Long gone are the days when wedding planners were a lavish luxury of the rich and famous. With modern couples juggling careers, family obligations, social engagements and volunteer activities, it's hard to imagine where they can find the hundreds of extra hours needed to plan their wedding.
Wedding planners provide a highly-specialized service to make it easier, more efficient, fun and cost-effective to plan your wedding. The same way you can choose to remodel your own home without a contractor, repair your car without the help of a machine or make your own clothes without a seamstress or tailor, it is possible to plan your own wedding -- it's just a much more successful process when you enlist the help of a professional.
With wedding planners offering a wide range of services from all-inclusive full service planning to day of coordinating and everything in between, there is a planner out there -- with a compatible price -- for every couple and every budget.
Call me crazy, but I think the bride and groom -- or groom and groom or bride and bride -- should enjoy their entire planning experience and wedding day. With that said, here is what a wedding planner can do for you and what he or she can't.
A wedding planner can...act as a neutral party.
While you might be feeling the pressure from Aunt Sue to let her daughter bake your wedding cake or from Uncle Ned who wants to play his accordion during your ceremony, wedding planners can quickly solve these problems because while your relatives may think they can pressure you, they tend to recognize our role as professionals and concede. They still might be upset, but they good news is they aren't upset with you! Your wedding planner will have no problem being the bad guy by taking this weight off your shoulders if it makes you happy!
A wedding planner can't....complete your seating chart for you.
While the seating chart is often one of the most tedious items on the wedding planning checklist, it is something that must be done with significant input from the couple and their families. Your planner doesn't know that your cousin Lauren just went through a big breakup with your college friend Mike and could easily sit them at the same table or could accidentally have your grandparents in the back of the room. Your wedding planner can provide you with software to make this process easier and more streamlined, but in the end, this job will fall to you to finalize.
A wedding planner can...account for all details and logistics.
Your wedding planner will help you stay on track, stick to your budget, review vendor contracts, prevent expensive mistakes, create timelines and make contingency plans. Think of planning your wedding as putting on a Broadway show -- without a dress rehearsal. Your wedding planner will help you see the unexpected events that may occur and will help you be prepared for anything that comes your way.
A wedding planner can't....prevent it from raining during your outdoor ceremony.
This one sounds pretty self explanatory, but you'd be surprised how often we hear "Please don't let it rain!" from our clients. Your wedding planner will help you come up with a rain plan in the months leading up to your wedding day so you can be sure if rain is in the forecast, you will still be thrilled with "Plan B" and it can be executed in a timely manner so you don't have to worry about it from the comfort of your makeup chair.
A wedding planner can...bring your design ideas together.
If you have been building your secret wedding Pinterest board since before you were engaged, there is a good chance you have many ideas and need to bring them together for a cohesive look. Your wedding planner will take your inspiration and design a style that is totally you. From the venue, flowers, linens, rentals, bridesmaids dresses, stationery goods, welcome bags and to everything in between, your wedding planner will make sure every detail looks exceptionally planned and that nothing appears to be an afterthought.
A wedding planner can't....take care of your personal errands.
While she may want to do these things for you if she could, your wedding planner can't fill your birth control prescription before your honeymoon, break in your wedding shoes, attend the hair and makeup trial on your behalf, babysit your dog, write your thank you notes or deposit your wedding gift checks. These are all things she can remind you to do, but you will need to account for the time to take care of these details before the wedding day.
A wedding planner will help you see the big picture and keep your best interests in mind to make your planning experience an enjoyable one. Sure, if you still want to, you can plan it yourself, but remember, that's the equivalent of remodeling your home without a general contractor.