How To Know If You Need A Wedding Planner
More and more brides are planning their weddings without the assistance of a wedding planner. Now it is time for you to decide if you are a bride who must do with or can do without a wedding planner.
Before we start, let me make sure you know the difference between a wedding planner, a day of Coordinator, a wedding designer, and the venue coordinator. If you haven’t noticed yet, weddings are a world of their own, from the new terms to the people telling you who you want to be on your wedding day. You need someone who, when you become exhausted and overwhelmed, will step in making sure there is order. These people, who for me were friends and family, can hold any of the positions previously mentioned. There is, however a difference. The cost to you and their responsibility can range.
Wedding Designers/Decorators are the people who will bring your vision to life. That could mean completely turning an empty space into a beautiful ballroom with pipes and drapes, gorgeous centerpieces on the tables and elegant chairs or chair covers, linens, uplighting and so on. Wedding Coordinators will manage all things related to the day of the wedding. This includes contacting vendors, making sure all payments are made on time, service tips after the wedding, make sure you actually EAT!, and so on. Coordinators handle the details of the day and are usually involved just 1-2 months prior to the wedding. This means you have to do the work leading up to when the coordinator steps in. Wedding Planners, you may find, will vary depending on their preference. Some may help with decor as well as the day of coordinating and full on planning, but they will usually always be involved from the beginning of planning and cost more.
Now that you know who we’re talking about, let’s see if one of them is right for your wedding. Be honest with yourself or you may be in for a rough ride.
You should seek out a wedding planner if you want to show up on your wedding day having done as little work as possible or if you are having a destination wedding. Also, if you overwhelm easily or shut down when you get upset or stressed. If you need help budgeting, meeting deadlines, or a family mediator, they are here for you too. A little less dramatic, but very realistic, if you work a full-time job which would stop you from seeing venues or meeting with vendors when they are open and available then don’t waste your time…you need a wedding planner.
You’ll likely prefer to have a wedding decorator if you like to plan and handle the logistics, but are not interested in centerpieces, linens, uplighting, and all that goes into creating the ambiance. Initially, this was me. I handled the planning. I had an amazing family friend help with selecting the room set up and all of the day of set up. I thought I cared about the centerpieces and the colors, but when it came down to it, I just wanted someone else to handle it. If this is, in fact, you, then you’ll need to be open to doing a lot of research, staying on top of budgeting and your emergency wedding funds, know when to take a break and who to ask for help. Read more about Taking A Break From Wedding Planning.
The day of coordinator is where I ended up. Just when you think you can handle it all and then you realize you can’t direct people who to walk down the aisle if you’re at the end of the line with your father (or other persons). I had to take a step back and stop trying to control everything. You would likely prefer a D.O.C. if you want a partner to follow up and make sure you did everything and remind you of the things you didn’t do. Or, if you want someone to make sure the day is flowing as planned, but you didn’t have the budget for a wedding planner.
Take a step back and really consider who you are and who you are surrounded by. I wanted to save money and do lots of D.I.Y. projects to bond with my people (bridesmaids, mother/mother in law). By the time I finished, I strongly disliked every one I thought would be perfect to surround myself with. I got over it when I finally realized, we no longer live in a time where people can dedicate their year to you for your wedding planning. They didn’t sign up for the D.I.Y.s, but to be there for me on my special day.
Just a note – Don’t forget to ask, whoever you decide to hire, about the time frame they work, their responsibilities and most importantly cost (travel fee by mileage on the day of the wedding, etc.). I spoke with a wedding planner who would visit 3 venues with you and the rest would be charged by mileage from her home to destination. I am a person who needs to see all the options and create a detailed list of differences, pros, and cons. I myself visited over 20 locations. Some I saw alone while others I had someone join me.
Whatever you decide, don’t give up your sanity. This road can be a very stressful one.
Let me know if you think this was helpful in the comments below.