An Event Wedding Planner: To get or not to get?
As you may have read, I have recently been having a lot to do with weddings – attending weddings, planning weddings, and reminiscing about weddings in particular! And although I have written quite a few wedding-related posts recently, all this business to do with weddings has been giving me food for thought…One particular idea that’s been circulating through my head – what are some of the pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner?
This question in particular has been on my mind since Bec’s fantastic do-it-yourself wedding last Friday. In case you missed it, I wrote about it here – and I mentioned briefly at the end that Bec sourced all the elements of her wedding herself, from the caterers to the furniture. Being the amazing organiser that she is, the wedding went together seamlessly and if she hadn’t told me herself, I wouldn’t have believed that she didn’t have a professional’s help putting it all together.
Ryan and my wedding, on the other hand, was put together with the help of Jodie, our fantastic event planner from Lombari & Co. While we initially had it in our minds to coordinate everything ourselves, we soon discovered (after a few trial and errors) that we had neither the micro-managing skills nor the patience to pull it off – so we called in the experts. She was very professional, working very well with our florist Flowers by Corrina, and generally took a lot of the pressure off us.
A friend recently asked my opinion on the matter and I would have sworn black and blue that getting a professional was the best thing to do – until I went to Bec’s wedding. I thought to myself “Wouldn’t it be nice to have some pros and cons on this topic” to give to a prospective bride-to-be, and so I’ve taken it upon myself to help a sister out.
(Also, it gave me another chance to include some of Steve McMarson’s photography from our own wedding – hence the differently sized photos – sorry, not sorry!)
Hiring a Wedding Event Planner
An event planner knows all the latest trends
When I finally caved and agreed to go and see a wedding coordinator, it was because Ryan and I were not quite seeing eye to eye with everything we wanted for the wedding. We had changed the colour theme half a dozen times, and neither of us was 100% happy with any of the compromises we’d come to – we reached out to Jodie at Lombari & Co (I’d gotten her card at a wedding expo months earlier) and went and had a consultation at her house – she presented us with ideas we’d never even thought of and we found something we both agreed on.
They have insider knowledge
Wedding planners often know the most professional and value-for-money suppliers in the area – yes they cost money themselves to consult for you, but when you’re saving $10 per chair to hire 80+ chairs for your wedding reception they are quickly on the way to paying for themselves (true story).
They have the time
The year I got married was one of the most stressful of my entire life. I was 2 years out of uni, teaching a split curriculum 4/5 composite class with quite a few behavioural and learning needs. I had to attend the funerals of three people who were very dear to me, and on top of all this I was trying to lose weight by following a diet and exercise plan which, in hindsight, was not giving me enough nutrients. I was having anxiety attacks on a weekly basis, and trying to plan a wedding with a man who had an actual opinion (and didn’t always agree with me!) was just one of MANY things going on in my life at that time. Hiring someone who not only planned weddings day in and day out, but had the time to remember and ask about the more important finer details made life 150% more easy to deal with.
They stress so you can have a great day
In line with the above pro, a bride has enough to worry about on her wedding day (for example, will my make-up run as I’m crying my way down the aisle). She does not need the added stress of wondering if things will run smoothly, or if, for example, her mother-in-law-to-be will run into the reception venue and rearrange the seating chart before the ceremony (it happened to a friend of a friend of mine). A wedding coordinator is there on the day to worry about those things so that you can enjoy your day for what it is really all about – marrying your best friend.
You can’t control everything
Having a wedding coordinator means that you won’t be in control of every single little detail on the day. You have to trust that someone else will get everything to the venue on time, place all the flowers on the table appropriately, and provide only the best treats for the lolly buffet.
They aren’t always flexible
Luckily for us, our wedding coordinator was happy to provide as much, or as little, as we needed. I have heard from friends, however, about coordinators who made it clear that it was ‘their way or the highway’. If you have your heart set on having your cousin’s band play, but the coordinator at your venue doesn’t allow outside entertainment, then you may have to make some very difficult decisions.
They can be expensive
I’m not going to lie, when we got our bill from the wedding coordinator I did die a little bit inside. It hurt my sense of logic that I was having to pay money to someone for a service that I could *theoretically* perform myself. They also may suggest further decorations or features which you otherwise wouldn’t have thought about if you had planned things yourself – which can be a negative if the bill keeps going up.
You may feel your wedding is not as personal
If you have decided to hire a wedding planner, you may rock up on the day completely unprepared for what exactly you are going to see. A guest complements you on your amazing vase selection and you have to tell them that actually, you have no idea where they came from, and yes, didn’t the event planner do an amazing job? Or worse, you actually dislike half a dozen choices that the event manager made because you didn’t quite understand what they meant when they said ‘rustic metal bucket’.
As you can see, making these kinds of decisions for your wedding can be very difficult. Everyone is different and only you (and your fiancé ) can really say what is right for you and your budget. But whatever decision you make, rest assured that you’ll have a fantastic day in the end as long as you relax, and have a good time with your family and friends.