Why should I hire a wedding planner? Do I REALLY need to hire a wedding planner? These are the questions so many brides and grooms struggle with when deciding on their wedding budget. Before I dive into the pros that come with hiring a full-service wedding planner, I am convicted to share one caveat. Do NOT invest in ANY vendor or wedding detail if it will put you into debt. I am a firm believer that the strongest foundation of any marriage is built on three things: a shared faith, a supportive family, and stable finances. I never want couples going into debt for their one-day event.
Now that’s out of the way! I am speaking to couples who have a set budget that might be able to accommodate the vendors needed to help plan and execute their wedding for them. You are trying to determine what your priorities are. And you want to invest wisely in the vendors that will make the most impact.
If that is you, please definitely consider hiring a wedding planner! Not only a wedding planner, but a full service wedding planner!
My husband and I made the mistake of not budgeting for a planner when we began planning our wedding. And as someone who dreamed of her wedding day for years, those dreams quite literally turned into many nights of nightmares. I had terrible nightmares of just about everything going wrong. In one, my mom never ordered my bouquet (Sorry mom! Dream me should give you more credit haha). In another nightmare, I forgot to put my veil on… which actually became reality when my veil fell out half-way down the aisle. I’ll share that story another day.
Thankfully, I had enough nightmares to convince myself to scrounge up the extra money to hire a day-off coordinator. It wasn’t the ideal, but it was a very much needed band-aid that later saved our wedding day.
Whether you’re stressed out or totally laid back, here’s why I think you should consider hiring a wedding planner.
That’s right! Spending money on a planner could actually save you money on your overall wedding. They are there to help realize your whole budget and help source vendors that fit those limitations. Not only that, but they have relationships with wedding vendors. This means they are first to know when a promotion is being run, or sometimes even discounts are given because of existing partnerships. They know which vendors offer the services you’re looking for at a price you’re able to pay. It saves you hours of fruitless research and narrows down the pool to the best options for you.
I used to wrongly believe that wedding planners took over and planned a wedding for you rather than with you. Because I was a picky bride (borderline bridezilla but that’s as much as I’ll confess), I didn’t want anyone telling me what flowers to go with or decor to choose. I wanted my vision executed.
But since becoming a wedding photographer, I’ve worked enough with planners to know that’s not what they do. They are literally hired to execute YOUR vision, not their own. Sure, there might be some planners out there that see every client as an opportunity to boost their portfolio. That’s not right. We avoid those planners. But a good planner listens first, advises second, then goes out and actions against your final decisions third.
And because they know the vendors in your area, as stated earlier, they know what is realistic. They might advise you on alternative ideas based on what is within budget, but their goal is to get as close to your vision as possible. Trust their expertise, and hire someone you like personally! It will lead to an amazing relationship and stunning wedding day.
Wedding planners are good at what they do… planning. They are paid to be SUPER organized. Planners have systems and forms and spreadsheets coming out of their ears! They LIVE for logistics and details.
Maybe you do too, or maybe you don’t. Either way, you probably have experienced enough disorganization in life or at work to know that duplicity matters, and a designated organizer can do wonders. With a wedding planner, you’ll never miss a payment to vendors, never forget to send an invitation to your Great Aunt Carol, and you’ll feel so relieved and prepared when he or she whips out a sewing kit if your veil or dress gets caught on a splinter (yes, this has happened to brides of mine before… brides, plural).
With a wedding planner to walk by your side every step of the way, you’ll feel like you have someone to count on. There will always be someone who is thinking of the annoying little details for you. And they will have an answer to EVERYTHING. And if they don’t have an answer, they’ll hunt it down like a hound dog so you don’t have to stress.
Take it from a former bride… there is sometimes nothing lonelier than planning a wedding. Despite what everyone tells you about how excited they are for your wedding, nobody is as excited as you. And you may quickly feel like nobody wants to talk about it with you. But you do! You LOVE talking about your wedding! It’s your best day ever, in progress!
So when mom is scared you’re going to call with another expensive idea or when your bridesmaids stop answering your giddy text messages, your wedding planner will always be there. They are excited and willing to talk wedding stuff with you however much you want. Sure, you might need to save it for scheduled calls with them, but they won’t give you the eye roll like your maid of honor did at your third bridal shower. (I kid, of course… but maybe that actually does resonate!)
On your wedding day, you should worry about nothing other than not tripping down the aisle. Your wedding planner is there to manage the parts of the day that should be out of your control. So often, I have seen planners stepping in when a vendor is a no-show, or when the cake topples over. They help shuffle guests where they need to be and make sure Grandma has an arm to hold onto when walking up the stairs. Also, they keep track of time and tell each bridesmaid when it’s their turn to walk down the aisle. They are there to serve and fight fires for you (sometimes, literal fires… again, I’ve seen it all!)
By having someone in charge of your day and directing the events of the day, you can rest easy and just enjoy every precious memory being made.
If I’ve now convinced you that wedding planning services are the right fit for you, here’s where to go next. I work with some amazing wedding planners in the DMV, and I’d love to see you hire them for your special day. They will take great care of you, and embody all the best qualities in a great planner.
And for more wedding planning tips from a Virginia wedding photographer (and newlywed who is finally on the other side), check out these posts!
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Wedding days can be stressful, but they don't have to be. One of the number one causes of wedding day stress is a disorganized, tight timeline. In this guide, I'm sharing a sample wedding day timeline I use to craft all my brides' wedding day timelines, as well as diving into some pro tips only a photographer might know.