Do I Need a Wedding Planner?
For most brides it takes a certain amount of wedding planning on their own followed by a moment of panic to realize you may be in over your head. If you have gotten to a point in your planning process where you feel overwhelmed or as though you have hit a brick wall, this guide can help you decide whether or not a planner is for you.
Consider the benefits.
To start let's narrow down the benefits of event planners and wedding planners. There are so many reasons a planner may be the right choice for you. But let's focus on these three major reasons why planners enhance your experience and the day of your wedding.
Experience is everything.
The most obvious benefit, simply put, is experience. For many brides-to-be, planning your wedding is the first major life event that needs tremendous coordinating. And let's face it, that is no easy feat. With so many details it can be overwhelming deciding where to even start. The over saturation of wedding resources can also make decision making seem impossible.
Wedding planners come with the experience of navigating the planning process, identifying your needs as a couple, pulling together your unique wedding style, and executing the event of a lifetime. They will consider things throughout the process that the first-time bride may not even think about, and come with the know how to work through tough situations that may arise. While you are planning your wedding for the first time, your planner will have completed dozens of them.
Event planners know people.
2. Network and Resources.
When you hire a wedding planner you are not just hiring a planner, you are unknowingly gaining access to countless vendors and resources. This may be the most important part of investing in a wedding planner. While any bride can spend days searching the wedding websites and stalking Instagram, planners have a personal, real life connection to vendors that they have worked with and experienced first hand.
In getting to know their couples, planners calculate the best possible relationships for you and connect you with the perfect vendors to deliver your dream wedding. Wedding planners grow and cultivate these vendor relationships over the course of years which often leads to you getting the most incredible service for the best price. It is added confidence knowing that you not only have an incredible support system in your planner but also that you will have reliable, professional vendors that are worth your investment.
Your planner is the ultimate piece of mind.
3. Piece of Mind.
Throughout the process your planner helps to keep you on track, keep experiences positive, serves as a sounding board for concerns and delivers advice, and helps you to make the best possible choices for you and your fiancee. It goes even farther than the planning process, too.
A wedding planner is an invaluable resource on the day of as well. Weddings planners have seen it all. Believe me, every wedding has its problems. It is inevitable. The difference though when you have a planner, is that you will never ever know that anything has gone wrong. Your planner becomes your eyes and ears throughout the day, attends all installations, accepts all delivers, and keeps in contact with your vendors. They are there to immediately attend to any situation that arises and act as the contact person for everyone. You can enjoy being a bride surrounded by your closest friends and family instead of intercepting all communication and resolving any problems that may happen.
Now that the benefits to having a planner are pretty clear you may ask yourself "What does a wedding planner even do?" That is a rather loaded question. Wedding planners offer many different services depending on your needs. Below are some possibilities.
Customize your planning experience.
1. Full Service Coordination & Design
This is for the bride who needs or wants help with everything. Planners and designers like Magnolia West offer every service to get you from the moment you are engaged all the way through the very last song playing at your reception in their full service options. When you opt to create or invest in a package that encompasses everything, you will have access to your planning from start to finish. Sounds like a dream, right?
Here are some of the things that will be included in a full service package -
Engagement Party Planning, Engagement Photoshoot Coordination and Styling
Planning Timeline Creation and Management
Venue Selection, Catering Selection and Coordination, Photography and Videography Selection and Coordination, Music Selection for Ceremony, Cocktail Hour and Reception including assistance with song selection and overall coordination
Save the Date Design and/or Selection, Invitation Design and/or Selection
Wedding Dress Shopping Recommendations, Planning, and Advice, Assistance with Bridesmaids Dress Shopping and Selection, Assistance with Groom and Groomsmen Attire Selection, Coordination of Fittings and Appointments, Assistance with Bridal Party Gifts
Hair and Makeup Selection, Coordination of Trial Appointments
Floral Design and/or Selection and Coordination, Stationary Design and/or Selection for non-invitation materials and assembly, Lighting Design, Selection, and Coordination, Rental Coordination
Favor Selection and Assembly
Bridal Shower Coordination and Design
Room Block Assistance, Welcome Basket Design and Creation, Guest Itinerary Development, Seating Arrangements Assistance, Transportation Coordination
Rehearsal Coordination, Rehearsal Dinner Planning and Coordination
Welcome Party Planning, Day After Brunch Coordination
Day of Coordination, TImeline Management, Logistics Planning, and Emergency Management
And the list continues. It sure seems like an awful lot when you type it all out! However, most brides are able and excited to tackle at least some of these tasks on their own. Those tasks usually include booking key vendors like venue, caterer, dj, and photographer. After that the details can begin to overwhelm even the most organized and motivated bride. Which brings us to your next option.
2. Partial Coordination.
This is for the bride who has all of her key players lined up but needs help with the smaller details and timeline management. In this case you most likely have your venue, caterer, photographer, music, and maybe even dress selected but need help moving forward from there. This could also be a great option if you are looking for a more budget conscious option.
For the organized bride who can tackle the timeline and bookings but isn't the most creative, a design driven package may be for you.
3. Event Design
Event or wedding design encompasses all of the aesthetics of your wedding day. It is basically the creation of everything you see, touch, and experience at the wedding. The number of these details alone can cause your head to spin. Here is a list of design related items and tasks that this type of package with touch on.
Color Story and Concept, Invitation Design, Stationary Design for Ceremony and Reception, Floral Design, Lighting Design, Rental Coordination, Room Layout, Tablescapes, Signature Drinks, Sweetheart Table Design, Favors, Focal Points, and all Details
This list also goes on.
The simplest but the most necessary part of wedding planning is absolutely day of coordination. I know, I know. Your venue has a coordination or your photographer said they would help out. Ladies, it isn't the same. I promise.
It truly takes an army of skilled and talented people to make a wedding happen. No one person could pull it off by themselves. Really! So having an amazing venue coordinator like the incredible team at Buona Sera Palazzo or an incredible photographer like Jaye Kogut is an awesome start. A wedding planner, though, is often the all encompassing piece of the puzzle that ties everything together. That allows everyone to execute their small piece of your big day in the best way possible without taking on additional tasks or stresses.
4. Day of Coordination
This is for every bride. Truly. A day of wedding planning is the best piece of mind and insurance for your big day. If other, more involved planning experiences are our of reach or you really are super bride and tackled them all like a champ, a day of coordinator will set your dream wedding day over the top.
Day of coordinators act as the contact person for all vendors, bridal party, the couple, and event guests throughout the day. They oversee all setup and tackle any problems that arise. Remember, like I said earlier, they have truly seen it all. So often they come with an arsenal of supplies and tools to resolve any issue that may occur (and all without you knowing!). During the day's events they also serve as the go between for vendors, allowing everyone to stay on task and on schedule. It is without a doubt money well spent!
You may consider whether or not a planner is even attainable. The answer more often than not is yes. Most brides can afford to have and benefit from a planner on some level. Now you ask "How do I know if I need a planner?"
Find your best fit.
Here are some questions to help you narrow down whether or not you need a planner, and what type of planner you need.
1. Are you exciting to begin planning and know exactly where to get started? If so, you can probably begin the process on your own. If it begins to overwhelm you consider why and think about a planner is right for you.
2. Have you hit a wall in your planning and now find yourself overwhelmed by the rest of your to-do list? If so, you may want to look into a planner.
3. Are you entirely overwhelmed by even beginning the planning process, don't know where to begin, or are anxious about tackling it all? If this is you, you should definitely look into a planner!
4. Are you motivated and excited to plan but consumed by a crazy work schedule, family life, or other everyday chaos? A planner can help alleviate some of this stress and keep you on track.
5. Are you more or less an organized person but lack creativity it takes to make design related decisions? In this case, you can probably handle the to-do list with some assistance from a designer. It's the best of both worlds because you can remain in control of the details while the designer helps to create the look and feel of your dreams.
6. Are you in the final stages of planning but entirely overwhelmed by the last minute details? If so, a day of coordinator may just be the thing you are missing.
7. Are you more or less planning your wedding on your own and feel like you would benefit from added expertise and a support system? A wedding planner might just be the thing!
8. Do you live somewhere entirely different than where your wedding is taking place? If so, I absolutely recommend a planner local to the area. They can be a lifesaver when it comes to vendors and details in the region and take away the uncertainty you may feel planning from afar.
9. Do you plan on doing very elaborate or over the top installations and decor at your wedding? If so, having the right staff (especially the day of) can be key to executing everything to perfection.
If you still aren't sure the answer is simple. Just reach out! We are always happy to hear from new brides to be and help however we can. Who better than a wedding planner to talk you through all of the specifics and help you to decipher your wedding day needs. Most consultations are complimentary so it never hurts to call.
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Ceremony & Reception: Buona Sera Palazzo
Wedding Gown: Allure Bridals from Cinderella Bridal
Event Design: Magnolia West
Photography: Jaye Kogut Photography
Wedding Coodination: Magnolia West
Wedding Shoes: Converse
Cake: Normandie Bakery
DJ: Classie Events
Bridesmaids Dresses: Belsoie from Hearts for You Bridal
Bouquets and Bouts: Magnolia West
Stationary: Magnolia West
Tuxedos: Forum Tuxedos
Hair and Makeup: Kathleen Benjamin (hair and makeup) and Maria Ruth (makeup)