Which Type Of Wedding Planner Is Right For You?
Engagement bliss is a wonderful feeling. You’ve said yes to spending the rest of your life with your soulmate and you are on cloud 9. I’m sure by now you’ve already been planning in your head certain elements of your wedding, you’ve been going Pinterest wild, and searching for inspo on social media but there’s no doubt about it… Planning a wedding requires a lot of work. You may be ready to take on all this responsibility with your fiancé, mom & bride tribe, but for some of you the planning process might be a little overwhelming. Instead of unnecessary stress I want you to keep focused on your end goal: Marrying the love of your life! Being engaged is a wonderful time that should be enjoyed to the fullest.
I find that the term “Wedding Planner” is tossed around a lot but what exactly does a wedding planner do? And who is the best fit for you? I want everyone who is considering hiring a professional to help them with their big day know there are a wide variety of professionals who fall under the title “Wedding Planner”, who all have different skill sets and accommodate different budgets. Be sure you’re clear on the extent of the all services your potential planner is willing to provide to ensure you receive the help you’re expecting. I’ve created a go to list of what sets all these types of planners apart to help you make the best decision for your wedding needs.
Full Service Wedding Planner/Coordinator
A full service wedding planner handles it all from start to finish. They will be your expert partner in guiding and advising you every step of the way. Typically, a full service wedding planner will handle both logistics and design services and will manage all details of your big day..major and minor. They will embrace your style and vision and orchestrate the entire wedding. Be sure you ask as many questions when you meet with your potential planner so all your needs are covered, and also choose wisely — make sure you click and genuinely get along with this person because you will be spending a lot of time with them, in person, emails, phone calls, texts, instagram, dm’s, as much as it is business, it makes it much more fun and pleasant if you actually LIKE your planner. You could potentially be working with your planner for a year so when it comes to hiring a full service planner definitely take your time choosing the right one. Just to give you an idea here is a list of what most full service planning packages should include;
- meet to discuss all your wedding
- venue/location scouting and present during any meetings
- mapping out a budget and managing your budget
- contacting, hiring and managing of all wedding vendors (basically building your dream team of vendors)
- negotiating contracts
- creating timelines for all parties involved
- layouts, table designs, floor plans
Overall your full service planner is going to keep you on track, conceptualize a personalized design, manage logistics (budget, vendors, timelines etc) and most importantly answer any questions you have along the way. I recommend a full service wedding planner for any couples having a complex event, or may not have a lot of free time to dedicate to wedding planning, or may just prefer to have an expert make most of your decisions. Although a full service wedding planner runs on the high end of a budget, this may be something extremely worth spending the extra money if are overwhelmed, low on time and just want your entire wedding in the hands of an expert.
A wedding or event designer is there to create the aesthetic vision of your big day. I think of event designers equivalent to interior designers of the wedding world. Their main focus will be pulling together your overall vision, bringing to life the style and atomosphere you’ve dreamed up together, rather than organizing all the logistical details. (No budgeting or timelines.. strictly styling). This type of wedding professional will help you with the visual side of your wedding, such as choosing a color scheme, creating beautiful table designs, or finding the perfect rentals, lighting, linens, stationery, décor details, florals and overall layout. When you think of design, remember this is an “art” and this professional will be able to execute your vision exactly on point and bring it to life in their unique artistic way. This person will manage the vendors responsible for implementing your vision you’ve created together. For example an event designer may work very closely with a preferred florist to ensure your floral dreams come true. Sometimes you may have a wedding planner who will collaborate with a stylist to take your big day to the next level. I would recommend an event designer/stylist for couples who can handle the organization and coordination of their wedding, but need help with executing their design dreams, and making their wedding aesthetically perfect.
CheChick!Weddings — Destination Weddings in Italy
Destination Wedding Planner/Coordinator
A destination wedding planner is crucial for couples planning a wedding from afar. Basically anywhere that’s not home, or you are not able to travel to with ease (out of state, sometimes even hours away from home, in a different country) you’re going to want a trustworthy professional there to scout venues, meet with your vendors for you and keep everyone in the loop, email threads, organize skype meetings, and make sure everything is being planned the exact same as if it were local. There are a lot of wedding planners who are local to you and are available to travel to your destination. Especially if they offer destination wedding packages this typically means they have certain locations they work closely with and have hand selected the cream of the crop vendors from that area, so you know you are in good hands. This means the wedding planning would directly reflect their company so they are only going to work with vendors with similar organization skills, and style. The best way to find out is just asking what destination weddings they have planned and where. Wherever you choose to have your destination wedding you will have a huge selection of wedding planners who specialize in helping you plan your wedding from a distance, the key is finding someone you are comfortable with and understands your vision so it is definitely important to arrange a few meetings whether they be over skype, call or email to make sure you guys are a good fit. You are trusting this person to do everything without being able to ACTUALLY see any of it in person until you arrive at your destination, but trust me they aren’t called experts for no reason. Don’t let the idea of a wedding away from home scare you, typically most resorts have an on-site wedding coordinator, and a variety of wedding packages already set for you.
Kauai Wedding By Moana Events
À La Carte
Did you know you some planners offer À La Carte services? Its similar to picking one thing off a menu and not having the full 5 course meal. Perhaps you have your entire wedding mapped out but need help with one specific aspect. Say for instance you are having a hard time finding a venue that meets all your requirements. This service is usually offered by a full time wedding planner, kind of like a little bonus option, so they will be familiar with tons of venue options and can give you the names and contact info, then from there its up to you to do the contacting. This service is pretty much getting the opportunity to brainstorm with a professional. Usually you contact the planner when you need help and they will either charge you a flat flee or an hourly rate and this pro will help you shape your event and guide you. À La Carte services are great for couples on a limited budget but still need some assistance. This is definitely the perfect fit for that DIY bride who wants to do all the planning but just needs to be pointed in the right direction. You will have the opportunity to bring your ideas to the table, and be advised how to move forward. This expert will create a blueprint that you will execute yourself. If you are truly having difficulty with one or two specific tasks, this planner is right for you. À La Carte services come in handy if your mom, future mother-in-law and bride tribe need assistance with planning a shower or bachelorette party or want the pro to plan your rehearsal dinner (Let’s face it, sometimes after all the showers, parties, late night wedding planning you might just be worn out by the time it comes to planning the rehearsal dinner(s) and you just want to relax for the days leading up to the wedding.. hire a planner who offers À La Carte services).
“Day Of Coordinator”
Lastly I want to talk about the most important type of wedding planner, and in my opinion one every couple needs. It will be worth every penny, I promise you will not regret hiring this planner. I’m sure you have heard the title “Day of Coordinator” I know that most wedding planning companies or individual wedding planners offer “Day of” services for the budget-concious bride, but I want to make one thing very very clear there is no such thing as a true “Day of Planner or Coordinator”. This term is so widely misunderstood and misleading because no experienced wedding planner of sound mind or extensive experiencce would show up ONLY on the day of your wedding with very little knowledge of your vision and expect everything to run flawlessly. Would you feel confident showing up to an exam without studying while everyone else has been studying for for months and expect to succeed? Absolutely not. That’s why I want to make it clear if you read the service day of coordinator just know that this should entail a start of minimum 30 days prior to your wedding to get up to speed. If it doesn’t, don’t cut costs to find someone to be there only for the day of. So for my next wedding planner title to avoid confusion I will say Month of Coordinator, but essentially this is the term most people use for “Day of Coordinator”.. I will definitely dedicate an entire post on this subject, that’s how important it is to me, but that will come soon for now let’s talk a little bit about what this very important planner does for you.
Month of Coordinator / Partial Planning
Month of Coordinators are perfect for the couple who are not seeking much wedding planning help, have almost everything taken care of but understand the importance of handing off the precious cargo in the weeks/month prior to an experienced coordinator so you can relax knowing you are in good hands and can fully enjoy every moment leading up to your wedding – stress free! Typically you will meet with your coordinator a handful of times during the month prior to get them up to speed. Your planner will make sure everything you’ve planned up until they take over is in good shape, and tweak anything if necessary. This would entail reviewing all your vendors you have selected and reviewing their contracts. Knowing your mock tables, guest count, floor plan.. Basically everything you have planned will be passed over to your coordinator to execute flawlessy. Trust me when I say this will take all the stress off you, your bridal party and all family members knowing an expert has your back for the rest of the month and specifically the day of. From this point forward your coordinator will act as the primary source of contact. Of course you can be cc’d on everything that’s going on but you don’t have to worry if there is a hiccup, you’re coordinator is pro who is there to ensure your day goes off without a hitch. Your coordinator will develop a detailed timeline and make sure every vendor has a copy. This includes a separate wedding party timeline as well. Your coordinator will oversee your wedding rehearsal and be on site the day of your wedding from start to finish. And by start I mean way before the start time of your wedding, they will be there for all of set up and all of tear down at the end of the night.
Did you know all vendors you hired need to eat if it’s written in their contract? You want someone to ensure they are fed, but also at the appropriate times. You don’t wan’t your photographer to sit down to eat and miss a speech because nobody has given him/her a set timeline. Your coordinator will ensure everything gets done efficiently. During the set up your planner will double check that everything is exactly the way you had discussed with your vendors. Double checking table numbers and the right amount of chairs at each table. Decor is properly placed. The coordinator will also be there to support your bridal party and parents. There is so much going on this day and your coordinator will be your eyes, if they notice cocktail party is lingering they will make the right judgment call to keep the flow consistent and that your day is running as on schedule as possible. You wont have to worry about a thing. And at the end of the night they will be there for break down, make sure everyone is paid.. and just like that next thing you know you will be off on your honeymoon, and officially a married couple.
The great thing about some venues is this service is provided in their cost and have a venue coordinator on site who will oversee everything on your wedding day. You know you can trust this person because they work for the venue, most likely have worked with the vendors coming in and know the venue like the back of their hand. However if this service is not provided in your venue or they only provide someone who will only oversees the day of the wedding with very minimal involvement, I can’t stress enough how important having an outside month of coordinator come in! As great as venue coordinators are, they work for the venue not you. Month of coordinators are going to go above and beyond for you.
I just want to add that I know being on a budget is hard, but in my opinion I do not recommend having a family member or friend take on this role just to save money. First of all they will be juggling the task of “working” and being a guest. Plus do you really want them missing out on all the fun or missing a special moment because they have to take care of moving the florals after your ceremony to your reception? Or because they have to check if the MC is ready to announce the first dance? People may offer to help in other ways to make sure you are completely prepared during the days leading up to your wedding day and that’s great but when it comes down to who will actually be in charge of your wedding please hire someone, or have someone who is in the industry and understands the logistics. I promise you it will be worth every penny and you will not regret it.
I hope this posts guided you in the right direction what wedding planner is right for you, or if you need one at all! Have fun with the planning, and make the most of this special time. Don’t get caught up in pinterest envy or minor issues, I promise you everything works out in the end. It is possible to have fun planning, there is no shame in asking for help when needed. Remember the main reason of a wedding; a marriage. When everything is all said and done and the day passes the most important thing is you are spending the rest of your life with your best friend. How lucky are you?
Interested in working together? Let’s chat!