And why would I need one?
A wedding planner is someone who organises your wedding with you, providing support, guidance, advice and making your ideas become a reality. So what does that really mean? A wedding planner means different things to different people but at the heart of it a planner will be a confidant, a knowledgeable professional, a sounding board and often a friend. This includes:
Finding suppliers for you
Arranging meetings with those suppliers
Helping you to create a budget (and stick to it!)
Providing a timeline for when things need to be arranged by
Making the necessary arrangements (e.g. updating suppliers, finalising details)
Giving support and advice along the way
Ensuring that every element of your wedding is prepared and planned
Producing an itinerary for both you and your suppliers
Being there on the day (or even the days before and after) to ensure everything goes to plan
In essence a wedding planner is a fount of wedding knowledge who will make sure you have a thoroughly organised wedding day.
So why might you want to hire a wedding planner? There are three main reasons:
Some couples are simply too busy to plan a wedding on their own. An average wedding takes a professional approximately 150 hours to plan. For someone who's never done it before it will take even longer. Even a simple wedding is a huge time investment; you've got the dress, suits, cake, food, venue, flowers, guest list, invitations, table plan, rings, gift list, honeymoon, bridesmaids, ushers, speeches and so very much more to think about. It's a huge balancing act and many couples simply want the convenience of having somebody else do the leg work for them.
Another reason couples hire a planner is because they're having a particularly short engagement. Most couples take 12-18 months to organise their wedding, so if you're trying to do it in less, you often need a professional to get it all pulled together in time. Or perhaps you're part way through planning and have fallen behind schedule. Whatever the situation a planner can get you back on track and ensure that your wedding is kept in safe hands.
Yes, budgets are boring. But they are also really important. Everyone knows that when you add the word wedding or baby to something it instantly becomes more expensive. So being savvy and knowing when you're getting carried away is key. It's easily done, with so many elements and optional extras it's never been easier to overspend. That overspend can be crippling and can lead to a very stressful start to married life. A wedding planner is a sure fire way of staying within budget. They'll often be able to find you a shortcut or alternative if you're veering outside of your budget, and they won't be afraid to say no. Some wedding planners take commission from suppliers, however many wedding planners don't (myself included). Any savings we get from suppliers we pass onto you. That means couples can make great use of the relationships a wedding planner has built up with suppliers to get great deals.
I often hear that the initial outlay of a wedding planner puts people off. However it usually works out that a wedding planner saves you money by preventing that overspend and passing on supplier deals.
Mention weddings and you can guarantee everybody has an opinion. Friends, family, colleagues, everyone has advice and views on what a wedding should be like. Sometimes this can be helpful but often it can lead to indecision and also, sadly, conflict. There is nothing worse than trying to please everyone and ending up unhappy yourself. A wedding planner is hired by you. They aren't interested in anyone else's opinion, just yours. So they can make sure that your wedding is about you, and what you want. They can also deal with any unhappy relatives and friends as well. Trust me, when they're reminded by a wedding professional whose day it is, they soon come around.
A wedding planner is also a huge relief if organising anything is your worst nightmare. It's okay to hate organising. Or even to not be great at it. Wedding planners are professional organisers. They are not there to tell you what to do, they are there to guide and ensure that you make the decisions at the right time and that everything is booked and lined up well in advance of your big day. We’ve also accumulated masses of wedding knowledge and advice if you need an outside opinion too.
Lastly, you probably just want to relax and have a brilliant wedding day. That's where a wedding planner really comes into their own. We're like mission control on the day, making sure that everyone and everything is where it needs to be. Last minute panic, we'll deal with that. Wardrobe malfunction, not a problem, we all carry a needle and thread and safety pins for those minor wardrobe disasters! You'll have spent months, possibly years planning this day and the last thing you want is you and your guests running around coordinating everything. A planner will take all of the hassle and stress out of it, so everyone can relax and savour the magical day. After all, nobody wants to be stressed on their wedding day.