More and more of today’s couples have gotten wise to the idea that they need a wedding planner to help them smooth out the details of their big day. But why the heck do they cost so much??? Trust me….I get it. It’s seems like a large investment for an already expensive day. The truth is, a wedding planner is the person that handles the wedding day stress for the couple. They are the first line of defense when something goes wrong (and trust me Brides…..no wedding ever goes according to plan. Something will go wrong, you just may not notice it because your wedding planner is so awesome that they just made the issue disappear). While having a wedding planner is a personal choice, I can tell you from experience that it is the best “insurance” you can purchase to ensure your wedding day goes as intended without too many hiccups. You see, there is a lot that couples don’t see their wedding planner doing. A LOT. I thought this blog post would shed some light into the dimly lit world of wedding planning. It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows like the fancy tv shows make it appear. It’s hard work. But so worth it!
- Your planner is your biggest advocate. Mother in law driving you crazy trying to change the seating chart last minute? Your wedding planner can handle that. In fact, your planner is kinda like a body guard only dressed more fashionably. We are the buffer between you and your family, you and your vendors. and sometimes even you and your spouse. Most of us could double as a therapist. We know the plan and we stick to the plan until you tell us not to. We make our living by making you happy. This is the greatest adventure in your life and you will hang on to those memories for years to come. We want to make every moment as enjoyable and stress free as possible. Even if we have to drink from airplane bottles in the bathroom 😉 (I’m so kidding about this by the way. I would never drink anything less than full sized)
- We are the bridge between you and your Vendors. Your wedding planner is the biggest liaison between you and your vendors. From the linens, to the table set up, to when the first course at dinner will be served….your WP will take charge so you don’t have to. Every good planner needs two things….a timeline and a back up plan. If yours doesn’t have this then you have a serious problem. Timelines keep everything with the wedding party and the vendors running smoothly. Back up plans ensure you have an emergency out for when things go awry. This is why your WP needs to be jack of all trades. What if the florist forgets to bring the men’s boutonnieres? The WP should be able to call the florist, delegate someone to go pick them up, or run to the nearest store and throw some together herself (not to mention handling the florist who made the mistake in the first place). A good WP will have all of your bases covered. They will know all of the vendors, the stipulations of the contracts, and when set up and break down will take place. Just think of your WP as a very good juggler. Only with people and not wooden balls.
- We honor your crazy requests. Need us to dress like an Elf for your woodland ceremony? No problem. Want us to hand deliver something to your groom at 5 am the morning of? We’ve got ya covered. Planners never really sleep the week of the wedding anyway. We are closely related to Vampires, only a lot more caffeinated. We handle the things behind the scenes that a couple may not necessarily notice or even think about. From fluffing the dress out right before the walk down the aisle to holding that same dress up while you go pee last minute. There really isn’t anything we can’t do. Or haven’t. Maybe TLC should come up with a reality TV show about wedding planners. I mean…I’d watch it.
- We can do some amazing things with little money involved. It never fails. No matter how many times you check over the checklist and the budget, something always gets missed. Hopefully it is something little and not like the groom telling you that he bought the rings when he really didn’t and forgets that fact until the morning of the wedding. Zero pressure right? That is why a good WP will have a few “fake” rings in her emergency bag when situations like these arise. And we will be creative when the Bride has her heart set on a floral arbor that she saw in a wedding mag over the weekend and the wedding is a week away with no money left in the budget for floral. Wedding planners often lose a lot of sleep over things such as this. Luckily you know someone with an arbor that you can borrow and the bride’s mother has lots of lovely flowers blooming in her perfectly manicured yard. Boom. Done. Minus the 4 hours you spend the morning of the wedding putting it all together. Sleep is entirely overrated anyway.
- Speaking of sleep… We don’t do much of it. We dream of Sophia Tolli dresses dancing in our heads and of cakes that don’t melt in the summer heat and start to slide before the cake cutting (yes that happened. And yes I sweated through my deodorant that day). We get paid to obsess over every single tiny little detail of your wedding. We do this because we love it. I know that I do it because it’s in my blood. My grandmother was a florist with her own shop and I have always been that little girl who never took no for an answer. I started putting together floral arrangements when I started kindergarten. I was always that kid taking her teacher flowers. I still keep fresh flowers on my desk. But back to the sleep thing (Squirrel!!). The time leading up to your wedding is the most exciting and exhausting for us. We have emotions just like you do as a couple. The months and weeks crescendo to this one amazing day and we want to give you our best. So if we look a little tired the day of or we are sweating our makeup off making sure that everything is just right please forgive us. That is what phone filters are for 🙂
- If you break down the hours spent working on your wedding, we make less than minimum wage. The average wedding can take up to a year or longer to plan. This means that your wedding planner is in it for the long haul. They are there every step of the way during the planning stages and right up until you head for your honeymoon. Countless hours are spent pouring over every single detail of your wedding. With that being said, there are two types of wedding planners in this industry….those that do it for the sheer and simple love of it and those that want to get rich. I would like to be rich but I’m not going to get there by wedding planning. I think that for smaller weddings a high planner price tag is just unnecessary. Planners can charge one of two ways… a flat fee for the entire wedding or by the hour. I charge flat fee because this is what I am familiar and comfortable with. Flat fee usually requires a deposit up front which is typically half of the total fee to be charged. Hourly planners may request a deposit and then only charge for billable hours worked on the wedding. The total amount due is usually paid before the day of the wedding. Hourly can work to a couple’s advantage if they have already secured their vendors and have a solid idea about how they want their wedding day to go. This would be more like a Day of Coordinator situation. It really just depends on the level of assistance the couple needs for their big day. Couples need to understand that when they are writing that check to their wedding planner that they know he or she has spent countless hours making sure that this wedding is their best one yet. Weddings are our biggest business card. Having a wedding go bad is like having toilet paper sticking out of the back of your dress. Everyone knows it, everyone see it, but instead of telling you they just walk away. Weddings are no different. Before the web, word of mouth was our biggest advertising. I would like to think that it is still that way. Sure I have this blog, my business Facebook, Instagram, email, Wedding Wire ad, and Gigsalad spot…..but I would like to truly believe that my work speaks for itself and a happy couple is a couple that tells their friends about the awesome job I did.
- We obsess over your budget so that you don’t have to. We all know that weddings cost money. They don’t have to, but a majority of them do. Planners are magical accountants of sorts. We can do things with a budget that would put most book keepers to shame (funny thing is….in my former career I was a book keeper). We keep every receipt and count every little penny that is spent out of your pretty little bride hands. We have suggestions and tips and an unhealthy obsession with Pinterest. Forget binge watching Netflix…..try binge reading all the latest wedding mags while watching every episode of last seasons “Say Yes to the Dress” (I can neither confirm nor deny that there may have been a lot a lot of coffee and chocolate involved). This isn’t just our job…it’s our way of life. We do this so you don’t have to. We loan you personal fancy lead crystal vases from our private stash because you can’t afford the ones you really want because they are way over budget. We find the linens you are dying to use online for $4 cheaper a table. We stay up until well after a normal bedtime to make sure that all of your guest gifts are hand stamped and wrapped up ready to go. We find the perfect pair of Cinderella shoes for that infamous aisle walk for half the price on sale at Macy’s. We keep things in check all so that you can enjoy, and albeit afford, your wedding day. Trust me when I say this….you can have your dream wedding without breaking the bank. It just takes a little compromise, patience, and planner magic to make it happen. Consider us your fairy godmother!
Have I convinced you yet about how awesome wedding planners are? If not, I totally get it. You like to do things your way. That’s totally fine. I just ask that you find at least one person and delegate them to be your go-to on the day of the wedding. Someone not involved in the wedding party. Someone with a good head on their shoulders that can multitask and give direction. If you don’t have anyone like this who can be your wedding backbone so to speak then I strongly encourage you to at least consider a Day of Coordinator. I guarantee that it will save you some money, stress, and time for your wedding.
It may seem silly to spend money on a person just for one day. But we’re not there for just one day. Often it’s a year or more. You become a part of our extended family. We go to cake tastings, vendor appointments, dress fittings, venue viewings, and 4 different Michael’s to get enough rolls of that perfect yellow ribbon for your pew bows. Wedding planners are the both the heroes and Houdini’s of weddings. Let us take your wedding from “Well that was nice” to “WOW”!