And are they actually worth it?
If you’ve clicked on this blog post, it’s probably because you are about to embark on the huge task of planning your wedding and you’re starting to wonder what exactly a wedding planner does and whether they are worth the investment. Or, perhaps you are part way through planning and you’re beginning to ask yourself whether hiring a planner might just be your saving grace. As a wedding planner, it would be all too easy for me to say “we do whatever you need us to do” and “of course we are worth the money”, but let me try to clarify how a Wedding Planner can add value to your day and perhaps even save you money (and definitely time).
Getting to know you
The very first task of a wedding planner is to get to know their couples and discover exactly how they can help. From the initial email and the subsequent video call, we aim to learn as much as we can about you and your wedding vision. This way, we can work out the best service or package to provide.
What services do Wedding Planners offer?
Most wedding planners offer a variety of options when it comes to working with you and a good wedding planner will tailor those options to your needs. As a loose rule, many planners offer to:
- Manage your wedding day
- Work with you from about 3 months prior to your wedding day
- Plan your whole wedding
Since no two weddings – or couples – are the same, planners are generally very flexible and can tweak and customise these services to suit you. At Lucy Bull Weddings, I also offer ad hoc services which can be slotted in as required or even booked individually.
Then, even once you’ve determined how you want your planner to help, you can still dictate how little or how much you want to be involved yourself. Some couples prefer to hand everything over and have their planner take full reign. Others like to be updated frequently, make decisions and have contact with certain suppliers. It is your day we are planning and we will be led by your preference.
Style and Design
If you don’t already have a style in mind for your wedding, a planner can work with you to come up with one. This is an area that many couples struggle with and so having a planner to really focus your ideas is incredibly helpful. Everyone can pin their favourite wedding photos on a Pinterest board, but do each of the elements work together and will it all be within your budget? A planner can ask all the right questions and use their experience to bring in personal touches to your design to ensure that your guests instantly recognise this wedding as yours.
Supplier Sourcing and Negotiating
Each wedding planner has their own list of trusted suppliers and, based on the style of your wedding, they will be able to recommend the ones they think will work best for you. If required, they will do research on new suppliers and will report back with a list of their findings, pricing and why they think that supplier is great for your wedding. Having someone else do all the research and report back to you is a huge time-saving task!
Most planners (Lucy Bull Weddings included) don’t charge commission and instead try to negotiate on your behalf to guarantee the best price and ensure they are working to your budget.
Contracts and Payments
Once you’ve chosen your venue and suppliers, a planner can set all the contracts in place for you and put together a payment schedule. They will prompt you when each deposit is due to ensure you don’t miss any and, again, to ensure you don’t go over your budget.
Invitations and RSVPs
Whether you opt for physical invitations or electronic, a planner can manage the creation and distribution for you. For paper invitations (and other stationery), a planner can gather samples and, eventually, take charge of proof reading everything. For electronic, a planner may be able to build your website for you and take charge of the emails. Either way, they are also able to manage your RSVPs.
Wedding Day Schedule
As you get nearer to your wedding day, your planner will put a schedule together for you, your wedding party and your suppliers. Your wedding day schedule will show exactly how the day will run and where everyone needs to be and at what time. If I am hired to be your wedding planner, I will also include a Collection and Delivery schedule for the days leading up to your wedding and the days after for any suppliers who need to drop off, set up and then derig.
Reconfirming and coordinating everyone
In the days leading up to your wedding, you can rest assured that your planner will be busy reconfirming all of your suppliers and ensuring that everyone knows what time they are scheduled for and what services they have been booked to provide. On the day, a planner coordinates these suppliers, as well as all your guests, to be certain that everyone is at the right place at the right time and no one misses a thing.
Managing the day
Once all the organisation has been done, your planner will always be there on the wedding day to run the show. I like to work quietly in the background so that I am barely noticeable, but I will always check in with my couple every so often. On the day, a planner will ensure you are running to schedule and that everyone is in the right place at the right time. They will talk with caterers if timings need to be adjusted slightly, they will make sure the DJ or band is fully set up before people go near the dancefloor. And then there are the tiny details that you, as a couple, don’t want to have to think about, such as where the simmer switch is for the evening lighting or being there at the end of the night to switch everything off.
But I already have a venue coordinator?
Many couples wonder why they need a wedding planner when their venue already comes with a coordinator. I find that the best way to describe this is by expressing that the venue coordinator is there to represent the venue, whereas a planner is there to represent you. Whilst the venue coordinator will always work hard to ensure the day runs as planned, only a planner can really know the full details for the day. Before you big day I will have been in touch with every one of your suppliers to introduce myself and to establish their schedule. Some venue coordinators may do this as well, but it often still falls on the couple to make the phone call if someone hasn’t turned up…
So hopefully this clarifies exactly what it is we planners do and hopefully I’ve convinced you that we are well worth the investment. And as if this above wasn’t enough, we will always be on hand to offer any advice or guidance you need in the run up to your wedding day. Now don’t get me wrong, some people can’t wait to plan their whole wedding themselves and they will do an incredible job, but if you think you might need a helping hand somewhere along the way, then do get in touch.