You are getting married! Congratulations! Lord have mercy on Pinterest’s soul! Every night until you emphatically announce, “I do”, you will dig deep into every detail and focus on planning the most epic wedding ever - yours. You will find an epic band that will have you dancing until the sun rises, you will hire the most epic caterer that will cook a feast like never seen before (us, but duh) and, ah yes, the venue - the views will be something that has came to life from a painting.
Sound about right?
Great, simple! Check a few pictures, pin a few boards, make a few phone calls, sign some checks and viola, instant wedding before the end of the week.
If only it were that easy. Truth is, its just not as simple as it may seem. People are people; one phone call should be all it takes and your sought after vendor should call you right back, lock in your date and be ready to go come next year and perform like you are their only event of the decade. However, often is the case that these folks are busy behind the curtain and juggling serval dates. Sometimes getting back to you right away can prove challenging. Much is the case of all of the vendors for your wedding, some might not even call you back at all.
At first, you have this exhilarating energy that fuels your late nights after work planning and emailing, having phone calls on your break and then the idea of how much this is REALLY going to cost sets in and thoughts of pushing this off to next year might seem like the most logical choice. You continue to push forward because your friend planned their own wedding and everything turned out great.
I have seen this before, over and over again actually.
Take a breath, I have the solution for this exact scenario:
Hire someone to handle all of this for you, they are called an event planner. In a nutshell, this person is in charge of managing all of the aspects of the party so that you are happy, your family is happy, your vendors are happy and can do their best job and the show stays on track; all you have to do is just enjoy the process. I can't tell you when talking to clients, how tired they got doing the leg work themselves and towards the end they just started compromising because they were just running out of steam.
There are several options available including full planning, partial planning, month of planning and day of planning. I contemplated actually putting day of planning on here because, honestly, I have never seen it work.
The two that I recommend would be full or partial. Month of is still pushing it and I will tell you why.
Lets face it, you are not a professional wedding planner. What defines professional?
Think about it like this - maybe you helped plan a friends wedding, shower or surprise birthday and (despite it being a lot of work) you were proud of the way it came out. Well done, you should be proud. But what if something bad happened with the weather, what if the waitstaff doesn’t show up, what if the rental delivery was late? These are just a few of the myriad of potential icendents that can arise. You may be able to bob and weave your way through some of the problems but unless you’ve been trained and seen this jabs before, one of them is going to connect and leave you stumbling.
Now, let me introduce another curveball - the human element.
This is YOUR wedding now. In addition to Pinterest boards and your butterflies, lets now throw your family and friends opinions into the mixing bowl, looking over menus, putting together your guest list, scheduling times (and potential weekends) to visit several vendors and look over proposals.
SO MANY PROPOSALS.
Then you begin to wonder, is this a good price or am I starting to just get worn down. Is there a better photographer? How much difference can there really be between this person from Brooklyn or Boston? Their pictures seem pretty similar right? “Suddenly, my head hurts, its 2 am and I have to get up at 6 am tomorrow”.
I can go on and on here, believe me. I have had these conversations many times over the years.
With the full wedding planning services, you can partake in all of the exciting elements such as the tasting, the showroom visit for the rentals and the intros to the various vendors, if you choose. The emails, phone calls, coordination and logistics are all on the plate of the planner. This is particularly helpful when planning a wedding out of state or long distances. Additional things that are helpful here are sending invites and thank you notes after the fact. Also, having long standing relationships with other wedding professionals, hiring a good planner will gain you access to potential deals or have leeway when it comes to tight situations. This really can make all the difference.
If your budget allows it, this is a very smart decision.
The next best thing would be partial planning.
This is good for folks that are a little bit more type a. Here, the planner will suggest some caterers, bands and other leads to look into. You do a bit more of the legwork interviewing, reviewing proposals and making decisions. Most planners will offer an option to step in when you’ve come to your wits end. The planner will still manage all the critical elements such as timelines, coordination and execution.
This is still a very good option, though if you are looking to throughly enjoy the process, I would opt with the full planning.
Lastly, we have the month of planning.
This one I have mixed feelings on, really. With the option you are going to be doing the majority of the work. The planner comes in 30 days before the event and makes sure all of the pieces are places and essentially puts the final touches on the production. Now, this is where you start to lose me on this. As mentioned at the very beginning, its likely you are not a planner. If this is the case, its highly likely that by 30 days out, you have made some sacrifices in the spirit of “getting it done”. Heaven forbid you missed anything important on the rental order as most rental companies have their inventory spoken for 1 year in advance. With more advanced noticed, there could be some wiggle room but there are slim pickings 30 days prior, if at all. If the planner has to rework everything you’ve done as it just doesn’t add up, you may get hit with an additional bill which could be close to the investment you could have made upfront and saved a lot of your time and parts of your nervous system.
Avoid this if you can.
In brief, there is one final thing somewhat worth mentioning.
The dreaded day of coordinator position. So, you’ve done all of this work, and even if you are a planner, you are now asking someone to come in with no real preparation or connection to any of the intimacy of the planning.
I have never heard of a day of coordination event where it has gone without a hitch. It just doesn’t make sense to gamble and risk everything you’ve planned on something so uncertain.
So, I encourage you to talk to planners. For many years they have gotten a bum wrap about being an overinflated expenditure thats not that necessary. Same could be said about that iPhone X you have on order. With one of the biggest days of your life at stake, make the investments in the right places.