I am so excited about this blog post and have been working hard for weeks to give you the best information as to why you should hire planner for your wedding day! As a photographer, I’ve seen first hand how under valued a day of coordinator/planner can be. I’ve been at wedding days that have planners, and one without them there. And I’ve seen it happen time and time again, on a wedding day without a planner/coordinator, that stress levels can get heightened. And often times the job of the planner gets pushed onto your parents, siblings, or even you, and yes sometimes the photographer as well.
As a photographer I want to be able to solely focus on capturing each precious moment for you to remember. So I wanted to put together a blog post with real knowledge, from actual planners, answering some of your most frequent questions about if a planner is right for your day. The short answer is YES! They can add so much value to your day and ultimately, help to create a fun stress free environment where you and your guests have time to enjoy the day as each moment unfolds!
Planner, Hannah of Hannah Elizabeth Events is answering some of your most popular questions about hiring a wedding planner and what they can do for you, so let’s jump in!!
I always tell couples that even if you don’t hire a wedding planner, there will be someone who is doing the role of a planner. Whether that’s your photographer, Maid of Honor, mom, family friend, etc. Someone will need to figure out what to do and when, make sure you have all the details, vendors have arrived, etc, etc. When it’s not an expert/hired planner it can be VERY stressful for that person, not to mention extremely chaotic for everyone involved.
Hannah says, “Hiring an Event Planner takes so much of the stress off of couples. Couples spend anywhere from 200-300 hours planning their wedding and that number is going up every year. Wedding Planners can drastically help reduce that number. There are also so many things that people don’t even think about when it comes to wedding plans. You would not believe how many times I hear ‘oh I wouldn’t ever have thought of that.’”
A wedding planner isn’t there to take over all the planning, they are there to guide you through each stage, and give you expert advice and ideas on how to make the day fit your vision.
A lot of times I relate a wedding planner to a pilot. For example, people think just because you’ve been to a wedding you know how to plan one [which is so false]. That’s like saying just because I travel on planes all the time that I know how to fly one! Wedding planners are the expert in weddings and are there to help guide you through the unknowns and what seems like the endless amount of decisions. The wedding planning process can be extremely overwhelming. Having a planner to tell you what you need to do next, recommend amazing vendors to book, and give advice, helps alleviate so much stress!
Hannah: “Wedding planners will help you to be able to plan all the fun exciting parts of planning a wedding, without having to worry about the not-so-fun stressful parts of planning. You probably don’t want to find and price rentals, or try to get vendors to call you back, or worry about cleaning everything up after your beautiful wedding. If you hire a planner you absolutely have 100% control over everything that happens at your wedding, without the stress of making it all happen.”
Wedding planners aren’t only for couples who have no idea what they’re doing or the crazy detailed brides, they’re for everyone! You want to make sure you hire a planner who you vibe with and matches the style/vibes you want for the day. Even for my most chill and laid back couples, they still need me there making sure things run smoothly!
As a wedding photographer I always suggest a wedding planner to anyone who is looking for candid moments to be captured, especially the laid back couples. Having a planner is what allows you to be laid back and not have to worry about what comes next on your wedding day allowing you to be fully present. In turn, this translates to so many more amazing moments filled with emotion for me to capture and you to relive!
Hannnah: “I went to school for this, I have experience. If you just have your friend do it, they aren’t going to have the level of experience that I bring to the table. It’s my job to pretty much have to know all aspects of weddings. Photography, dress, catering, DJ, venue, etc. You wouldn’t have your friend be your photographer, or you shouldn’t, because the photos won’t be good quality the level of service and commitment may not be there, they probably don’t have the training, experience, or equipment. You get what you pay for and while it may be nice that you save a couple of bucks when your wedding pictures and your overall experience isn’t great because you had your friends do everything, instead of hiring a good planner, or photographer, etc you won’t be happy and you’ll have those bad memories.”
You might think just because you have a venue coordinator that you don’t need a day of wedding planner, but you still do!
Hannah: “So there are a lot of venues that have coordinators but they are very different than planners. Venue coordinators will just work with you and give you information on the venue, room setup, and details to help you know the venue better. They don’t work with your vendors, aren’t setting up, cleaning up, or staying there on the day of the event to make sure things are going smoothly. They are there for the venue and that is who their concern is, understandable because they are employed by the venue. They won’t be there to help make decisions about the timeline, bustle your dress, hold your bouquet, and tell you when to cut the cake. They simply aren’t anything more than a person to watch over the venue to make sure it is being properly treated. Please don’t consider the venue coordinator as an excuse for not having your own wedding planner because you will be so disappointed and that is the worst when you are expecting something that isn’t what it turns out to be.”
Hannah: “I will get to the couple’s wedding and make sure that the Bride is doing well and that everything is going smoothly with hair and makeup. Check in with the vendors that are arriving or already there and will start getting together your list for set up. I will set up your ceremony, reception, and cocktail hour area. I will also simultaneously be making sure that all your vendors are arriving on time and be checking in with you to make sure things are moving on time. Then once it is time to get the Bride and bridesmaids walked out as well as the groomsmen before. Everyone will be lined up and ready to go. I get everyone down the aisle and once the ceremony is over then I make sure they are off to the side to people are stealing them away to talk and they can go off for pictures. I make sure cocktail hour goes off without any problems move the guests into the reception and then do entrances and make sure that the reception continues to go smoothly working with your vendors so that nobody is missing any special moments. Once the reception is over, I pack everything away and put it into the designated cars and the day is done. There is a lot more in between but you get the basic idea.”
I completely understand that budgets can be tight and you have to make tough choices when it comes to your wedding, but I am [obviously] a firm believer that the right wedding planner is well worth the investment. If you can’t hire someone to do full planning, you need someone there even if it’s just a day of coordination! Even for my own wedding, I hired a day of coordinator and it was the best decision we made! She constantly intercepted questions from bridal party members and guests, helped everything move along smoothly, and gave us the gift of being fully present and enjoying every minute of our wedding day. And that is priceless!
Hannah: “Wedding planning takes up a lot of time, it is a full-time job. You already have a full-time job, why would you want to add another one? Why not leave it up to someone who knows what they are doing and can help lessen the load. I know it can come down to money, everyone is on a budget, but there is no harm in looking at your options. A wedding planner’s main goal is to help YOU and to make sure you are getting the best out of your day and the experience. They want to help you find the best vendors that fit into your budget. It is worth spending the money in the long run, when they help keep you from making money-wasting mistakes and can keep you from overspending on things that you don’t need. You can have a planner and you deserve to have one to help you have a restful experience. You are spending so much money on your wedding already, why would you want to leave how it goes up to chance?”
Hannah: “It depends, I have multiple packages, I have a Month of Package, I have a Full Planning package, I have a Bells and Whistles Package, I also have an elopement and Destination Wedding Package. I can also work with couples to come up with a custom package based on all that they need.”
YES! People do not realize how many logistics go into an elopement day. Honestly, sometimes there can be more logistics on an elopement day than a wedding day. As a photographer I am here to help with finding locations, creating timelines, and suggesting amazing things to make your day even more epic! Planners can really dig deep into planning with you and help take even more off your plate, including helping with booking activities and lodging, guest coordination, back up plans, and finding and booking vendors who will make your day special and unique, and much more. On elopement day your planner will literally become a “jane” of all trades because they will be there to help you with anything you need! From helping you change at the top of a mountain after hiking up, carrying your bouquet around in between photos, holding an umbrella over you when it starts to rain, making sure you have water/snacks, and so much more! Having an elopement planner really allows your photographer to focus on what you hired them to do [take photos!] while a planner manages all the details behind the scenes.
Hannah: “You can do so many fun and unique things with a destination wedding or elopement day and it can be small, or it can be big it depends on the couple and what they want. Using a planner with these types of events is crucial. They can help you will all the logistics, tiny details, and elements that you wouldn’t have thought of or might have missed. In these situations having a backup plan is imperative.”
Unlike other vendors, your planner will work with you AND all the other vendors for your day. There is so much communication that goes into planning a wedding and they will work with everyone to make sure we’re all on the same page. For example, your photographer is not going to email your caterer to make sure they arrive on time. And your florsit isn’t going to email the DJ to make sure they have the right set list for the reception. Planners work with each and every vendor to create a cohesive wedding day, leading up to and on the day!
Hannah: “I say the sooner the better. That way I can help you with whatever you need starting from the get-go. People always think the planner is the last thing to secure and that is not the way to go. I promise you, secure your date. Book your planner as soon as you can and their wealth of knowledge will be yours for the whole planning experience. Let me put it to you this way. You wouldn’t take a test and just never utilize your textbooks, with all the information in them, and then wonder why you are stressed out and don’t do well on the test. We are your textbooks. We are here to help you succeed and have the best day.”