If you’re engaged and you’re starting to plan your wedding, you may be considering hiring a wedding planner. You may have immediately disregarded the idea on the basis that it might be too costly. Or you may feel that you want to plan the wedding yourselves.
The good news is, having a wedding planner is about having someone who knows what they’re doing, to help plan your wedding alongside you. As the date gets closer, you may find that the additional expense is well worth considering.
Planning a wedding is often a long and complicated process involving numerous suppliers and moving parts, which is why wedding planning as a service is so popular. With such an important occasion to manage you don’t want to look back and wish you’d done things differently.
Why do people choose to have a wedding planner?
When you have a wedding planner, you’ll be planning your wedding with knowledge, guidance, connections, and experience on your side. Professional wedding planners are experienced at designing and executing your perfect wedding day vision using their creativity and organisational skills. They also stay updated on what’s new and unique so if you’re looking for something different, they’ll help you think outside the box.
Your planner can help you allocate your budget based on the most important things for you. One of the most time-consuming parts of event planning is finding suppliers who are not only reputable and reliable, but also understand your style and fit your budget. What’s more, planners may be able to negotiate discounts on your behalf, saving you valuable cash.
The most commonly-cited reason people hire wedding planners is because they’d prefer to have the pressure taken off them. You may be busy with lots of commitments, or you don’t want the stress. After all, who wouldn’t want a fairy godmother with a sole mission of making sure your wedding happens the exact way you want it to?!
Why do people choose NOT to have a wedding planner?
It may be that you don’t need a wedding planner. For example, if you have a background in event planning you may have managed similar events in the past. If you have a hard time giving up control and trusting others, then this may not work well for you. If you’re having a ‘simple’ wedding – by which we mean at one venue, with not many complications, you may not need a planner. If you have willing and helpful volunteers who you can trust to be responsible for wedding related tasks, then you should be covered.
But before you make a decision, you’ll need to understand the role and whether you need the support.
What will my wedding planner do?
Your wedding planner will have as much or as little input as you jointly decide. You may want full planning, partial planning, or just on-the-day wedding co-ordination services. A full planner will be the main point of contact throughout the planning, so you have fewer people to deal with.
The sort of roles you can expect their involvement in include:
Planning checklist and schedule: Your planner will know what needs to be done and when.
Budget: Your planner will help you work out how to allocate your budget and stick to it.
Supplier liaison: As well as offering recommendations, your planner will source the right suppliers for you, schedule appointments, and manage the process.
Meetings and consultations: They’ll go with you to venue visits, caterer tastings, florist appointments, etc. to make sure that the overall feel, aesthetic of the day, and personal wishes are respected.
Support with etiquette: With so many traditions involved with weddings, your planner will help you navigate the often-complicated etiquette rules so you can decide what’s important to you.
Guest and wedding party liaison: Managing the guest list and dealing with invitations and responses may be a helpful service offered by your planner.
Confirmations: Your planner will ensure that nothing is left to chance, by checking and double checking everything ahead of the big day.
Wedding day schedule: The schedule will need to include details you may not have considered, and your planner can make sure the itinerary timings are reasonable.
Wedding day co-ordination: The planner has your back, so they'll make sure the day is all about you, resolving issues as they arise, so that you don't even notice them.
Wedding details: They may set up small details such as favours and your guest book.
Wedding gifts: They’ll be able to make sure the gifts have a dedicated area and are taken home by someone and not an extra thing for you to worry about.
How much does it cost to hire a wedding planner?
It’s a common misconception that wedding planners are only for brides with huge budgets. Like most things in life, there’s a low end and a high end, so the price range is pretty large. You’ll also need to discuss how involved you’d like your planner to be, and you’ll want to get costs before selecting which planner to use. Often, planners charge a percentage of the full wedding cost, for example 10-15%, with a minimum fee applicable, but this isn’t always the case.
How to choose a wedding planner
If you’ve decided you would like the help, how do you pick the wedding planner that’s right for you and your partner?
The first step will be to do some research. Look online, ask for recommendations from other brides, look in Facebook Groups, check out online wedding publications, and start contacting people you like the look of. Check out their case studies, testimonials, and online reviews. Planners will often offer an initial consultation to see whether you’re a good fit. Make a list of questions to ask during this meeting so you can establish whether they’ll be right for you and your wedding.
You’ll need to know things like their:
Availability on your date.
Scope of work – make sure this is crystal clear.
Services and involvement in negotiations.
Ideas for your wedding.
Involvement on the day, and where it ends in the evening.
Ideas on tracking budgeting.
Fees, deposits, and payment process.
When you’ve had this meeting, you’ll have more of an idea as to whether they understood what you’re working towards. Every couple and every wedding planner is different, so we recommend finding one who fits with both your budget and your personality.
So, do you really need a wedding planner?
Millions of weddings take place every year and not all of them will have planners. It’s not impossible to do the organising on your own but you’ll need to be aware that it can be stressful and time-consuming. There are lots of monthly planning checklists online and if you have supportive and helpful family and friends around you who you feel comfortable delegating to, you’ll manage on your own.
If you’re pushed for time, have an above average number of guests or a complicated schedule, or if you’re terrible with budgeting, then you should definitely consider investing in a wedding planner. Equally if you’re holding a destination wedding a planner is almost essential as you’ll need someone with eyes and ears on the ground.
On the other hand, if you’re super organised, you have plenty of time, you trust your own tastes, you have an all-inclusive venue, and you have people to delegate to, then you’ll be fine on your own with your spreadsheets!
In the end, it all depends on you and your partner’s choice. Your wedding is supposed to be fun, from the day you get engaged to the last dance at your reception. Whatever makes you happy - let that be the deciding factor when it comes to hiring - or not hiring - a wedding planner to run the show.
Not found your wedding dress yet. Book an appointment with Lily’s Boutique where we’ll be happy to help you plan arguably one of the most important components of your big day!