In today’s episode of Ask the Planner, I dive deep into why someone would or would NOT hire a wedding planner.
You might think it’s interesting that as a wedding planner based in Upstate New York I would record a podcast episode all about why someone would NOT work with a wedding planner. But I think it’s a question that a lot of couples and families grapple with.
- Who should or should not hire a wedding planner?
- What does a wedding planner do?
- Why would I hire a wedding planner?
- Do we need to hire a wedding planner?
- What does a wedding planner even do?
- Will the wedding planner be able to execute the vision we have in our heads?
- What will a wedding planner do that I can’t?
- Would I get along with a wedding planner or will they want to control too much?
These are all great questions and I’m going to answer them in today’s episode.
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EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: 10 Reasons Why You Would or Would Not Hire a Wedding Planner
Today’s topic is is really near and dear to my heart and also kind of a hot button issue for me. But I promise to be as bi-partisan for both sides so you get a balanced perspective.
If one of the reasons below is why you're considering not hiring a wedding planner, then definitely have a listen on what I think about that.
5 REASONS YOU THINK YOU DON'T NEED TO HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER:
- One or both of you have a background in event planning. [07:10]
- You have a hard time giving up control and trusting others. [9:33]
- You're planning a “simple wedding.” [11:05]
- A friend or family member says they want to help you so they can get wedding planning experience. [14:30]
- You want to be the one to tell everyone what to do on the wedding day. [17:56]
5 REASONS WHY SOMEONE WOULD HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER:
- One or both of you work in hospitality and you know how much work goes into producing a well-run event. [18:50]
- You want to trust a professional with your investment. [19:25]
- Neither of you wants your day to feel like a generic, cookie-cutter wedding. [21:05]
- Being able to enjoy the wedding planning experience is important. [23:10]
- You also want your guests to enjoy the wedding too! [25:57]
Links Mentioned in the Episode
- The Ultimate Wedding Planning checklist
- Visit the ASK THE PLANNER Resource Shop
- @AskthePlannerPodcast on Instagram
- Book a 90-minute Clarity Call to get wedding planning help specific to your unique situation
Thank you to our podcast sponsors!
10 Reasons Why You Would or Would Not Hire a Wedding Planner
Today’s topic is is really near and dear to my heart and also kind of a hot button issue for me. But I promise to be as bi-partisan for both sides so you get a balanced perspective.
First, I'm going to share five reasons why someone thinks they don't need to hire a wedding planner. Then I'm going to share five reasons why couples choose to hire a wedding planner.
5 REASONS YOU MIGHT NOT HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER
1.You have a background in event planning.
I know there are a lot of you out there that plan events for a living, or you work in the hospitality industry and you’re pretty familiar with what’s required to plan an event.
- You put together a budget.
- You create a checklist of all the tasks and to-do’s to get you from point A to point B.
- You choose your vendors based on your budget.
- You create some kind of schedule that everyone needs to follow for the wedding day.
- Everyone does their job and sticks to that schedule on the wedding day.
- So, to some people, this list sounds pretty straightforward. This could be you. You could hear this list and think, yeah, I’ve got this. I can do this.
But some of you that hear this list might be thinking of all the steps in between these big ones that you may not feel comfortable doing. Such as:
- How much should we allocate for each vendor in this budget?
- WHO should we hire for each vendor? Who’s good at what they do? Who would jive with our personalities?
- What IS the schedule for the day? When should we have the ceremony? When should we have the cocktail hour? When should we do the dances, toasts, cake cutting?
- Who’s going to set up everything on the wedding day? Does the venue do that or the caterer? Does the venue call the transportation company to make sure they’re arriving on time? What about if it rains?
You might actually be surprised to hear that some of my couples are event planners themselves. Other couples like them hire a wedding planner because they still want a professional executing their vision so they don’t have to.
They ALSO don’t want to be the one that has to problem-solve when something comes up on their wedding day. For example, like a bus breaks down or inclement weather happens.
2. You have a hard time giving up control and trusting others.
Some of you out there are probably very particular when it comes to your wedding. You feel the need to research every article, talk to 10 different vendors for each service, read all the blogs and articles, join all the Facebook groups, and get all the information in order to make the decision on your own.
If you’re someone that thinks only you can do it the way you want and you would have a hard time listening to an expert then maybe hiring a wedding planner isn’t for you.
When I work with my couples, it’s imperative that they trust me to help them throughout the process. It doesn’t work if they feel the need to micro-manage everything I do.
Plus, it’s not a fun experience for them. They’re paying me to guide them throughout the experience, to make it feel effortless, easy, and enjoyable. If they have to tell me what to do, then what did they hire me for?
3. You’re having a simple wedding.
A “simple” wedding can mean a lot of things, but this is what I mean when I say “simple” wedding.
- Your venue is a traditional venue that hosts a lot of weddings. IT IS NOT A BACKYARD. It can be a property like a hotel or banquet facility that kind of churns out events. They will have all the tables and chairs, you can use their white tablecloths and standard plates and flatware.The caveat with this is that sometimes these can seem a little less personal and more formulaic. But if you’re fine with that, then you might be okay.
- You don’t have a lot of moving pieces, meaning your ceremony and your reception are in the same place and the only vendors you’re hiring are the venue, which is also the caterer, a photographer, and maybe a florist and hair/makeup, and a DJ. This does NOT mean you’re doing a bunch of DIY projects instead of hiring a florist. Because who is setting up all those DIY projects if not for a decor team?
- Your decor needs are minimal. This is not the same as saying you have a “minimalist” aesthetic. Minimal decor means all you’re doing for decor is maybe some arrangements or simple arch for the ceremony and standard centerpieces that the florist can just set on the table.
These are examples of what a “simple” wedding IS NOT :
- A simple wedding is NOT a small backyard wedding for 50 people. Because you have to bring in the caterer, power, restroom trailer, lights, tables, chairs, china, stage, dance floor, and a myriad of other things just to have a venue. This doesn’t include any decor like flowers, candles, table linens, napkins, etc.
- A simple wedding is also NOT a wedding with lots of handmade or DIY projects that you saw on Pinterest. Just because you’re not hiring a professional to create the thing doesn’t make it simple. In fact, it makes it more complicated because you’re having to oversee someone’s work more closely because they don’t have the experience to pull from.
- Simple means streamlined and not overly complicated. But if you care about your wedding looking unique, or creative, it’s usually better to hire a professional.
4. You have a friend / family member that wants to help you .
So some of you might think, hey, I know someone that wants to break into the weddings and events industry, so I’m just going to do all the planning leading up to it and then hand it over to them on the day of the wedding and they can take care of it all.
Or, my cousin Betsy wants to get into wedding planning and she won’t charge me a fee because she’s just learning.
While yes, I completely respect you for being frugal, it is actually more difficult for anyone, whether they’re a seasoned planner like me, or a newbie with little experience to come into the planning mid-way or near the tail end or, GOD FORBID, on the day of the wedding.
It takes time for the planner to get caught up on all the plans that have already been made. If they’re literally walking into it on the day of the wedding with no idea, there are a couple of issues with this:
- The vendors won’t know who they are, what role they play, and if they’re caught up on the latest changes you’ve discussed with them
- It’s almost too late for them to fix any errors or omissions you made during the planning process. If you told someone the wrong time or didn’t order enough linens or forgot to order a generator and the caterer doesn’t have any power. It’s going to be difficult for them to troubleshoot any issues on the day because it’s basically too late.
- You want someone with experience to look over your plans well in advance of the wedding so they can patch up any holes prior to arriving on site. This allows them the ability to focus on addressing any new issues that arise that were out of your control. For example, the weather changes suddenly and everything has to be moved.
5. You want to be in charge and tell everyone what to do on the wedding day.
I get it. You have control issues. But let's think about how you want to enjoy your wedding day. Will it make you feel good to be directing everyone? Telling everyone when to set up, where to go, counting the chairs, flatware, and glassware? Or would you rather be relaxed, sipping something refreshing, and taking photos with your family and friends?
5 REASONS COUPLES HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER
1. One or both of them works in event planning.
You'd be surprised that many of my wedding management couples work in event planning. They hire me because they know exactly how much work goes into making sure the day goes off smoothly. They also don't want to be the ones problem-solving if there are any issues that arise on that day.
This past weekend, I had a wedding for 50 people and I still had 1 assistant with me to make sure everything was set up properly, all the napkins were folded the right way, the menus were put out on the table, the band knew when they were playing and what songs, etc.
2. You want to trust a professional with your investment.
Your wedding is going to be one of the single biggest investments you make as a couple, other than buying a house, probably. And whether you buy a house or build one, you still work with a real estate agent to help you find the home, do an inspection, and purchase it. If you build a house, you hire an architect to create the plans, a general contractor to handle all the labor and the actual building and execution of the plans, and some even hire an interior designer to make sure the inside looks and feels exactly what you envision.
A wedding is a big ticket purchase, so you want to make sure you’re making the right choices and investing your money in vendors and service providers that know what they’re doing.
When you ask a bunch of random people in a Facebook group who you should hire to photograph your wedding or do your hair and makeup, they have no idea what you’re really looking for.
And let’s be honest “reasonable” is a very vague term because you can’t quantify it.
3. You want your day to be unique so you hire a wedding planner.
One of the biggest things I care about as a wedding designer is that I don’t plan the same wedding for you as I did for someone else OR that you incorporate trends and ideas from other people’s weddings just because you thought it was pretty.
I want your wedding to be sentimental, special, and specific to you. I want your guests to walk away feeling that was the quintessential wedding that you and your fiancé would plan. I like to weave little Easter eggs or special details about you and your relationship into the day that no one else would have because it’s specific to you.
I think a lot of couples that don’t work with a planner just end up using a lot of the ideas they see on Pinterest or Instagram, which makes their wedding end up looking like everyone else’s.
I was working with a couple a few years ago and the bride really liked the idea of a blush and burgundy fall wedding. I did too, but that had been trending on Pinterest for a while so I created a design that incorporated blush, burgundy, mauve, a little dusty blue, and gold. She loved it during our design meeting.
Well, a few weeks later during one of our meetings, she told me they just went to her cousin’s wedding and GUESS WHAT COLOR PALETTE THEY CHOSE? It was blush and burgundy. She was so glad that she trusted me and we went incorporated more colors so that their wedding was more unique and modern.
This is just one of the many ways that wedding planners and wedding designers help couples avoid planning generic weddings.
From the stationery to the favors, color palettes, to the overall vibe of the day. We want to make sure it’s specific to you.
4. You want to be able to enjoy your wedding planning experience.
So many couples start out really excited to plan their wedding after they get engaged. They visit a ton of venues, don’t make a budget, and start booking vendors left and right. At some point they start feel as if they’re missing something or they don't know what they're doing.
This nagging feeling starts to eat away at them and turns into worry, then anxiety, then sleepless nights.
I truly believe that wedding planning should be fun and enjoyable. It’s supposed to be a special time in your life but it turns into a second job for you, your partner, and even your parents.
According to Martha Stewart magazine, the average couple spends 200-300 hours planning a wedding. That’s basically 1-2 hours every day for a year.
When you work with a good, professional wedding planner, they will help guide and direct you. They will help you put together your vendor team. They’ll narrow your choices down to the best ones that work with your personality, style, and budget. Otherwise, you’ll spend hours scrolling through directories like The Knot or Wedding Wire or, I hate to even say it, take advice from perfect strangers in Facebook groups that have NO IDEA what you’re actually looking for.
A good, professional wedding planner will alleviate your stress and anxiety. They’ll be the one in charge driving the bus and making sure all the different parties are talking, everyone has the information they need, and they know the person to go to if they have questions. Hint: it’s not you.
And on the day of the wedding, you can sit there and soak up every precious minute with your friends and family trusting you’ve hired professionals that will execute the vision you had put together with your planner.
5. You want your guests to enjoy your wedding!
That brings me to Reason #5 on why you SHOULD hire a wedding planner.
You want your guests – including your friends, family, and wedding party – to enjoy the wedding!
You want to be able to be present with them, to live in the moment, and not have any worries.
Many couples I work with want to celebrate with their guests and make sure they’re having as good a time as they are. They want to treat them to an amazing weekend full of fun, good food, and entertainment because these are their special people, the people that have stood by them, raised them, and seen them through their peaks and valleys.
Couples hire a wedding planner because they had a bad experience at a wedding.
Often times my couples will hire me because they were in a wedding that did NOT have a wedding planner and they didn’t like how they experienced it. For example, they didn't know anything about the schedule or they had to do help with setting up the chairs after they'd already gotten dressed. Or, they were put on clean-up duty at the end of the night.
NO ONE wants to do clean-up at the end of the night. It’s the worst buzz kill. Not to mention the worst last memory a guest of yours could have at the wedding.
What does a wedding planner do?
When I’m at the wedding, not only am I ensuring all the vendors are going where they need to go, but I’m setting up their personal items, like their champagne flutes and cake knives. I’m making sure the table is set the way we talked. The napkins are folded the right way, the menus are displayed properly, the right color glassware is used, the linens are steamed. I’m bringing your wedding rings to you from the photographer. I’m finding a solution to any possible problem that could arise.
At the ceremony, I’m cueing everyone when they walk down the aisle. I’m telling the string quartet exactly when to start playing so that the music builds and no one even notices it until it magically crescendos as you both kiss.
At the reception, I’m cueing your wedding party into the room so the photographer doesn’t have to and potentially miss a shot.
I’m checking in with your speakers so that they know where to stand and how to hold the microphone for their speech so people can hear them. I’m making sure the photographer and videographer and all the parents are in the room before we start any special dances so no one misses them.
And at the end of the night, my team and I are packing up your boxes neatly so that all you have to do is designate someone to pick them up and put them in the car and you’re off.
There’s so much that a wedding planner does to ensure the smooth and flawless execution of your wedding day. If you don’t hire someone to fill that role, then you need to think really carefully about who you’re going to appoint to do that (and whether they want to and will be good at it.)
Your wedding should be fun for both you and your guests.
Just know that your wedding should be fun for both you and your guests. And there are wonderful people that are happy to be stewards of your time and your investment because a wedding is a big undertaking. It takes a lot of time and usually a good amount of money.
Other than a house, it’s probably the single biggest investment a couple will make. So you want to make sure you take care of it and put it in the hands of a professional.
And that’s it for today’s episode! If you have questions about any of this, I would love to know. I think it’s hard for me to remember everything I do and thus, tell people what they need a wedding planner for.
Get help on a Clarity Call
If you want even more help with your wedding planning, I’m only a phone call away, and you can set up a 90-minute clarity call with me and we’ll talk through a specific issue or question you have.
If your wedding is around the corner, this call is great for making sure you’re not forgetting anything major and it will help you prioritize what you have left to do.
Get Help with Tools from the Resource Shop
If there’s something that you’re looking for that’s not in the shop. Please let me know. I want to create resources that you want and that will help you!
Review the Podcast
Finally, don’t forget to leave a review for the podcast. Reviews are so helpful to us podcasters because it helps other listeners find the show.
Season 2 of the Podcast Will Begin in October of 2021
And like I said in the intro, that’s a wrap for Season 1 of the podcast. I’m going to take the next few months to focus on my clients and make sure the rest of this wedding season is the best one yet.
I’m also going to be interviewing new guests and getting ready for an amazing Season 2 that will be back in October of 2021.
If you just discovered this podcast, I encourage you to start with episode 1 and binge the rest of the episodes. I’ve covered so many topics already in 35 episodes and had some really awesome guests already. And I’m excited to bring it with Season 2.
If there are specific guests you want me to interview or topics you want me to cover or questions I should answer, send me a DM me on Instagram at @Asktheplannerpodcast or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
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