‘Remember the move Bride Wars? Candice Bergen plays the role of a sought after ‘high end’ wedding planner; she carries an attitude that is arrogant, pretentious, and confident in the face of two best friends vying to have the most opulent and perfect wedding.
This over the top story is what many people think of when it comes to the idea of hiring a wedding planner; reserved perhaps for only luxury events, large weddings, and formal etiquette.
I happen to know that my couples are nothing like ‘Olivia’ and ‘Emma’, and that the wedding planners I recommend are nothing like ‘Marion St. Claire’.
There is so much more to the wedding planner story!
As a Colorado wedding photographer, I have worked at over 200 weddings all over the world. I can say from experience that weddings, even simple low-key ones, always run better with a solid professional planner or coordinator.
Some people feel that a wedding planner or coordinator will assume so much control, that they will lose their vision and ideas and be forced into box they don’t want to be in.
The truth is, the assistance of a professional wedding planner can actually make weddings more unique, more fun, less expensive, and much more relaxed!
Alright friends, before we really get started, I’m well aware that your venue probably gave you a ‘free coordinator’ for the day. We need to chat.
That ‘free coordinator’ is there to help ensure that the venue is in good order. She’s not there to plan your wedding or coordinate the minute details of your day.
Your venue coordinator wants to make sure that chairs are counted and placed, catering isn’t setting up on the lawn, toilets are clean, and inebriated guests aren’t wandering about into off-limits areas. All of these are wonderful and necessary, but her job essentially stops there.
1. You won’t have to deal with last minute emergencies
Even the best laid plans present with random emergencies.
The make-up artist forgot your color of foundation. One of the bridesmaids can’t zip her dress up. Three of the groomsmen upended a golf cart (and got their white shirts dirty). Aunt Emily is bawling because she can’t find her shoes.
Men’s Wearhouse goofed up (again) and sent a rental suit with no pants. Half of the flowers are wilted, 8 candles are missing, and the chocolate for the candy bar has turned into brown slime. Not to mention, Grandma is upset because it’s too hot.
That’s giving me anxiety just reading it!
These are all very common ‘emergencies’ that happen at weddings every single day; a wedding planner or DOC will not only know how to handle every single one, she will do so with grace and without pestering you for help!
Your planner will have a sewing kit, a direct line to Men’s Wearhouse to get pants, and an umbrella and cool drink for Grandma. She’ll zip up that dress, find the shoes, wash the shirts, and send an assistant to Sephora to grab some foundation.
Your wedding planner will use her design skills to rework the decor around the flowers and missing candles, and will replace the chocolate with something else.
All will be well, and all you have to do is enjoy getting ready for your vows.
2. You aren’t a wedding expert, but your wedding planner absolutely is
Good wedding planners often have years of experience under their belts, not to mention a keen eye for the latest trends.
Your planner can help you overcome decision paralysis, caused by all of the blogs and magazines overwhelming you with beautiful ideas and inspiration.
Using your desires and personal aesthetic, he can help you design and create a wedding that is uniquely yours while still being polished, cohesive, and on budget.
She can guide you thoughtfully towards developing a great timeline, share with you how much to spend per guest on favors and liquor, give you advice for dealing with tricky situations, and tell you what to expect as far as dress fittings, invitations, rings, and budget.
Lastly, your planner may also have some really great recommendations for you for venues and vendors that don’t spend big money to advertise; lesser known options that are secrets in the industry and may be the perfect and most highly personal choice for your wedding.
3. A Wedding Planner Can Save You Money
Believe it or not, your wedding planner can actually save you money.
She knows which DJ is going to be worth hiring, and which one is going to ‘kill the dance floor’ with cheese (and be a complete waste of your hard earned money!).
She will have connections to vendors who know your venue and like working with her, and may be willing to offer incentives to book up their season this way.
She knows how to make a table feel lush and beautiful when your budget and resources for it are limited.
Your wedding planner can help guide you towards great design decisions (rather than being all over the place with random weekend investments at Hobby Lobby!).
She will also know the secret tricks for saving money, such as rentals, substitutions, legal fine print, avoiding added fees, and more.
4. Your planner will take the fall for those awkward situations. . .
Maybe you need somebody to tell a bridesmaid that it’s time to take it easy on the champagne, or tell an Aunt to lay off the photographer and let her do her job.
Your planner can also smooth things over when mom starts rearranging the seating chart that you spent hours on, or when your brother gets upset because his daughter wasn’t asked to be a flower girl.
When Cousin Danny takes the mic and starts up with some embarrassing stories, all you have to do is give her a look and she’ll be on it!
(5. Your planner will do all the little things you aren’t thinking about, that need done, that you may not actually want to do
Somebody has to make sure that the pocket squares are ironed, boutonnieres are pinned correctly, sashes are tied, and the bridesmaid dresses aren’t wrinkled.
Somebody has to keep the gifts safe, keep track of the bouquets, make sure the parents are happy, and have a bottle opener (YES!) and bobby pins on hand.
Not only that, but somebody has to coordinate vendors. Your planner will direct the catering company, keep your DJ informed of the timeline, make sure your makeup and hair artist isn’t causing delays, and help your officiant with directions to the venue.
At the end of the day, your planner can clean everything up and make sure the venue is left in perfect condition, while you and your spouse focus on each other.
You, your future spouse, your mom, friends, and family deserve to thoroughly enjoy the wedding day.
While these people love you and express a desire to help, they likely weren’t asking to spend the day in the reception hall setting up decor and running around finalizing details.
They likely weren’t asking to have to answer vendor questions or make decisions about who and what needed to be where and when.
They likely weren’t offering to spend two hours ironing chiffon or making sure the wedding dress had a nice hanger and a white sheet to stay clean.
They likely weren’t hoping to spend the day folding napkins and placing menu cards, searching for ribbons and bows, and assembling bouquets at the last minute.
I am positive that they weren’t likely wishing to have to deal with all of the clean up following the reception, either.
It is so so important that the people you cherish are left to relax and celebrate with you on your wedding day.
Time and time again we hear from couples who say that a big regret was seeing how much work and stress people had on their plates on the day of the wedding. . .all things that are easily solved if they had simply hired a professional to help out.
It doesn’t matter if you are planning a simple backyard wedding with 50 guests, or a large formal event with 200 guests. . .invite those closest to you to sit, enjoy a glass of champagne, tell stories, share memories, hug, laugh, cry, and take in every single moment of this beautiful day.
So much of what your wedding planner is willing and able to do for you comes down to the specifics of what you hire them for. . .coming soon, I’ll be blogging about the difference between a wedding planner and a day-of-coordinator, as well as what to expect and an interview with one of my favorite wedding planners!
If you are interested in hiring a Colorado wedding planner I have some fantastic recommendations to share, just reach out! As an added bonus, we love working together and believe in making sure that your day is as beautiful and stress free as you hope it will be.
For wedding photography, we are your team! You can send us a note here. I’d love to answer your questions.
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Colorado Wedding, Elopement and Engagement Photographer - Denver, Littleton, Breckenridge, Highlands Ranch, Castle Rock, Boulder, Parker, Broomfield and Beyond.
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