Recently I exhibited at a bridal show where I had a table to display some decorative wedding items along with my brochures, cards and promotional give-a-ways ready to hand out to the hundreds of young women who passed by, all newly engaged and ready to start planning their big day!
As we began talking about various details such as wedding venues, locations, dates, colors and so on, I was surprised at how often the question was asked, "What does a Wedding Planner do?" After hearing this question over and over throughout the day I realized that many people are not sure what Wedding Planners do and they are uncertain if they actually need one.
I always recommend to brides that they hire a Wedding Planner and I am not just saying that because I am one. I really believe it is one of the most important investments a couple can make when planning their wedding. Not having a planner or having a friend or close family member act as the Wedding Planner to save money could end up costing a lot more in the end, not to mention the added stress that it can have on the couple if you don't have someone who is properly trained and has the experience and knowledge needed to plan an manage your wedding details.
Think of your wedding as a if it were a performance that people are coming to see and you and your fiancé are the stars of the show. Your guests are the audience and the Wedding Planner is the writer, director and producer. They are the ones behind the scenes making sure all the details are in place, that everyone knows what to do and when, and ensures that the event flows smoothly.
Your Wedding Planner can be involved as little or as much as you want depending on your schedule and how much time you have. You may want to consider the different packages and prices to help you decide if you need a lot of assistance in planning months before the wedding, or if you just need month and day of coordination. Below is a list of some of the responsibilities and tasks a planner can take on.
-Meet with you to discuss your wedding vision (colors, theme, style, guest count, location, etc)
-Determine a budget
-Create a "to do" list and keep track of tasks
-Advise you on wedding locations for ceremony and reception based on your style, vision and budget
-Make recommendations for vendors based on your style, vision and budget. The would include florist, bakeries, caterers, DJs and live musicians, photographers and any other vendors you need
-Read through vendor contracts to make sure everything is correct and assist with negotiations if necessary
-Create a wedding day timeline and schedule for the rehearsal and wedding day details. The timeline is distributed to vendors and some members of the wedding party so that everyone involved knows when things should be happening and to keep everyone on track so the event flows smoothly
-Conducts a wedding rehearsal the day before with the couple and their wedding party. Often this is followed by a lunch or dinner which the planner can also help arrange.
-Offers advice on wedding trends and design ideas
-Give you advice on wedding etiquette
-Be the go to person on the wedding day to direct vendors, answer questions, often time speaking on your behalf to family and friends when you are too busy and can't be distracted
-Manage the day of wedding details and timeline, supervise vendors as they arrive, oversee set-up of the event, help put out personal items such as favors, guest book, programs, escort cards and other decorations. They can also take care of any emergencies should they arise and keep you and your guests calm when things get stressful.
-Ensure your wedding gifts and personal items get back to you and are not left behind
-Assist with clean-up and pay final checks to vendors if necessary at the end of the wedding
Besides what is normally on a Wedding Planner's job description, they offer invaluable support to the couple in the days leading up to the wedding. Often times they are available for phone calls and emails to ask questions run ideas by them to get another opinion. They become a friend you can rely on and trust to get you through the planning stages seamlessly making the experience a fun and enjoyable process!
Photos courtesy of Dollar Photo Club
Image: Danielle Honea Phototography
Brenda Cali is a professionally trained Wedding Consultant and plans a variety of social and corporate events.