So many couples begin their wedding planning journey doing it themselves. While a wedding can be planned without a planner, the couple normally gets overwhelmed about half way through the process. Many couples start seeking help from a planner about 6 months into their planning process, but usually want to find a planner that is inexpensive because it wasn't part of their original budget.
Because a wedding planner is usually considered a luxury item and many couples set their original budget without including the investment of a planner, they often want to search for a planner that is priced low. While being budget conscious is very important it is imperative that you consider a few things before booking a planner because of the cost.
First thing to think about is experience. How long has that cheaper planner been planning? Many wedding planners go into business after planning their own event. They think it will be the same as planning their wedding, they will be picking out decorations and piecing together an event that was just like their own. Well, wedding planning for clients is very different than planning one's own wedding. A seasoned wedding planner knows that. We don't create the same event over and over, we listen to our clients and make their vision come to life.
Another reason to consider the more experienced planner is that a new wedding planner may not know all the ends and outs of running a wedding. If you have been planning weddings for any length of time you know you must be an expert in all areas of the wedding! That includes catering, floral design, cakes, traditions and etiquette, venue layouts, timeline creation, marriage license laws, napkin folds, how to tie a bow tie, proper table place settings, and much more! Let's take a moment to talk about this more in detail.
Imagine your wedding day and the father of the bride decides to say an impromptu thank you to the guests before dinner service. He asks the planner if this will be ok, she says of course and grabs the mic for him. While dad starts his warm welcome to guests he doesn't realize, and neither does the inexperienced planner, that the catering staff was ready to serve the meal. Now, they are shuffling behind the scenes trying to put food back in warmers and stop the plating process. On the other hand, an experienced planner would have thought out this process and made sure that dad's speech was included in the timeline from the beginning. That way all the vendors know exactly how the event will flow. That same experienced planner knows to communicate with the catering staff on any delays or unexpected interruptions to the timeline so that food will be served at its best.
Or, what if your florist arrives early to set up and the cake hasn't arrived yet, the florist has to leave to set up their next event and just leaves a bucket of flowers next to your cake table. Does the inexperienced planner know what to do with those flowers? Did the planner have a picture of your cake design? Do they know your vision for the cake's flowers? Did they think to ask you this question? An experienced planner will have all those details together and will have the expertise and knowledge to be able to place the flowers on the cake. Another wedding hiccup now fixed by the seasoned planner.
Let's give one more wedding day example. What if one of the catering staff is placing plates next to your cake and accidentally knocks over a candle into the cake! An planner without experience may panic and cal l the bride to share the bad news. This will ruin her day! While a seasoned planner will grab a butter knife from the kitchen and smooth the frosting, grab some extra flowers and create a gorgeous cascading effect and then move on. Crisis fixed without anyone ever knowing there was a problem!
So, we have talked about a few problems an experienced planner knows how to fix on the wedding day. Now, let's talk about the actual planning process. Someone that is new to the wedding industry probably doesn't know how many hours goes into actually planning a wedding. They may offer to be your "day of" coordinator for a really low cost and do just that - show up on your wedding day only. They won't be prepared, they won't know the vendors, they won't know how to run the timeline. Everyone in the wedding industry knows there is no such thing as a day of coordinator! At Scout and Grace Events, we call this package Wedding Management. We get involved with the details as soon as you hire us. We know all the vendors, we become the vendor contact, we create a detailed vendor list, a wedding weekend timeline and a floorplan to share with everyone involved with the wedding. We will also know all the ins and outs of the wedding design and your plans!
So, wedding management may be priced at a higher cost than that new planner's "day of" package. But, there is A LOT more that goes into the preparation and behind the scenes and we know how much time goes into this. We know how long it takes for us to execute each event, we know how to handle any mishaps, we know how to create a timeline that will work for all the vendors, we know how to coordinate with those same vendors on your wedding day. So, keep all of this in mind when you are hiring a planner. Remember, you have one chance to do it right, one chance to create the perfect wedding. Let an experienced planner help you with the details!
One more thing to think about. When you are asking a planner about experience, remember that it is more important to have years of experience as a wedding planner rather than experience at your specific venue. Planners work at different venues every weekend and should know how to work the event at any location! There are hundreds of venues and your planner will know how to navigate a historic estate, museum, farm, park, or home, even if they haven't worked at the exact location. Put your trust in a seasoned planner!
Photography by William Avery Photography
Planning by Scout and Grace Events
Venue The VanLandingham Estate