Why a Wedding Planner?
Hiring a wedding planner is the greatest asset you can make toward your peace of mind on your special day. Whether you hire a wedding planner to manage your entire wedding or to just coordinate the ‘Day of’, you will have an objective, reliable person helping you make sure everything is as planned. Can you think of anyone else who would be willing to oversee the set up of your reception or the arrival of your flowers, DJ/band, cake, photographer, or caterer? You can’t rely on a relative or wedding guest, who might feel resentful about getting ‘roped into’ many hours of very hard work.
Here are 10 why couples need a Wedding Planner to help make their wedding the day they’ve always dreamed of:
1. Help Coordinate Your Wedding Planning – Your wedding planner can advise you about all the details, from what your invitations should say to where to have the reception to who pays for what. The planner should be able to guide you to good resources and suppliers. And your wedding planner should have an extensive check-off list for you, that includes a schedule for getting everything done.
2. Make Your Life Easier – Sometimes, it is frustrating for the wedding planner to be left out of some major decisions and then at the last minute be expected to put out a fire because someone never followed up. Some couples think they’re saving money by not having their planner take care of some minor issues, but in the end this could be ‘Penny Wise, Pound Foolish.’. Your planner can do some of the legwork, help keep track of the hundreds of details, and help with the all-important following up.
3. Help with Negotiating Contracts and Managing Vendors – Most couples make the arrangements with their own photographer, florist, bakery, reception venue, and other vendors. But if they do, they should either bring their wedding planner to the meetings, or ask for the planner to supply a list of reliable, professional vendors. Sometimes having the planner sit in on the meetings protects the couple from unnecessary charges or pitfalls. If the couple wants to negotiate the contracts themselves, they should at least give the planner a copy of each contract, so the planner can follow up with all vendors at least a week before the wedding. But remember, your wedding planner is not an attorney and should not be asked to review contracts for legal aspects.
4. Care for Your Guests – You can prepare and mail your invitations, or your wedding planner can do it for you. Either way, the wedding planner needs to have a list of everyone coming to the wedding, including nicknames, so the planner will know that, for example, Lou & Chip on your seating plan are the same as Mr. & Mrs. John Jones on your formal invitation list. Be sure to tell your wedding planner as much information as possible about your guests, especially if someone needs special consideration (such as handicap accessibility) or is bringing small children (who might need a babysitter).
5. Keep Track of Who’s Who and What’s What – For a wedding to run smoothly, the right people have to be in the right places, the vendors must take care of all of their responsibilities, and the schedule has to be followed. Your wedding planner can manage these details. Who solves any problems that arise on the day of the wedding? Are your plans being carried out correctly? Your wedding planner can keep track of the important people, handle emergencies (or contact the person who should handle the emergencies), and keep on top of the flow of your wedding events.
6. Manage the Ceremony Venue – Some couples have their wedding planner at the church, temple, or other venue to oversee the ceremony from start to finish. The planner needs a sketch of the venue, which shows special setups of floral arrangements, bows on the pews, candles, a stage for the ceremony, or any other decorations or features; and a copy of the contracts setting out all arrangements. I once worked a wedding at a catering hall, involving a stage on which the ceremony would be performed. The catering hall build a stage that took up the full 12-foot width of the room, but the contract stated that the stage was suppose to be only seven feet wide. There was no room for the ceremony musicians and other features. I had to have the catering hall break down and recreate the stage before any guests arrived. And the bride and groom never knew!
By arriving very early at the venue, the planner can check that everything is set up according to the plan; the flowers have arrived and are set up as the couple requested them; the musicians are in place and appear professional looking (usually you can’t do anything about their attire, but their musical cases should be placed out of site); and the Officiant is present! The planner could also carry grooming supplies for everyone who needs a good, last-minute hair combing.
The planner should have a list of all the attendants, significant relatives (such as grandparents), and parents. The planner can make sure everyone is escorted to the right seats in the right order. The planner can also be in the hallway calming everyone down and making sure there is no loud talking among the attendants that the guests can hear.
Once the processional music starts, the planner can time the release of attendants walking down the aisle. When it’s the bride’s turn, the planner can calm down the bride and her father (or other escort). If the bride has a long train, the planner can poof it up. Generally, the planner can make sure she is the most beautiful, the most relaxed, and the happiest looking bride anyone has ever seen!
7. Manage your Seating Plan and Reception Venue – One of the most important tasks your wedding planner can do for you on your wedding day is to make sure that each table has the correct number of place settings and that the place cards are on the right tables. The wedding planner should be provided with a diagram showing the location of all the tables, the table numbers, and the number of guests at each table. It is also important to check each dish, glass, and coffee cup for lipstick stains, water stains, and grime. No matter how expensive or sophisticated the reception venue is a dirty dish always seems to find its way onto a table. I once had to have a restaurant manager rewash 900 glasses and cups that were covered in soap residue! The planner also needs to check for broken chairs, clean mirrors, and clean restrooms.
8. Make Sure Your Vendors Do What They’re Supposed To – Your wedding planner needs to know how many centerpieces and boutonnieres your florist should be bringing; when the band members, photographers, and videographers are expected to show up; who is creating your cake and where is it going to be set up in the reception venue; and what services will be provided by the caterer and the venue. You do have contracts with all your vendors, right? At one wedding I worked, the bride and caterer had a verbal agreement, and the caterer misunderstood the date. If I hadn’t been overseeing the arrangements at the reception venue, the bride and groom and their 125 guests would have walked into an empty and foodless room!
9. Help with Gifts and Money Envelopes – This can be very tricky. If you trust your wedding planner, he or she can take any gifts or money envelopes brought to the reception and keep them in a safe place. The planner might also offer to help the friend or relative who will be holding the gifts and envelopes while you’re on vacation carry the items out to a car or transport them home. In any case, the planner needs to know how you want your gifts, envelopes, and any other special items (such as a silver cake knife) handled.
10. Solve Your Problems for You – Is your cute flower girl having a tantrum, because she’s overwhelmed by all the strange faces? Is one of your guests drinking too much and becoming obnoxious? Is your aunt rearranging your place cards? You can give your wedding planner the authority to manage all of these problems – and many of the other problems that arise during a wedding and reception.
Anyone who’s planned a wedding recently knows that there are many other aspects not covered here. But this article should give you a good idea of how important it is to have a wedding planner and how that planner can help make your wedding wonderful.
We offer many different services and can “Taylor” them to best fit your situation and wedding. Click here to contact Ranch to Coast Weddings for your complimentary consultation.
var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-39531756-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);