Congrats sweet friend, you're officially engaged! So, now what? For most brides, shortly after engagement comes a feeling of pure excitement mixed with a feeling of being overwhelmed due to the fact that they now have to plan a wedding on top of their normal workload. A natural first step in the planning process is to book your venue, set a date, and/or hire a wedding planner. Most bride's will begin to do some online research on wedding planners, and it isn't long after that that most will become discouraged by the investment associated with hiring one, especially when it comes to the luxury weddings that you're probably used to seeing on social media and published by bridal publications (Style Me Pretty, Weddingsparrow, etc.). As a quick fact, most luxury wedding planners in the present day will charge 15-20% of your total wedding budget. In this post, I outline the value that hiring a wedding planner can add to not only your event but the chapter of engagement by defining what wedding planning and design truly is.
Wedding planners are a lot like fairy godmothers - we strive to create evenings that are truly magical, to set you up for the most memorable night of your life, and to make you feel heard and seen in every way. The main difference is that instead of magic, we use our adoration of organization, top-notch communication skills, and our harmonious eye for design to get it all done. Oh, and we won't let you turn into a pumpkin at midnight ;) Wedding planning is the art of bringing all of these skills together to envision, curate, and execute your fairytale, packaged up in a venue-sized package.
As wedding planners, the value we add to the planning experience include, but is certainly not limited to the following:
Vendor Relationships - Most of the time, if you hire a wedding planner located in the area in which you plan on getting married, the planner will have strong connections and relationships with others in the industry. They are able to bring to the table those relationships when recommending vendors to fit not only your style, but also your personality. This sets you up for an enjoyable experience from the start. Getting married in a destination outside of where your planner is located? Not a problem, as most planners are also connected through social media groups, networking events, or have the relation ship building skills required to introduce you to your vendor dream team. So much of the wedding and events industry relies on relationships and word of mouth.
Empathy - This one is a personal favorite. While I don't wish to take away from the joy that engagement and wedding planning holds, the reality is it can be tough! Everyone's situation looks different, which means that as a planner it is so important to hold a level of empathy and to actively listen to your clients. Planners are your go-to shoulder to cry on, person to vent to, and sounding board when it comes to all things wedding. We get it, life is busy and sometimes it just becomes too much for you to hold on your own shoulders! As planners, we say give me some of that weight you're carrying.
Organization, Timelines, Check-Lists & More - Planners help keep the trains on the track. Most of the time we do this through client portals, which house anything and everything related to your special day. We provide planning timelines, notes from meetings, customized check-lists, event layouts and then some. We have access to top notch planning tools and softwares that make all of this possible. Did I mention that a lot of us are type A personalities?
Day-of Setup and Breakdown - This is typically the most important one for bride's. They may not be interested in any of the above, but know for a fact that they want to be hands off on the day of. The truth of the matter is, a successful wedding day can't happen without at least a little bit of the above value-adds that planners bring. Without organization, empathy, & communication how can you expect a wedding planner to come in at the 9th hour and perfectly execute an event with adequate preparation? Think of it as showing up for an exam that you didn't study for at all - it doesn't make for a great result. In my professional opinion, a successful wedding planner for your wedding day needs to be involved at least 90 days prior to start "studying" prior to the event.
Now that we've discussed the value that a wedding planner can bring to the table, let's talk design! I like to think of planning and design as the two sides of the wedding planner's brain. While planning focuses generally on logistics, design focuses on creating a harmonious, cohesive look and feel to your event.
As Wedding Designers, the value we add to the planning experience include, but are certainly not limited to the following:
A Creative Eye - We've just got the eye. We have the design eye to help you envision and bring to reality your dream wedding. This one is particularly helpful for brides that might have no idea what they want in the first place, as we can help them determine their vision and curate elements for their day that are genuinely representative of them.
Fresh, Unique Ideas - Being in the wedding industry, we are constantly surrounded by new and unique ideas that get incorporated into weddings and events. We've seen it all - and we know what hasn't been done! We're here to help collaborate with you and bring fresh, unique ideas to the table that fit your style as a couple.
Day-of Execution - We envisioned this design from the start, now it's time to orchestrate the vendors, set those plates, help arrange all that floral to ensure the vision comes to life. We will individually see to it that each place card, napkin, card box, etc. are flawlessly placed.
I hope that this helped some bride-to-be's understand the true value that a wedding planner brings to the season of engagement and a wedding itself. We are here to do all of the above and then some - there are SO many additional value adds that planners bring to the table but this post focuses on the primary ones. So when you are beginning to do your wedding planning research, and start to get discouraged by the associated investment, remember all that a planner can bring to elevate your experience. Plus, who WOULDN'T want a fairy godmother looking out for them on their big day? You can't put a price on that... :)