As the summer draws to a close, many couples are planning their wedding for the upcoming year. It may seem straightforward - you book your vendors, pay the deposits, choose your flowers, your dress - how complicated could it be? Anyone can plan their own dream wedding, right?
The short answer is yes, but also no.
You can definitely find yourself some vendors, find yourself a dress, make your menu selections, etc., but what an event planner really has to offer that you may lack is experience. You may have never planned every detail of a wedding before, or maybe you’ve planned a few. Professional wedding planners have done this many, many times before. They already know great vendors, can better negotiate your contracts, keep you better organized, and handle the stress and coordination on the day of, which you cannot do yourself!
Wedding planners regularly work with many different vendors in the industry and can direct you towards reputable vendors that will meet your service expectations and your budget. They can also steer you away from any vendors that they have had negative experiences with. Sometimes even the most reputable and well-known vendors aren’t the best option for you; you may be able to get better service and/or a better price elsewhere. At the end of the day, your wedding planner doesn’t benefit from an unhappy customer, your satisfaction is paramount! If you receive poor service from any of your vendors this reflects badly on them as a professional. A wedding planner will take great care in recommending vendors to you as they understand this very well. If you opt for a more inclusive package, they can also participate in vendor negotiations to help you secure the best vendors for the best prices.
A wedding planner has the advantage of working business relationships in the industry. They may have worked with your desired vendors before and have a good working relationship with them, allowing them to negotiate a better deal. They also represent the potential for future business to your vendors - if you are happy with their service your wedding planner will likely bring future clients to them. This presents a unique tool in a wedding planner’s toolkit that (unless you also work in the industry) you just don’t have. They’ve done this many times before and know what you can expect a vendor to charge, allowing them to better recognize if you’re being overcharged. But wedding planning is more complicated than just choosing vendors and negotiating the best prices!
A wedding is quite a large event with many small details to coordinate. You may have a dozen or more different vendors, all of whom need to be kept up-to-date on your plans as they change, and they will! You'll have to keep track of how many hours each of your vendors will be present, what services or packages they will provide, when you need them to arrive, and when they’re expected to finish. You’ll have numerous deposits to make and deadlines to keep track of, a marriage license to apply for in the proper time window and someone to be responsible for it on the wedding day, RSVP’s to collect, speeches and entertainment to coordinate, and much much more. Wedding plans can get quite complicated, and it’s easy to miss something if you haven’t done it before.
As part of their job, wedding planners are quite familiar with these details. They're regularly coordinating with vendors, and preparing event plans for their clients’ weddings. They know what deadlines you will need to meet and will create a thorough event plan for you and your vendors to allow for a smooth and seamless flow for your perfect day. If you need to make changes, they'll be there to make sure that information gets to all the right people. Unfortunately though, all the planning in the world can fall short if you don't have someone to executing the big day itself. In this respect, you really only have three options:
- You don’t have anyone coordinate on the day-of and hope things work themselves out.
- You get a friend or family member to help you out.
- You hire a professional.
Any professional planner would sincerely advise you to have someone to help you coordinate your wedding day, even if that person isn’t a professional - something is better than nothing! There is a lot that can go wrong with a wedding if you don’t have someone to help take charge: you may have multiple deliveries, multiple payments to make, appointments to attend, decor to setup, transportation that needs to arrive on time, and entertainment to coordinate. Someone needs to instruct your family for your processional/recessional, receiving line, and/or your special entrances. Your MC/DJ will need to be advised of when to start your grand entrance songs, your special dances, speeches, games, bouquet and garter toss, cake cutting, open dancing, and any other festivities. If a vendor is late or a delivery isn't up to par, you need someone who can think on their feet and address the problem for you!
A friend or family member might be able to help you with this, but they may not have the same level of experience and won’t be able to enjoy the event as your guest. They may not have been involved in your planning process and not know what things are supposed to look like. Hiring a professional planner will allow you and your guests to enjoy themselves fully. They’ll be there to ensure your deliveries have arrived on time and to your satisfaction, hand over your final payments, and coordinate all of the event details throughout the day/evening to ensure your event goes according to plan, while still flowing seamlessly and feeling natural.
While it is definitely possible to plan your own wedding and it may seem appealing to save the extra money, it might not be worth it in the end. Every couple wants to have a beautiful wedding day that they (and their guests) will remember fondly, and not a stressful day that may have minor/major mishaps. So before you discount the notion of hiring a wedding planner, we recommend you put some serious consideration into this decision. Ultimately it is up to you to decide what you feel is best.
Whether or not you decide to hire YOU Events or another planner, we hope you have a beautiful wedding day and that you build many wonderful memories as you embark on your new life together!