That is most definitely the question! Whether ’tis nobler to do it all yourself – and suffer the slings and arrows of all that stuff that may well drive you crazy – or take up arms against wedding insanity and hire a professional…
Your wedding day is supposed to be flawless, with not one strand of hair out of place nor one word of best man’s speech stumbled over. Even the tiniest details must be ironed out to perfection. But as with every other venture regarding which there are a million and one that need to be attended to and may go wrong, the reality is that perfection is far easier said than done. On your big day, trust us when we say your biggest decision is this: “Should I hire a wedding planner?”
Nobody can answer that question except you, your personal schedule, and your budget.
Let’s talk about exactly what this person does, and more importantly, do you need them to do it. Regarding the pros and cons, let’s start with the pros first
- Details are headaches
And a wedding planner’s job is to deal with each and every one. Everything from invitations to juggling vendors and the venue is the planner’s job to handle. Look at your 12-month wedding planning to-do list, multiply each item by at least three, because conservatively, that’s how many details are involved, and some have 5 or 6 subcategories. Not convinced? Let’s look at the next major point.
It’s the wedding planner’s job to make sure you don’t exceed your budget. He’ll tell you when you’re creeping close to your limit in a given category and come up with one or two alternatives that will create the look you want without breaking the bank on the big details. You tell the planner what you want to spend, and if it’s a penny more, she’ll tell you. And, as Brides points out, will get you the very best value for your money.
- Wedding Planners are privy to Insider Information
Chances are you won’t be your wedding planner’s first client. When it comes to the ins and outs of the bridal industry, having a wedding planner by your side can mean the difference between snagging a sweet deal and paying a premium for something that you could have procured for much less.
Wedding planners befriend local suppliers. With just one phone call, she – the wedding planner – could get a nice venue that you – the client – never even knew existed. She might know a superb yet relatively unknown wedding dress retailer. Suppliers are always more than happy to accommodate their friends, and a wedding planner can easily get you on everybody’s good side.
The big difference here is trust. Your planner has built a strong relationship with the suppliers and vice versa, which makes arrangements easier and more hassle-free for you.
- Your Time vs. Their Time
Planning a wedding takes time. A lot of time. You already know this just by perusing wedding sites. In practice, planning a wedding is exhausting. By hiring a planner, your tiniest details are taken care of by someone else who is dedicated to pulling off your big day without a hitch. At least without a hitch that you have to deal with!
Coordinating between suppliers and the bride are a daily thing. If you don’t want to be saddled by small yet crucial decisions, leave it up to the expert. For example, quotes about hair and makeup from 20 different salons and artists (and if you want the best deal, you need to make that many calls) are clearly stressful.
Your wedding planner will know what it is you really need, and may know what you need before you realize you need it. No successful planner could stay in business if they had no idea what they were doing. Makes sense, doesn’t’ it?
You can never be too prepared for an event of this magnitude. And since it also represents a milestone in your personal life, you don’t want to be the one on the floor telling people what to do and the one walking down the aisle. That just doesn’t make sense.
When everyone else in your wedding party is busy primping, or your folks are finally chatting it up with your groom’s parents (which you really want them to do!), who else can you rely on to make sure that your aunt, whose flight got in two hours late, catches a cab in time to make it to the ceremony? Who deals with the caterer who showed up with herring in cream sauce instead of in wine (which is a catastrophe because your new father-in-law is lactose intolerant)? Little things like that can snowball into a logistical nightmare for you, but your wedding planner can take it all in stride. She might even send her assistant to the store for the right herring!
Now that we’ve (almost) convinced you that you can’t live without professional wedding planner help, we need to play devil’s advocate and point out the downsides. After all, what good are we to you if we don’t give you every angle possible?
- You have less control
Hiring a wedding planner puts her in the position of making decisions on your behalf. If they’re last minute, and you can’t be reached, you’ll have to live with her choices. Are you comfortable with that? Yes, you can pretty much set the big decisions in cement, but you have to be willing to put your foot down. It does matter that you prefer this color ribbon over that one, and no matter how lovely and cost-effective they are, you absolutely can not abide carnations. You have to be willing to both put your foot down earlier in the planning and then relinquish control the few days before the wedding as well as the wedding day itself.
Knowing what you want actually makes your wedding planner’s job easier on the both of you. Just make sure that she is as detail-oriented as you would like your wedding to be. Why? Because it’s your wedding! At the end of the day, you are still the client, she’s your employee, and your decision – and opinion – is what matters most.
- Additional cost
The more you want your wedding to match the dream in your head, the more expensive your wedding will be. If your budget is already stretched thin as it is, it might not be in your best interest to hire a professional planner.
This does not mean, however, that you are out of options. An on-the-day coordinator could be just what you’re looking for. A coordinator makes sure the big day goes without a hitch. All prior decisions have been made by you, and your coordinator will simply be there to act in your stead while you’re busy getting married.
Your wedding day is supposed to be a day of celebration. Yes, there are costs involved, but the simple fact is that you really need someone to be there for you to make sure as many problems as possible are solved even before the big day arrives
If you happen to have a trusted and capable friend who’s willing to run interference, especially on the wedding day, you just might not need a wedding planner. For instance, if your friend has experience in community theater, especially directing, or runs his or her own small business and deals with handling people, not only might he or she be better than the planner in seeing that things are carried out the way you want, but also won’t bat an eye at giving firm direction to whoever needs it!
However, if you have any qualms about your ability to do what it takes to make your dream day come true, and you don’t happen to have experienced friends who are willing to forfeit a little bit of their enjoyment of your day in order to play overseer, then if you can afford it, a wedding planner may be exactly what you need.
Talk it over with your fiancé and perhaps with your folks if they’re helping out financially. Your mothers especially may be glad to spring for the extra to have a professional. Planning a wedding often causes you to think and rethink your priorities and together settle on the best decision for the two of you. Your married life will be full of important decisions about details that you, as a couple, will need to make for the rest of your lives. Maybe, just maybe, on your wedding day, you can leave all that to a certain someone: your wedding planner.
But no matter what you choose to do, we know you’ll find a way to rest easy on your wedding day!