If you’re like most people planning an event, such as a wedding, you start with a budget in mind and work backwards to determine what’s necessary and what can be cut, or at least trimmed. Once you get past the obvious needs of venue, catering, and rentals, you get down to the elements that might be on the chopping block. Do we need a videographer? Nope. What about floral? Sure, floral definitely adds life and color to any space, but does every table need flowers? Somewhere down the line, or maybe even out of the gate, you think, “Am I going to pull all this together myself? Is it really worth it to hire a wedding planner?”
Money well spent
Any sensible planner will claim hiring them will be the best money you spend on your wedding. Ask anyone who has worked with one and they may very well tell you the same thing. They might tell you how comforting it was to know everything was being taken care of by an experienced professional. That it not only reduced stress levels in the months leading up to their wedding, but also gave them peace of mind knowing every detail would be executed to perfection from start to finish.
Is a planner right for you? Well, first make a list of everything that needs to be done; from vendor selection, menus and décor, down to timeline and logistics day-of. After that little exercise, look at how much time you have to put into planning and decide whether it’s ideal for family, friends or even you to be “working” on your wedding day.
Planning a wedding starts out fun and exciting but can quickly turn stressful and overwhelming. Sure you can get through it, but it may pay to call in professional reinforcements. They’ve been there, done that, can help with details you might overlook, and will help make the most of your budget (and allocate dollars properly). When the big day arrives you hope things run smoothly. But, inevitably, the photographer will be stuck in traffic, the caterer can’t find a place to park and the bar needs more ice. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a point person in charge of putting out all fires? Someone to make sure the day plays out just as you pictured it, so you can focus on your guests and your day, not the bustle behind the scenes.
A planner can be there for you in so many other ways; a sounding board, idea generator, psychologist, family mediator, accountant, and wall between you and all those pesky vendors asking 100 questions. A planner allows you to be as involved or uninvolved as you like. Maybe you enjoy planning visuals and themes, but not managing logistics and guest lists. Or, maybe you’d rather hand the ball off entirely and just marvel at the wedding your planner executed for you. Either way, it should be the happiest time of your life, not the most stressful.
We’d all love to have an endless pot of money. But realty has other ideas. Deciding what to spend your hard-earned money on can be a daily chore. Do I want those shoes? Yes. But that concert is coming up, and maybe that experience is money better spent in the grand scheme of things. Your wedding or any other event you host can present the same decisions.
Though there are some great planners out there, maybe their services are just a luxury? Be honest about your budget. Fees for wedding planners vary, but you can expect to pay somewhere between 10-20% of your total wedding cost. It may be a better idea to spend those dollars on gourmet food, better wine, more flowers, or the wedding dress that is simply perfection. Or, maybe you want to upgrade your honeymoon destination? Deciding where you want to spend your money is something to consider up front. Decide what is most important, and again, cut what’s secondary. Everyone is different; what’s a must-have for you might not be the case for the next person, so there’s no right or wrong way to go about it.
Not every couple requires a full-service planner. If you’ve already done most of the work (or want to), maybe you only need a day-of coordinator who will run the point on your wedding day. Also, talk to your venue. Maybe they’ll provide some planning elements in lieu of an official planner. Or, they might provide assistance for a minimal fee – likely less expensive than hiring a wedding planner. That way, you’re not on an island during the planning process, but can save some of your wedding budget to go towards other elements of the evening.
For example, here at Gallery Forty-Two, we offer our couples assistance in the planning process as well as some day-of coordination. We’re by no means wedding planners; and don’t offer services that extensive. But we want to make sure our couples feel comfortable including us in the planning process, ask for advice and suggestions, and take comfort in knowing we take pride in ensuring their day is everything they hoped it would be. Contact us to schedule a tour!