Brides, Book Your Wedding Planner First

Wedding Wednesday

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Holidays + family + love = proposals and engagements. What better time for a guy to propose than while you are surrounded by family and friends over the holidays or toasting to the New Year.

Since so many of you will be crossing over into the world of Fiancée, I decided to dedicate a post to why choosing a wedding planner should be at the top of your to do list.

I know, I know…you just got engaged. You have photographers to research, venues to tour and a host of other things to consider. A wedding planner is somewhere towards the middle of your to do list, not at the top! As a recently married gal, I get it. I get that once the ring is on your finger you want to get to the fun stuff. Allow me to list a few reasons why hiring a wedding planner in the early stages of planning allows you to enjoy the fun stuff, save a few dollars and hire amazing vendors.

Wedding planners have a lot of friends.

I spend a lot of time networking. I enjoy getting to know the vendors in my area. We learn so much about each other’s passion, business and personalities that over time we become friends. Because I know them it makes it really easy for me to recognize when a bride I am working with and a vendor friend are a good fit for each other. A seasoned wedding professional will refer you to reliable, affordable (based on your budget) and creative vendors. Leaving you to skip the research and enjoy the fun stuff.

We offer insight, alternatives and advice based on experience and expertise.

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Once a bride books with me I ask them to send over a few photos that represent what they are trying to achieve. Then at our consultation I ask them what they like about these photos, give them insight into what recreating the looks will cost and offer alternatives that fit their budget and available resources. I do this not to tear down their vision but to help them set realistic expectations. After seeing the price tag on items, I ask brides to tell me what is the most important aspect of their wedding day. From there we build a budget and make sure to splurge where its most important. It’s easier to go into wedding planning with a clear concise plan than to try to alter it along the way.

We know weddings. The good, the bad and the ugly…

Weddings are much more than what you see on the blogs and Pinterest. So much goes on behind the scenes and much of it isn’t pretty. As a wedding planner, it’s my job to know the norms of this industry, understand contract language, negotiate with vendors and recognize when my client is being taken advantage of. Most wedding professionals are ethical but there are some shady ones out there. I met with a vendor friend and fellow event planner a few weeks ago. She was providing day of services to a bride that had booked the venue well before she booked my colleague. Hidden deep in the contract language was a clause stating that the venue had the right to split up the room that the bride paid in full for and host another event if the minimum of 150 guests was not met. This client was only expecting 120 guests…

We budget, then book.

A professional wedding planner will never begin referring you to or advising you to book a vendor without first settling on a budget. Before you begin talking about vendors – you need to know what you can afford and how you are paying for it. For me, the budget is the bible of an event, it keeps you honest.

We know how to mediate a situation.

Because we deal with people regularly we are good at reading a situation and figuring out the best way to handle it. I recently worked with a bride whose soon to be father in law was officiating their ceremony at his church. One evening my bride called me in a panic because her father in law announced that he would be raising his fee, despite the signed contract agreeing to the lower rate, due to the large number of guests expected at the wedding. The bride did not want to have to sue her soon to be father in law for breach of contract but she could not afford to pay him more than what she budgeted. When family is involved I encourage my brides to try and talk to that family member and see if they can come to a resolution. In this case I suggested going to see “Dad” and asking him if he would waive the additional fee as a wedding gift to the couple. They met with him and after explaining that they were at their max budget and would instead prefer he gift them the additional fee, he agreed.

We don’t cost as much as you think.

I understand that the deciding factor in whether or not you hire a wedding planner is cost. When you are looking over your budget you just can’t see how you could possibly afford a wedding planner. I promise you that we are worth the cost and not only because of the reasons I listed above. But because we are good at finding ways to save you money and maximize every dollar of your budget. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with a bride and before she left my office, I’d found a way to save her more than double my fee. It’s worth reaching out to a planner and seeing what they have to offer.

Once you get the bling, holla at me and let’s get planning. I promise to always listen, be a support system when things get crazy and handle all the hard, boring and ugly stuff so you can enjoy this amazing time in your life.

Until next time, happy planning!

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