Six Reasons for Hiring a Wedding Planner
First things first, hiring a wedding planner is not just about organization. I’ve worked with plenty of highly organized, Type-A gals who still hire a wedding planner. In fact, often because they were so organized, they knew the value of a planner. Ultimately, a skilled wedding planner relieves pressure from you throughout the planning process but especially on the ONE DAY that matters most. With a pro at the helm, you can relax (as much as is possible on your wedding day) and take it all in.
1. They Become Your Wedding Team Coach:
A planner is like a coach. It’s like the difference of the Chicago Cubs (108 years without a World Series) before and after Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon (an odds-beating, curse-busting team of World Champions). Sure they had great talent through the years but without someone at the helm uniting that talent and creating a clear vision and focus, they never got to the World Series.
Like baseball, weddings are truly a team sport. At an absolute minimum, you have at least five vendors to coordinate with – officiant or church, reception venue, caterers, photographer, and florist. Most likely you have closer to 10 (add in hair, makeup, transportation services, etc). Each has their own needs and timelines for the day. At the same time, each of our individual timelines affect the rest of the team and experience of the day (i.e. if portraits run late then your ceremony starts 10 minutes later than planned and just watch the domino effect: cocktail, hour, speeches, and dinner all start at least 10 minutes late. However, according to the schedule, the chef has food prep timed exactly right to get hot food to your guests and just think about what happens to an entree that sits 10 minutes longer than planned. Yuck!)
Let’s be honest, sure you can communicate with your full vendor team and if you really want to, you could spend your entire weekend sorting out a plethora of timeline needs. But when things have to be modified ever so slightly on the big day, you do not want to be the woman in charge. All you should be doing at that point is enjoying a mimosa and soaking in every moment! Hence – wedding planner.
And before we get any further let’s dispense with one common myth: A venue coordinator is not the same as a planner. I’ve worked with amazing venues, with amazing teams and they would all agree: their job is not an equal substitute.
2. They Coordinate the ENTIRE Day:
If you get married at a church or separate site from your reception venue (and in turn, a separate site from where you might be getting ready), it’s crucial to have a planner on board. This is the one person to help coordinate the events happening at every single location. Your venue coordinator will not join us at the church or the hotel. If guest transportation is involved, it’s handy to have someone who understands the full scope of the day, making sure everyone leaves location A on time to arrive to location B when they should, even if you’ve already left.
3. They Understand ALL the Costs
From the very beginning, planners truly understand the full scope (and plethora of) costs involved in hosting a wedding. They know some common pitfalls and places to avoid overspending in order to not find yourself radically out of budget by the time the big day rolls around. I’ve seen a lot of couples book their venue before developing a clear understanding of their budget only to get into a difficult spot because of some of the additional and unforeseen costs associated with the venue. Yes, hiring a planner feels like an additional cost but, in reality, a wonderful full-service professional helps your budget work the farthest for you.
4. They Offer an Eye for Design
Designing the most important dinner party of your life is hard. Like, really hard. Joining forces with someone that’s used to the process will ease the workload exponentially. Some planners offer design services alongside their coordination, while others help you partner with a designer that suits your style. Right now you might not think you care about the linens (aka tablecloths outside of the wedding world), but let me tell you, when they repeat over and over again in your reception room—creating one of the biggest impacts on the space—we appreciate it when someone has a few opinions about them 🙂 Here’s where the budgeting knowledge comes into play: they help navigate when it’s worth splurging on a stunning linen and when another (more affordable) option might be suitable. They can help mix and match different looks (for tablescapes and more) to create the biggest impact within the realities of budget.
5. They Help Everything Run Smoothly The Day Of
We all know there are a million things happening on a wedding day and having an extra set of helping hands will be great. But there’s a big difference between your well-meaning aunt and a professional planner (with all due respect to your aunt). Planners can pin boutonnieres on straight in about 1.5 seconds, for example. They also will serve as a calm, not-so-emotionally-attached presence. Even if your mother-in-law is a master boutonniere pinner, when she’s trying to attach a flower to the lapel of her own son, on his wedding day, a certain degree of shakiness is only natural. We all have a strangely niche set of knowledge when it comes to event days just like any other professional understands the needs of their own industry on a deeper level.
6. They Take SAFETY Decisions Out of Your Hands:
The last thing you want to think about when enjoying your first dance is the safety of your friends and family. Obviously you want everyone to enjoy themselves and share in your happiness but sometimes extreme cases of guest illness, injuries, or rowdiness can bring the fun to a sudden halt.
When a guest experiences a medical emergency you shouldn’t be responsible for calling an ambulance or making the tough decision of carrying on with the night or cancelling the reception. I know cancelling a reception seems extreme, but with 10 years in the event industry I have seen it all, even cancelled receptions. Let me tell you it’s a lot easier when a professional is there to make that decision.
At the end of the day, what’s most valuable is the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a professional who’s one job is to ensure your day goes smoothly. Of course I have your back all day, but I imagine, first and foremost, you want me concerned with the documentation of the photos you’ve always dreamed of. We only get one shot at this, so why not build the strongest team possible?
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