It was not that long ago that a wedding planner was considered a luxury. Not anymore. Wedding planners are considered an essential part of your wedding planning process and therefore should be considered when allocating your budget. More often than not a good wedding planner will save you at least half of their fee by making sure you avoid costly mistakes and referring you to trusted vendors who can work within your budget. A wedding planner does not take over your wedding planning. A good wedding planner will help you realize your vision while offering suggestions to ensue your vision translates into a fabulous celebration of your marriage.
What Will My Planner Do for Me?
Before the Big Day
Let’s face it – planning your wedding will be stressful. I tell my brides to embrace the stress – while this may sound like an odd statement to make, think about it – most of us experience some level of stress on a daily basis. Planning your wedding should be what I call positive stress – why? Because after all the planning is over and at the end of your big day you have married the love of your life – now what is better than that?
The average wedding takes approximately 250 hours to plan. You can see why having an experienced wedding planner by your side is essential. A wedding planner can assist you in developing a realistic budget – see previous article – It All Starts with the Budget – and will help you understand how your guest list ties to your budget.
Setting the date or at least narrowing it down to a time of year you wish to marry must be done before you can select your ceremony and reception venue. The availability of the venue you select may help determine your wedding date. You will want to make sure your venue can accommodate the number of guests you anticipate attending. Let your wedding planner help narrow down the options for you.
Your wedding planner will walk through your ceremony and reception venue with you (most times more than once) to ensure they understand your vision and offer any suggestions to help your day flow smoothly.
Identifying your vendors and knowing what to ask and how to respond to technical questions can be overwhelming. Having an experienced planner with you can ease this process. Wedding planners will also review all vendor contracts to ensure everything is outlined properly; contract your vendors and oversee their arrival and set up.
Wedding planners often act as mediators when couples get “stuck” or if family members may be offering a little more advice than the couple may want. Your wedding planner will step in and act as a go-between eliminating any unnecessary headaches.
Some wedding planners will also assist with event design and décor. Make sure to ask. You may also want to ask about any inventory items they may have that you can rent making things a little easier on your budget.
Developing your wedding day timeline and ensuring copies are provided to your vendors, the wedding party and family members is an important function of a wedding planner. Your wedding planner will direct the rehearsal and ensure everyone knows where to be is another critical part of a wedding planner’s job. Having an experienced wedding planner directing your rehearsal makes everyone feel more comfortable about their role during the wedding.
On Your Big Day
As mentioned above your wedding planner will have developed a detailed timeline and distributed it to all vendors and the wedding party. It is the wedding planner’s responsibility to ensure your wedding stays on track. A timeline becomes fluid and may need to be adjusted as the day progresses. An experienced wedding planner will make sure your day flows smoothly. Relying on your family or wedding party to is not recommended. After all, they are guests at your wedding and are there to celebrate with you. The successful execution of a wedding is skillfully choreographed between you and your wedding planner.
Your wedding planner will greet and oversee vendor set up and may aid in setting up additional items ie, favors, decorations on the gift table, providing a “necessity” basket for the ladies room etc. Most wedding planners are prepared with an emergency kit for those unexpected mishaps. Passing out bouquets and pinning boutonnieres is just another example of what a wedding planner will assist you with on your wedding day.
Your wedding planner will also distribute your programs and greet your guests upon their arrival. Lining up your wedding party and cueing the musicians ensures your ceremony will start on time.
At the end of the evening your wedding planner will ensure your gifts are packed up and delivered to the designated person. Following your big day your wedding planner may return any rentals ensuring you are not charged late fees – you will want to inquire if this is a service your planner provides. Most of all a good wedding planner will ensure all the details are taken care of allowing you and your fiancé to enjoy your wedding day.