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Today, I am going to talk about what I do, and why you might (or might not) want someone like me to be on your wedding planning team.
First, let me answer the title question: Do you need a wedding planner?
No! You absolutely do not NEED a wedding planner. But there are many reasons why you might want one:
- If you have never planned a large event before. A wedding planner can help you figure out where to start, how to make the best use of your budget, source vendors, negotiate contracts, make a realistic wedding day timeline, and generally guide you on all the details and decisions that need to be made for a large event.
- If you are too busy! The average couple spends about 100 hours planning their wedding. Hiring a wedding planner can drastically reduce the amount of time you have to sacrifice to planning. Many of our clients are simply too busy living their lives to find time for all the research and phone calls and emails and site visits that make a wedding happen.
- If planning a wedding doesn’t interest you. Maybe you think planning a wedding sounds like a terrible way to spend 2-10 hours a week for the better part of a year. Totally understandable. Me? I think planning events is fun. I like researching caterers and reading fine print. (Seriously, I do.) I LOVE brainstorming decor ideas and looking at venues.
- If you are stuck on a particular aspect of the wedding. A lot of our clients fall into the “partial planning” category – that is, they are doing most of the planning on their own, but need help with something specific, such as finding a caterer that can meet their budget, or visiting venues on their behalf because they live out-of-town.
- If you want peace of mind. Day-of-Coordination, or wedding stage management as we like to call it, is the most popular thing we are hired for. Many couples enjoy planning their wedding festivities, but don’t want to worry about all the little details on their big day. Hiring a wedding planner to run the day can really ease your stress and ensure that you have a good plan going in, as well as that anything which might go wrong will be swiftly taken care of. This is also a great option for couples who can’t afford full-planning, but still want a bit of professional help.
And now, I’d like to answer a couple questions sent in by readers:
When Should You Call a Wedding Planner?
Short answer? Now. Even if you are only planning to hire us for day-of-coordination, we are super helpful to have on board all along. I can’t speak for other planner, but when you hire us, you get access to us via email and phone from the time you put down the deposit. We can offer vendor recommendations and general advice regardless of what specific service we’re providing to you. And perhaps most importantly, booking sooner rather than later makes it much more likely that we’ll be available on your wedding day!
Why Do Some Weddings Require an Assistant for Day-of-Coordination?
The most general answer is that there are some weddings which simply cannot be well-executed without a little more help. In that case, I bring an assistant with me to make sure that everything is set up on time and going as planned. The biggest reasons I usually need an assistant are:
- Ceremony and Reception in separate locations – I can’t be in two places at once! If there is plenty of time for setup at both venues before the ceremony begins or a big gap of time between them, I may be able to do it on my own, but this is often not the case.
- One venue, but everything needs to be reset between ceremony and reception – This doesn’t happen too often, but if your venue is small compared to your guest list, someone will have to rearrange chairs, adult tables, place centerpieces, and light candles between your ceremony and reception. Often catering staff will do the bulk of this work, but sometimes that’s my job, and I might need help!
- Short setup time – Sometimes we don’t have access to the venue(s) early enough for one person to get everything set up before guests arrive.
I will always try to determine whether an assistant is needed at your initial consultation so there are no surprises down the road.
Got more planning questions? Fire away in the comments.
→ Need more help? We offer the full spectrum of wedding planning services, from hourly consultation to day-of-coorditnation to vendor sourcing all the way to full-on, start-to-finish planning. We are based in Chicago, but will happily travel anywhere! Schedule a consultation time here.