|Posted by Cossie Crosswhite on December 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM|
Why having a Wedding Planner, Coordinator or Event Specialist is a necessity and not a luxury!
I can’t afford a planner. It’s just not in my budget.
Think about the amount of money you allocate to feeding your guests, hiring the photographer to take the perfect photos, picking a DJ that will get the party started, yet couples tend to skimp when it comes to hiring a planner that will orchestrate the whole day! It’s like having a car and all the passengers but no driver (or GPS in a place you never visited)! So why stop at hiring the planner. In reality a planner can SAVE YOU MONEY & TIME! Planners have relationships with vendors and venues since they work on many weddings not just one and may get a better price verses you going to them on you own also planners can give you economies of scale. They will also help you put together a realistic budget for a wedding/ event you'll love and can afford. In the end, the money and time saved most likely will be greater than the cost of the planner, so you basically got the planner for FREE!
I have family and friends who have volunteered to help me day-of. It should be fine!
While this is a nice gesture, unless your family member is a professional event planner, I’m pretty sure it won’t be fine. They are your guests and should not be working on your wedding day. They will be so preoccupied with socializing, drinking a little too much champagne, ooh’ing and ahh’ing over how beautiful you look, taking hundreds of photos, and not focused on the important details that make the event run smoothly. Who is making sure the gifts and cards are being accounted for? Who is setting the event up and making sure all the vendors you hired have arrived and have set up correctly? Or how about someone to find the cake knife and server when they disappear just minutes before its time to cut the cake? Most of the time the answer is nobody. Friends and family are left scrambling to solve these mishaps while also trying to enjoy the wedding as guests. They will not be informed on important decisions (i.e. telling the catering manager that although the bar tab has been exceed you insist the bride and groom said its fine to keep it open, leaving the couple with a few thousand dollars more to pay). Almost every couple these days is working within a budget, but everyone seems to think they can save on costs by "doing it themselves or having a good friend to do it." So they will invest in a great photographer to capture the moments, a floral designer to make everything look pretty and money is spent on linens, favors and a dessert bar. However, when it comes to getting a professional wedding coordinator to pull together all those details, often times couples decide to skimp on that and the execution of everything is pawned off on an aunt, family friend, catering manager, or bridesmaid. Paying to bring someone on board who knows what they are doing puts the day at ease no matter the scale of the wedding. Even if there are beautiful decor elements and photos to capture it all, if the bride and groom and their guests didn't fully enjoy it, that's what will be remembered.
The venue coordinator & catering manager assured me that I don’t need to hire a planner because they can handle it.
The bottom line is: a venue coordinators are there because they are hired by the venue to maintain and manage the venue only (i.e. food, rentals, staff, etc…. They work for the venue and not for you. Their main goal is to ensure the facility runs smoothly. So if you arrive and all your flower arrangements are wrong and the guests can’t figure out where they are supposed to sit, don’t look at the venue coordinator to help you out because they won’t have any idea on what you wanted and it is not apart of the job they are being paid for. There are many venue in-house coordinators who do a great job managing the venue. However, it is not their job to assist you with all the details that go along with planning your wedding. If in doubt, just ask the in-house coordinator what services they will be providing for you. Listed below are just some of the things wedding planners help with that venue coordinators do not.
Attending vendor meetings with you and asking the right questions.
Reviewing all your vendor contracts for errors or potential problems.
Helping you combine all the ideas that you have to create the wedding of your dreams in your budget.
Creating extensive time lines for you.
Staying in touch with your vendors and making final confirmations.
Having back-up reputable vendors to contact in case of a problem.
Assisting you with invitations and stationary etiquette.
Providing you with custom planning resources.
Shouldn’t the vendors be able to manage themselves since they work weddings all the time?
According to feedback from vendors I have worked with, I have heard more times than not, there is a huge difference between a wedding with a planner vs. one without / with a venue coordinator. Not only are the finishing touches and design usually better but also the flow of the event and communication between the parties (i.e. the photographer will be ready for photos and not out in the cocktail area when the DJ plays the song for the Grand Entrance because the coordinator will have given both a warning). Although it’s your day, think about the vendors you have hired. What will help make both your lives and their lives easier? A wedding planner!
I read all the magazines and blogs. I have all the resources I need. I don’t want a wedding planner to take away the fun of planning my wedding!
When you first get engaged, wedding planning is a novelty. You buy every magazine and bookmark every blog out there to help plan your big day. However, with hundreds of wedding blogs, magazines, photographers, videographers, venues, etc… it can get overwhelming and stressful trying to narrow down who/what is the best fit for your style, budget and needs. Once the wedding comes the couple is so worn out with decisions that the process is no longer fun. Wedding planners who do this every day will help bring you the resources that best fits your needs so that you can “ENJOY the Experience” and have fun during the process until the end! They are educated and knowledgeable in all things wedding related from etiquette to getting a marriage license and are a huge accessible resource!
My family & friends want to help me with the planning process.
Except when your future mother-in-law has a completely different vision for her son’s wedding and your brother insists that his band play a medley at your reception and your parents decide to invite all their friends as if it was their party. Think about the movies “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” You need a MEDIATOR. A planner is a good third-party mediator in tricky family situations. It is impossible to please everyone; however, at least a planner can give an unbiased opinion to help navigate problems.
Not convinced? Below are accounts from actual couples who didn't hire a professional planner! Don't let this happen to someone you love.
1. Transportation nightmare: The shuttle may forget to stop at one of the hotels and leave guests behind before the ceremony is about to start... so now what?
2. Stranded at the altar: The couple may forget to designate someone to cue the musicians to know when the wedding party and bride should walk down the aisle. The groom and guests wait while nothing happens, but the same song plays over and over again.
3. Family Feud: Family members, who are helping run the day, may have a different vision than the bride and groom. With no third party mediator offering an unbiased opinion, the disagreements may escalate leaving the couple less than enthused about their wedding day.
4. Communication Meltdown: The bar tab may exceed the allotted budget, but no one checks in with the bartender so drinks are continuing to be served leaving the newlyweds with an unexpected bill at the end of the night.
5. Budget Blunders: Most couples overspend on their budget and waste a lot of time researching vendors within their price point. Planners are used to working within the confines of a budget, they do it every day. They already know which photographer is going to be in your price range and which caterer will give you the most for your money.
6. Floral/baskets/pillow misplaced: Right before the wedding begins the brides bouquet is misplaced, or the ring bearer lost the ring pillow, or the flower girl left her basket somewhere? Things happen all the time no matter who is in charge, but the key is how are those problems are managed. When a professional experienced planner is not involved, is there someone designated to solve your big and small wedding issues?
Now I have called around and there are other planners that charge less than you, why do you charge what you charge?
We always refer to that old saying” you get what you pay for!” The same holds true for wedding and event planning. When you go to an outlet store or a store that sells designer mock ups or last season’s name brand clothes/handbags etc….you have to rummage through stacks and stacks of clothes, undergarments, shoes etc, to find something that’s in your size, your color and without any damage to it such as a stain, or string pulled or the slightest imperfection, to feel like you are getting a bargain. But the reality is that you spent several hours rummaging for something that when you get home, may or may not be to your satisfaction, but it’s too late, you purchased it and it may not be an item that can be returned or that can be exchanged because the racks may or may not have another one like it. All I can say is you’re getting what you paid for. 1 Elegant Event, Wedding & Event Planning staff will manage, coordinate, plan, execute and design your special day and are well trained experienced professionals that work in the industry of wedding and event planning. They do not pay money to a company to obtain a certificate that say “Wedding Planner” and have business cards made out that say wedding planner. Let’s face it; some people do become overnight wedding planners after getting married themselves, but does that make them an expert on planning another’s wedding? Planners that actually service brides as a business and not as a hobby are indispensable and will typically charge a minimum of $2000 and a maximum of $10,000 + depending on wedding location, size, and tasks at hand. Anything less may indicate inexperience. Go ahead, do the research; check out some of the blogs who have credible vendor directories and list wedding planners all across the US and compare.
Wedding planners areaffordable and can even get you discounts and special rates by consulting through them. Wedding professionals build up relationships with other wedding vendors and will be your ace negotiator in getting you the perfect one for you. They are your wedding manager who is there to make sure you have the best for your once in a lifetime wedding!
On multiple occasions I have seen free services thrown in by a vendor or a price even deducted in half because they went through a wedding planner. Planners can also help you get more bang for your buck. They know how to cut back on certain expenses to make your event look like a splurge even though you might be on a tight budget. On a wedding day it is not uncommon to have a 16-hour work day, a mop in one hand and an iron in the other. The last thing a bride needs to do is to be steaming linen or polishing silverware before she is about to walk down the middle aisle. Wedding planners are professionals that obsess over weddings, daydream about wedding and are always scheming new trends for weddings. They are full-time wedding guru’s that have been doing this for years, not just for a few months of engagement. By tapping into their skills and involving them from the beginning of your initial planning, you will be amazed at the creations that will come to surface giving you the wedding you more than dreamed of!
How much time do I need to hire a wedding planner?
As soon as the couple is engaged, that is the perfect time to contact a wedding planner to start working on the wedding. By obtaining the services of a wedding planner early on, before any other contracts are signed or dresses bought, it will allow the best planned out wedding because the vendors will be available, and they will be able to negotiate prices that will fit the client’s budget whether abundant or minimal. We have contracted with several busy couples who have given us much less than 6 months to plan their Wedding. However, we would prefer to have more time to negotiate and help the couple select vendors that they have time to preview, if desired.
There are many website and TV shows about wedding planning, why should I hire a wedding planner with all the self help books and websites out there?
The self help books, magazines and TV show are not specific to your individual needs and they only give generalities on how to do something. They give you general time lines, general to do list, and general how to's. Nothing specific to you and the writer of the program or book does not come to the event to help you if there is a problem. What it does not tell you is, for example, if you happen to use an IPOD for your wedding music instead of someone who is not an experienced DJ , and what do you do if the IPOD is not compatible with the venue’s professional equipment? If you make the invitations yourself through your printer and they are not centered properly or you start to run out of ink and the print gets lighter and lighter before you realized what’s happening, you already have 100 invitations, what do you do? These are just some examples of what happens to well-intentioned brides and families.
Wedding are boring to me, but I want to please my family. Can you make my wedding different?
These are our favorite types of weddings, the ones that do not have a traditional theme, because we can spend time with the bride and groom getting to know them and assessing their uniqueness and feelings on things and getting the vision for their special day.
What if I am getting married out of state or out of the country? Do you come with me?
Most of time but, that would be strictly up to the client. We travel with the client at times and the client would provide the planner and their assistant travel fees or we can plan the wedding and event from here through a destination resort and personal planners we know that handles weddings all the time and leave you in their hands once you leave the country to get married there. Since we are closely affiliated with a travel agency who specialize in destination wedding travel and luxury honeymoon packages we have access to many locations and cruises and are able to give you the destination wedding your envisioned.
What happens at the free consultation?
Our free consultation will be an opportunity for the bride and groom/ and family to come and share their dream wedding ideas that that they have in mind. We listen to your ideas, give you a budgetary assessment, then we share a little bit about us and if the client and 1 Elegant Event, Wedding & Event Planning is a good fit for each other, the client then reviews our contract and signs on with us to start working. We like to do this meeting in person but it can and has been done for clients out of our city, state or country by phone or skype.
Glad we could take this time out to help explain why having a wedding planner/ coordinator is a necessity and not a luxury for all weddings. Feel free to call 1 Elegant Event, Wedding & Event Planning service to schedule your free consultation 251-289-9451.
This blog was written by Cossie Crosswhite, National Event Specialist and Owner of 1 Elegant Event, Wedding & Event Planning!
For more information about this topic view Alene Gamel's Blog in AL.com news Blog Weddings 911 http/blog.al.com/weddings-911/2012/12/weddings911-do_you_need_a_planner_or_director.html