Wedding Planner

Hiring a Wedding Planner: Pros and Cons

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Wedding PlannerThere are a lot of moving parts that have to come together to make a perfect wedding day. You’re planning a ceremony and a party at the same time, both of which come with their own sets of challenges. How do you know you’re not overpaying for the venue? Do you really need those chair covers? How big of a cake do you actually need for the number of guests you have? Before you spend hours sifting through Yelp reviews of florists, or Googling “wedding day venue last minute,” you might want to secure the services of a professional. Here are a few things to consider when you think about hiring a wedding planner:

Pro: Experience

If you’re getting married for the first time, you haven’t had any experience planning a wedding. You don’t know which vendors to use and which to avoid; you don’t know what complications commonly arise; you don’t know the exact temperature at which a beautiful buttercream cake becomes a puddle of goo. That’s where the wedding planner comes in. If you choose your planner carefully, he or she will be better at planning than you are just by virtue of having done it many times before.

Con: Expense

Full service wedding planning doesn’t come cheap. Expect to pay $2000-$5000 for the services of an experienced wedding planner. Wedding planners often get discounts from vendors, so you might save a little money on flowers, cake and the like, but don’t expect to save enough to cover the fee. It just depends on whether the peace of mind is worth the added cost.

Pro: You can outsource a lot of stress

When you have a wedding planner, any problem that arises during the planning on up to the ceremony is not, at least first and foremost, your problem. The wedding planner is a buffer between you and the chaos of putting the event together. It’s the planner’s job to make sure the flowers are arranged properly and the flower girl has her flower basket; all you have to do is show up and enjoy the day.

Con: Less Control

A wedding planner’s professional reputation rides on how good your wedding looks and how smoothly it proceeds. Odds are they’ll have strong opinions about decorations, colors, flowers–they’ll want to bring their experience to bear on every aspect of the wedding, which means you might have to fight for something if you don’t see eye-to-eye. If you need to be in control of every aspect of the process, a wedding planner might not be right for you.

Considerations: Choosing a Planner

Once you’ve decided you need a wedding planner, you should take the same care in choosing one that you would for any other vendor. Check reviews, get recommendations from friends, and when you sit down with a potential person, ask questions. Here are a few things you’ll want to ask:

  1. What are your fees?
  2. Do you receive commissions from any vendors, and if so, how much?
  3. When will payment be due to vendors, and who needs to sign the contracts?
  4. Will you be present through the entire festivities, or just the ceremony?

Wedding planning can be a logistical nightmare. If it were easy to do, there would be no such thing as a full-time wedding planner. If your budget and temperament allow, it’s definitely a good idea to look into hiring a wedding planner to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Is It Really Worth Hiring a Wedding Planner?

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Wedding PlannerPlanning a wedding can be a really big job, especially if you are planning for several hundred guests. With so many details and nuances to keep track of, hiring a wedding planner may seem like a really great idea. Being able to push the bulk of the tedious work onto someone else and focusing on the things that are most important to you at the wedding may be appealing, but is it really worth hiring a wedding planner or should you suck it up and do everything yourself? Are there alternatives to hiring a wedding planner that will help you keep your sanity or are simply stuck just going it alone? While only you will know the correct answer to these questions, there are a few key pieces of information that will help you make your decision or find a way to avoid bringing hired help on board to plan your event.

Cost of Their Services

One of the most important things to consider when deciding if you should hire a wedding planner is to find out the cost of their services. Depending on where you live and what time of year you are going to get married, the prices can range from very reasonable to over-the-top expensive. If you live in Hollywood, for instance, you can expect that your local wedding planners are going to be pricier than one serving a rural community in Nebraska. Find out what planners are charging in your area and see if it fits into your wedding budget before you make a final decision.

Quality of Their Work

The quality of the planning services you receive compared to how much money you’ll spending should flat out make sense. To protect your investment, make sure you properly research you potential wedding planner before you agree to hire them. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and follow up on them. Also, if you know someone who used a professional to plan their wedding, you can always ask for a referral. The idea of hiring a wedding planner is to take the stress off your plate and ensure everything goes perfectly, so paying for anything less is just plain foolish.

Alternatives to Hiring a Planner

If you decide that you would rather plan the wedding yourself or a professional planner just doesn’t fit into your budget, there’s no need to worry. One of the best resources you can have is a simple wedding planning book that walks you through all the different steps for planning your wedding. You can find a planning book at pretty much any bookstore or bridal shop, so tracking one done should be really easy. Also, talk to your friends who have been married already to get input and ideas to make your day even better. You’ll be surprised how much easier your planning endeavors will go when you have a little guidance from someone who’s been there before to tip you off to any potential stress-points as you start closing in on the big day. Just take your time and start way in advance of your actual wedding date and you should be able to pull off your wedding beautifully without the help of a professional wedding planner.