging and a lot of times maybe even drinking. You need someone to be able to be the unattached manager of all of the moving parts on your big day.
Let's think about our vendors for a second as instruments in an orchestra. You have given everyone their separate piece of music. They have practiced until mastery and their individual piece is magnificent. Now you bring all of your instruments into a theater for a performance. As beautiful as they all are individually, without a conductor to instruct each instrument when to play, keep the group on tempo, and direct all of the different individual parts, the result will only be noise.
Wedding planners are your conductors. On the day of, they will be the ones to tell the rental company where the tables need to go and how the linens need to be dropped. They will instruct the florists on centerpiece placement. They will show your bakery where to drop the cake and give them the cake flowers to finish their masterpiece. They ensure that the groomsmen's boutonnieres are pinned in the right place and that the photographer doesn't miss that photograph of your grandmother's locket tied to your bouquet. They conduct your event to ensure that it is much more than just noise. It is an assembly of the most beautiful parts in the right order and the right placement to achieve that Pinterest wedding that you dreamed of night after night leading up to this day.
As a wedding planner, I have stood in the rain holding the umbrella over my bride to ensure she stays dry. I have wiped mud off bare feet so that we capture the perfect picture. I have crouched behind brides to push their dress forward, drop their veil and hid from the camera in a contorted position to ensure that we get that perfect shot. I have plated food, served drinks, pushed brides behind bushes to keep them hidden, soothed crying best men, delivered letters, calmed down grandma and found grandpa.
It is what we do. It is what makes us so much more than just wedding planners.
So do you really need a wedding planner? Maybe not.
The real question is do you want to do this WITHOUT a wedding planner? Absolutely not.
Will it be worth the investment? Without a doubt.
Photo by: Maureen Edwards