On the fence about hiring a wedding planner? Here’s what you need to know.
PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN WATSON
Thanks to Google, Pinterest and all things DIY, it’s easy to convince yourself that you’re up for the task of taking on nearly any craft, project or event. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider calling in the experts. While some couples prefer to map out their wedding day solo – or, at least with each other – there are several reasons why you should consider hiring a pro to plan your perfect day. We asked wedding planner Shannon Fehr of Bliss Events to explain why you should give experienced professionals like her a try.
WHAT ARE THREE ADVANTAGES OF HIRING A WEDDING PLANNER?
It can save you money. I work with a lot of the same vendors for all my weddings, so they give me discounts because I bring them so much business and I pass those discounts on to my couples. I also know where to cut costs. For instance, it’s a lot cheaper to get a two-tier cake and one sheet cake for 100 people as opposed to a four-tier cake. That is just one of the many examples of how a wedding planner can recommend ways to save money but still get brides and grooms what they want.
When things go awry – and they will – a good wedding planner will jump in and take care of it. I had a wedding where the cake completely fell 40 minutes before the wedding was to start, so I ran to Wal-Mart – which was the only place available in Scottsburg at 5:30 p.m. on a Saturday – and got every cupcake they had and two small round cakes. I stacked the cakes and decorated with what little did not hit the floor of the other cake and all was well. Later in the evening, I heard the guests talking about how delicious the cupcakes were. They had no clue they came from Wal-Mart.
A wedding planner can save brides and grooms a ton of time and stress. I know where to find things, so couples do not have to do hours of research. I know exactly who to call for a vintage ice cream truck or animals for a petting zoo or safari theme wedding. I know who has the best prices on things. I know where to get $7 tablecloths as opposed to the exact same tablecloth that retails for $16 at most places.
A couple will often spend hours playing phone tag with vendors. Sometimes it takes four to five phone calls just to set up one tasting or to find out the venue does not have their date. A lot of people work during the day when the vendors are working, too, so it is hard to plan because when you get off work at 5 p.m., guess what? So do the vendors. Wedding planning is all I do so I am available during the day to make and receive calls.
WHAT DO YOU TELL BRIDES AND GROOMS WHO WORRY ABOUT THE ADDED EXPENSE OF HIRING A WEDDING PLANNER?
Wedding planners can save them more money in the long run and make up for the expense and then some. It is like a car or house insurance: A planner is good to have in case of emergencies on the day of the wedding when anything could happen. This is a safeguard for all the hard-earned money they spend on the wedding. For busy people, I tell them, “Time is money.” Brides and grooms will spend so much time planning the wedding if they do it on their own. Would you rather be working and making money or planning a wedding and not making money?
IF A COUPLE WANTS TO HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER, WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO FIND THE PERSON RIGHT FOR THEM?
Meet with the wedding planner in person and see if you like their energy and personality. You are going to be spending a lot of time with them, so you need to make sure you like them and are on the same page.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE COUPLES ON THE BIG DAY BEFORE THEIR WEDDING STARTS?
I know it breaks tradition to see each other on the wedding day until the wedding starts or the reveal (first look), but I say forget that tradition. This day is so busy and does not stop until it is over. Couples get swept away all day by friends and family, so they hardly get to be together just the two of them. I tell them to meet early for breakfast or fishing (or something you love) and reflect on the months leading up to this day. And, exchange a gift or a note. You will cherish either for many, many years.
I also tell them to not stress if everything does not go as planned. Focus on what really matters and that is the moment you share your vows and promise to always love one another through sickness and health, good times and bad. No one will remember in 30 years that your cake fell or your deejay was 45 minutes late – and if they do, it will be a heck of a story!
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