When to Wed With a Wedding Planner
You've just gotten engaged, and you may be wondering where to start when it comes to planning the big event. With so many vendors to choose from, details to nail down, and ideas to incorporate, it can become an overwhelming task.
Benefits of hiring a planner
Wedding planning requires time, energy, and resources—and can be a stressful chore for engaged couples. Hiring a wedding planner to do the legwork of selecting the most reputable vendors, coordinating the events, and interacting with the bridal party can enable busy brides and grooms to focus on their careers and more fully enjoy the engagement process.
"I run a boutique PR agency and, while I was thrilled to be engaged, I was completely freaked out by the prospect of planning my own wedding, in addition to managing our business and keeping on top of client requests," recalls Rebecca Mosley, who got married a year ago in Seattle. "The wedding planner narrowed down the venues, bridal fittings, coordinated with the bridal party, kept relatives in check—all the time-sucking elements of event planning that make the process so miserable for some brides. I was able to relax, enjoy the engagement, and, on the day of, literally just show up. It was brilliant!"
According to Sara Gaum, owner of the Los Angeles-based event planning Web site VendorBar.com, a wedding planner might be for you if:
You also might find a wedding planner helpful if you're planning a destination wedding or live in a different state from where the wedding will take place. Hiring a local wedding planner can be invaluable, saving you time locating the best venues and the most reliable vendors from a distance.
What a wedding planner can do for you
Whether you want to be heavily involved in every detail of planning your wedding, or want a professional to arrange everything from the very beginning to the honeymoon, a wedding planner can personalize your involvement in the planning process.
"I wanted someone to help out who knows more about weddings than I did—like timelines and traditions," says Megan Capone, who got married in 2009 in Chelmsford, Mass. "And it's the best decision I've ever made. Hiring my planner freed me up to focus on the crafty parts of the wedding and personalizing it to make it uniquely us."
If you want to plan the event yourself, but want to avoid the hassle of directing vendors on your wedding day, you even can hire a wedding coordinator just to handle the flow of events on the day of the wedding.
Shonna Lester, an Atlanta native who got married in August 2009, went this route because she found planning enjoyable, but wanted assistance on the day of her wedding. "I don't know what I would have done without [our planner] the day of the wedding," she says. "When I got dirt on the hem of my dress from pictures we took outside before the ceremony, she had just what she needed to get the stains removed. She answered everyone's questions so they didn't come to me or my parents. We were able to just enjoy the day."
Will a planner's services fit in your budget?
In most cases, a good wedding planner will work within any budget. The key is to find a planner who is a good fit for your work style and can offer the right level of service for your needs.
A good wedding planner will work within ay budget.
Jen Wooster-McBride, a wedding planner in Columbus, Ohio, says it's important for couples to sit down and list what type of help they think they may need and what budget they have for these services, then look for a planner whose packages match their needs. "Most planners offer a free initial consultation because we, like the bride and groom, want to ensure a good fit," she says. "Personally I have standard packages, but I usually end up doing a custom quote because every couple has different needs."
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