Bride to Bride: Hiring a Wedding Planner

November 20, 2013

This post may sound a bit like a sales pitch… but that is not my intention AT ALL. Yes, I think hiring a wedding planner is very important & because I am one, I would hope we would be a good fit for one another & therefore you’d hire me. BUT I understand not every bride who reads my blog IS going to hire me, and that’s okay. I just want to give you sound advice as to WHY hiring a wedding planner is really important.

Let me back up a bit…

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When you get engaged, you spend the first few hours oohing and ahhing over your left hand. You call your mama, your best friends, you cry, squeal and gush over the thought of being a bride and being his wife. Then, you start to get down to business. The checklist comes out: Date, Venue, Photographer, Florist, Caterer, Dress, Cake, etc. etc. etc. You start to process EXACTLY what you need to make your wedding tick. And, for most brides, hiring a wedding planner is not in the initial steps. You think of the more obvious things:  Set a date. Find a Venue to fit guest size & budget. Hire a photographer to capture the memories. Start ripping out wedding dresses in magazines & pinning your little heart away. I get that. It’s GREAT. Those are all really, REALLY necessary wedding-to-dos! But I want to explain to you why hiring a wedding planner is SO important for you, your fiancé, your guests & your day, and SHOULD be in the initial steps.

Sadly, hiring a wedding planner is not always a necessity for brides. I have had quite a few brides contact me and say “a wedding planner isn’t in our initial budget, so I don’t know if we can make it work”. I want to explain to you a few reasons why hiring a planner SHOULD be in your initial budget, and why it’s really hard (and stressful!) for you to NOT have one:

Vendor Selection, Contract Review & Ongoing Vendor Management. We know people. We’ve done this before. For most brides, this is your FIRST time doing this. So, rather than doing trial & error on your own wedding, have a planner help you through it! I can’t speak for other wedding planner’s vendor selection process, but I have a feeling we’re all pretty similar. For DSE brides, I help you with the initial legwork. I find vendors who met your specific preferences (budget, venue, wants/needs, etc.); I help you contact them, set appointments & can even attend said appointments with you. I go over specific questions you should ask, things you should look for. I can also review contracts. I’ve seen them before & therefore I’m familiar with what’s “normal”. I also provide ongoing vendor management because, sometimes during the planning process, contracts need to be updated/revised, etc.

Your Wedding Weekend Should Be Stress-free. Nobody enjoys stress. And absolutely nobody wants a stressed out bride. That’s THE WORST… and rather scary, if I do say so myself! This is one of the BIGGEST weekends of your life. It’s nice to have an ally. My #1 priority is you & your groom. No one else. My job is to keep you happy, make your vision happen & be the “bad guy” to anyone who stands in the way of that. I know your wants & needs, from how to bustle your gown to where you want the cake table to be placed. I’ve got it covered. I have spreadsheets for EVERY LITTLE THING that has to do with your wedding. And I make it happen. I handle day-of logistics & a day-of timeline in every package I offer; and in 2 of my packages I ALSO handle the design/décor elements. I’ve got your back.  I know what you’re thinking: “but my venue has a coordinator”. That’s great!! I love really helpful venue coordinators because they KNOW their venue, really well. But that’s just it, ladies. They know their venue & therefore their #1 priority is the VENUE, not you. They won’t be one the holding your gown when you pee, or pulling out the emergency kit when a bridesmaid dress rips, or making sure you grandmaw gets a front row seat for your father-daughter dance. I will. I am hired by you, for you. And I offer unlimited hours the day-of your wedding, in all my packages, for that very purpose.

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Third Party Opinion/Advice/Counsel. I am not a family member. I have absolutely no emotional ties to your wedding. It’s MUCH harder for you to stand up to your aunt or fiancé’s sister or best friend. I can. I’m not afraid to put my foot down (in a loving & kind way) to make sure the bride’s needs & wants are being met. It’s easier for me to be practical & logical about your wedding day, and to give expert advice on what to do in the given situation. And, usually, because it comes from an “expert” the family takes it better. Example: Your mom doesn’t understand why she can’t make all the centerpieces for your wedding day, the day of. I can kindly step in and suggest to her that, although she’s talented, she is the MOB and should spend her day relaxing with her daughter, enjoying your time together. She should not be running around, finishing centerpieces. I can suggest highly skilled florists that are in-budget, or if you don’t want flowers for your centerpieces, can spend MY time putting them together the day-of, with her very specific instruction. Because I am not emotional tied to her, I can be logical in my opinion(s) and give sound advice on what to do instead.

Wedding Talk & Design. Let’s face it, you think wedding all.the.time. You talk about it all.the.time. So much so that sometimes your sweetie face gets this glazed over expression & you feel selfish when every time you call your MOH it’s about wedding this or wedding that. Y’all, I LOVE WEDDING TALK. A lot. I want to hear about every single detail & help you make every single detail a realistic reality. Wedding planners have shifted in the last few years from just logistics & spreadsheets, to design & details. I love that!!! I ADORE working with my Partial Planning & Design and Full Planning & Design brides! I love designing inspiration boards that fit your theme; I want to help you process through all those crazy ideas you see to form something cohesive & aesthetically pleasing.

We Love What We Do. I don’t think of this as “work”. It’s not just a “job” to me. I love to eat, sleep & breathe wedding!! I fully enjoy getting to know my B&G’s and becoming FRIENDS. It’s incredibly important for you to find a wedding planner like that. Like I said before, I know not every bride who reads my blog is going to hire me; and that’s okay. I also know that every bride who contacts me won’t be a good fit for DSE. We HAVE to click. I need to know you trust me, 100%. If we’re not on the same page, and you don’t trust me, your Wedding Weekend will be miserable. So, whoever you hire, make sure they truly LOVE what they do & you love them, too!

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Did you hire a wedding planner for your wedding? Did you decide not to? What would YOU suggest?

xo, kat

(( P.S. All of these pictures are of my sweet friend – and 2015 DSE Bride – Laura!! Her then-boyfriend-now-fiancé, Nick, set up this sweet session with Ben & Sophia Photography & popped the question. I’m IN LOVE with their pics & so, so excited for them!!!! And isn’t she STUNNING?! Gesshh. ))

(( P.P.S. Every Last Detail wrote this post and this post about hiring a wedding planner & I highly recommend reading them! ))


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