What Does a Wedding Planner Do?
Once you’ve fixed your wedding budget and begin researching wedding service providers, you’ll need to decide if you will need a wedding planner. First up, you’re probably wondering: ‘What does a wedding planner do?”
A full-service wedding planner (not to be confused with a wedding venue co-ordinator) will help you select trusted wedding vendors, negotiate the best rates, arrange your wedding timeline in the most efficient way, create and manage your wedding to-do list, manage your vendors to make sure they deliver correctly and on time, and will be your go-to person co-ordinating behind the scenes on the actual day of your wedding.
So, do you need a wedding planner? Maybe yes, maybe no. While some couples see using a wedding planner as essential, others see it as simply a luxury. Let’s dive deeper into understand what a wedding planner does, and why you might or might not want to hire one.
What do wedding planners do?
- Hiring a wedding planner frees up a huge amount of your time, explains Nicolette from Nicolette Weddings Planning & Coordination. This is time that would be spent researching, interviewing, vetting, selecting, co-ordinating and following up with wedding vendors to ensure they stick to delivery timelines. An experienced wedding planner saves you from having to research how to avoid expensive newbie wedding-planning mistakes, say Nicolette, who shared her insights as a wedding planner with us for this feature.
- Your wedding planner will be your one point of contact for every aspect of your wedding. This is useful because you will form a fantastic relationship and your wedding planner will have a better idea of your wedding vision than anyone else, and will know exactly how to communicate that to your suppliers.
- Your wedding planner will also grant you access to their network of reputable suppliers, and will most likely be able to qualify you for discounted rates due to their long standing relationships with those suppliers.
- Your wedding planner will help you establish a realistic budget and set out a plan on how to stick to it, and keep track of all your payments.
- Your wedding planner will also be able to provide you with practical money saving tips for your big day as they will know better than anyone else, where it is okay to save and where it isn’t.
- In your personal consultation, your wedding planner will help you conceptualise the look and feel for your wedding, and help you interpret your vision into an established wedding theme or décor scheme to stick to throughout the wedding planning process.
- Your wedding planner will be a trusted source of information and guidance during the wedding planning process.
What not to expect from your Planner
What should you not expect from your wedding planner?
- The actual collection and delivery of goods.
- The physical labour involved in setting up on your wedding day (such as tables and chairs), although it is the wedding planner’s responsibility to arrange this for you.
- Dealing with each guest of your wedding individually before the wedding such as personally sending the invitations, collecting RSVPs or following up on late RSVPs. This is almost impossible as we don’t know who belongs to who and it can get very complicated.
- Your wedding planner should also not be expected to pay for his or her petrol or travel expenses to attend meetings on your behalf.
Do I need a wedding planner?
Most couples will benefit from the skills and services of a wedding planner, if you can afford it. It’s really helpful to have an expert to share the wedding load with, and to mentor you through the process. There are a couple of scenarios where getting a wedding planner is really a no-brainer. These include…
- If you’re planning a destination wedding. A local planner who has local contacts and experience dealing with local wedding legalities or customs which you’ll probably be clueless about can really be a game changer.
- If you hate schedules, details and deadlines, are more into the creative side of things, you probably need the help of a wedding planner.
- If you’re short on time or don’t have the capacity for the mental overhead that comes with 12-months of planning an multi-stage event.
All of the above are really strong cases for hiring the help of a wedding planner.
Should I plan my own wedding?
If you are someone who is super-organised and confident in your planning skills, don’t get overwhelmed easily, and love the idea of meeting and interviewing various suppliers with your wedding planning notebook tucked under your arm, you may really enjoy the attention to detail and creativity that goes into planning your own wedding. I did! It can be a challenging but fulfilling experience – for the right type of person.
- If you already work in a job as a project manager, a co-ordinator or in some sort of researching and planning role, you probably have some of the skills needed to plan your own wedding already.
- If you also have the time and the desire, and really love the idea of creating and checking off numerous to-do lists simultaneously (yes, we do exist!), you could be the right type of person to do it.
In this case, you’ll still need someone to help with certain on-the-day duties and be a vendor point-of-contact. Perhaps you’ll enlist the help of a super organised loved-one, or enlist the help of an on-the-day wedding planner aka wedding day co-ordinator.
Types of Wedding Planning Services:
There are a couple of core wedding planning package options. These range from full-service to on-the-day services. Here’s what they usually each entail:
- Full Service Wedding Planning Package: Choosing this package means that your wedding planner will likely guide and assist you through every single stage of the wedding planning process. From setting out a realistic budget, finding the perfect venue, right through to booking your hair and make-up and arranging your guest favors. Your wedding planner will also be there on the day of your wedding to ensure that everything runs smoothly and according to plan.
- Month / Week of Partial Package: Here you will have completed the bulk of the project creation and planning tasks yourself, including conception creation, budget management and vendor research, selection and scheduling. The planner will jump in during the final weeks / days to take over the reigns of the project as you’ve planned it, so that you are freed up to focus on getting yourselves ready for the wedding.
- On-the-day Co-ordination Package: This and the previous package are good options for couples on a budget who would still like their wedding day managed by an experienced wedding planner. While you are busy being the bride or groom on your wedding day, you can relax knowing that proceedings will run as smoothly as possible according to your plan, because of the the help of trusted professional.
If you decide get the help of a wedding planner be sure to visit their website and view weddings they’ve put together in the past to make sure they’re up to the task. Always meet with them first to make sure you’ll be able to work closely together in the months leading up to your wedding.
Wedding planning insights:
- 30+ Important Wedding Costs You Might Have Overlooked
- Wedding Planning Tips: 21 Mistakes Couples Make When Wedding Planning
- 5 Things to remember when planning your wedding day timeline
- 5 Tips to Keep Your Engagement Ring Super Sparkly and Shiny Forever
- 5 Tips for stress free wedding dress shopping