The Importance of Hiring a Wedding Planner

July 9, 2024
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Setting out on your wedding planning journey can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. With a sea of decisions, from selecting the perfect venue to finalizing the minute details, it’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of preparations. This is where the role of a wedding planner becomes invaluable. In this blog, we’ll delve into why hiring a wedding planner is not just a luxury, but a necessity for orchestrating the day of your dreams. From managing budgets to handling unforeseen hiccups, a planner ensures your journey to the altar is as joyful and stress-free as the wedding day itself!

Before We Get Into It…

Before diving into the reasons for hiring a wedding planner, I talk about the design element of planning in my Setting vs. Following Trends blog, so I recommend checking that out first! That article goes into the nitty gritty of how important it is to hire someone who understands and can execute your stylistic choices.

A wedding planner is not just an organizer; they are a designer, a confidante, and sometimes, a miracle worker. Beyond the obvious tasks, their role encompasses understanding your vision and translating it into reality, ensuring your wedding stands out as uniquely yours. I’ve also enlisted the help of a few of the top East Coast wedding planners who have agreed to let me interview them for this blog, giving you tips right from the source. Okay, now let’s dive in! 

Planner Credit: A Griffin Events

You (Hopefully) Only Get One Wedding Day

Your wedding day is more than an event; it’s the culmination of your love story, celebrated with those closest to you – and you’re there to have FUN! The importance of this day cannot be overstated, and neither can the stress that often accompanies it. A wedding planner takes on the burden of logistics, troubleshooting, and coordination. Imagine a day where you can truly be present in each moment, rather than worrying about vendor arrivals or decor setups. A wedding planner makes all of this possible and more.

Interview Question: Describe your process for discovering inspiration and translating it into tangible results

“I conduct intimate home studies with clients to understand their personal style and favorite local spots, setting the tone for my design work. I draw inspiration from boutique hotels, restaurants, and travel, always seeking unique elements to incorporate. Collaborating with fabricators and rental companies, I source custom pieces to create cohesive and personalized event spaces.” – Wright & Co

“Each of our weddings are direct reflections of our incredible couples. We source inspiration from their travels, their passions, and ultimately evoke details of their personal stories for their day. We are personally inspired by architecture, art history, fashion, and interior design.” – Jessica Ashley Events

“We discover inspiration from the client by understanding their preferences, favorite activities, and home decor, ensuring our designs embody them as a couple. After gathering this inspiration, we create mood boards, color schemes, and decor elements, collaborating with vendors to bring the vision to life. Clear communication ensures every element reflects their unique style and personality.” – Vida Events

“I love looking for inspiration in the arts and culture. I was originally a classical musician before I became a wedding planner, and have always been drawn to visuals: art, fashion, architecture, interior design. Rather than look at what’s been done before at other weddings, I love introducing our couples to fresh ideas in another art form and then translating them into an event experience.” – East Made Co. 

“We immerse ourselves in your love story and personal style to create a unique guest experience, drawing inspiration from art, architecture, and travel. Collaborating closely with you and our vendor team, we ensure each element reflects your taste and style. Our meticulous planning and innovative approach deliver an unforgettable wedding weekend.” – Silk + Slate Co. 

“Inspiration can be found everywhere you look around in this world. Inspiration for me is derived from the couple and their love story. I like to ask lifestyle questions to better understand where my clients like to shop, eat, and vacation. etc. It’s what makes each event so unique and how I express their story through their event design.” – Jayne Heir Events 

Know Your Planner Types

Understanding the spectrum of wedding planner services is key to selecting the right fit for your individual wedding. Full-service planners offer an all-encompassing approach, handling everything from venue selection to day-of coordination and design. Partial planners can step in for specific elements, usually in the final stages or for certain key aspects. Day-of coordinators are your wedding day quarterbacks, ensuring everything runs smoothly on the big day. Then, there are specialized planners who focus exclusively on design or logistics, catering to specific aspects of wedding planning.

Interview Question: What sets you apart and makes you unique compared to other wedding planners/designers?

“My planning and design process is “people driven”. People are at the core of what we do in this industry and I value the uniqueness of every single individual that comes through our doors. It’s honestly the reason why none of our weddings look the same. We design specifically for each of our couples.” – Jayne Heir Events

“What sets us apart is our fusion of experience-focused, art-driven design and transparent, collaborative planning. We draw inspiration from art, architecture, and travel to create unique and intentional event concepts. Our modern, partnership-style approach ensures a truly personalized celebration, adapting to each couple’s unique needs and preferences.” – Silk + Slate Co. 

“We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service and comfort, always going the extra mile for our clients and treating them with respect. Building trust leads to incredible design and beautiful, bespoke events that showcase our clients’ personalities and styles. Our process emphasizes thoughtful curation, innovation, artistry, and attention to detail for every event.” – Ida Rose Events

“Our approach is artistic and intentional, yet light-hearted and fun. We encourage our couples to dream and enjoy the creative process while we handle the detailed planning and design, ensuring every choice reflects their vision. From design details to music, lighting, cuisine, and even scents, each touchpoint is crafted to create a personalized and memorable experience for you and your guests.” – East Made Co. 

“​​What sets me apart in wedding planning and design is my heartfelt journey of building my business from the ground up, founded on collaboration with the industry’s best. I celebrate each client’s individuality, whether eclectic, modern, or mid-century, and even hire former clients, reflecting the deep connections we form. My philosophy of positive collaboration over competition and my boundless passion are evident in every event I design.” – Jessica Ashley Events

“Our team dynamic sets us apart, with Danielle as our Creative Director and in-house designer, and Christine as our Logistics Coordinator. This two-for-one approach ensures we get to know our clients personally and handle all planning and logistics smoothly. Danielle’s interior design background and connections allow us to create warm, welcoming, and uniquely designed wedding spaces.” – Wright & Co 

“My favorite question – Vida Events has patented laidback luxury. We combine elegant elements in a relaxed atmosphere for our clients and guests. Our weddings often involve sophisticated details in a mellow surrounding, while still feeling very upscale. We focus on stylish, unhurried celebrations.” – Vida Events

Choose Wisely – Bad Planners Are Worse Than No Planner At All 

The difference between a good and a poor planner can significantly impact your wedding experience. An inadequate planner can lead to miscommunications, overlooked details, and added stress that can ultimately domino effect and affect your vendor’s delivery and performance – all things no one wants on their wedding day. It’s vital to vet planners thoroughly, looking at their portfolio, reading reviews, and ensuring their style aligns with yours. A great planner should feel like an extension of your vision, someone who enhances (rather than complicates) your wedding planning process. As someone who has shot hundreds of weddings, trust me when I say that investing in a high-tier planner is always worth the investment! In this specific scenario, you absolutely get what you pay for. And your wedding day is NOT the time to skimp.

Planners Do, In Fact, Put Out Fires

Wedding planners are often the unsung heroes who manage crises discreetly, ensuring you, the couple, remain blissfully unaware of any issues. From handling last-minute vendor cancellations to adjusting timelines due to unforeseen circumstances, their expertise in crisis management is seriously invaluable. These professionals bring a calm, problem-solving approach to every situation, making sure your day remains as perfect as you’ve envisioned it.

Interview Question: Please describe one of the most unusual/wild challenges you came across during a wedding and how you managed to fix it?

“Weather is always ready to test us, as we can plan and prep all we want, but ultimately, Mother Nature will take her course. Last year, we faced tornado winds, sideways rain, and crumbling tents, yet our team of vendors came together to create an incredible wedding day. Despite the chaos, it remains one of the most memorable and cherished events in my career!” – Vida Events

“We had a tented wedding where the weather suddenly changed the night before, so we worked overnight with our vendor team to adjust the plans. This allowed our clients to host part of the wedding outdoors and safely move the reception and after-party indoors during the storm. Despite the last-minute changes, our clients were thrilled and enjoyed their entire wedding weekend while we seamlessly executed plan B behind the scenes.” – Wright & Co

“We’ve encountered everything from incoming tornadoes to wardrobe malfunctions, and the key is to stay calm and work with our vendor teams to develop alternative plans quickly. After nearly a decade of planning, we’ve learned to anticipate and solve issues, bringing solutions rather than questions to our clients. Working with top vendors who can help problem-solve is crucial, ensuring a collaborative mindset and smooth execution, especially with an experienced planner involved.” – East Made Co. 

“When a band’s vehicle broke down en route to an event with all their equipment, we quickly secured a backup entertainment option. Ultimately, we used my new car’s trailer hitch to transport the band’s equipment, arriving just in time. By delaying cocktail hour and executing the fastest load-in and setup, the band was able to perform for the rest of the night, showcasing true teamwork!” – Ida Rose Events 

“The most challenging issue I’ve faced was when the mother of the groom opposed the marriage and stood throughout the ceremony. After an altercation with the bride, venue security and police swiftly escorted her out. Despite the disruption, we managed the situation professionally to ensure the event continued smoothly.” – Jayne Heir Events

Planners Build Dream Vendor Teams

The right wedding planner has the experience and connections to build your dream vendor team. They have established relationships with caterers, florists, photographers, and more, ensuring a harmonious collaboration with the best of the best. A skilled planner understands your style and matches you with vendors who can bring your vision to life perfectly! This curated approach not only ensures a cohesive aesthetic for your wedding but also provides peace of mind, knowing each vendor comes highly recommended and vetted. Just one more thing you don’t have to add (or worry about screwing up) to your wedding to-do list. 

P.S. –  Most planners do all of this with no commission or cut from the vendors that you end up hiring. They’re truly recommending these vendors to you because they want you to have the best and most cohesive team!

Interview Question: What’s One Case Where You Feel Like You Nailed The Vendor Team On The Head For A Wedding?

“In reference to the “worst challenges” story, I cannot begin to tell you how incredible this team was. When I say the DJ, photographers, and florists were all helping hold the tent down, reset tables, and cater to guests. WE RALLIED and it paid off.” – Vida Events

“In reference to the same story I shared, we really appreciated our vendor team’s commitment to working overnight to best serve our clients. And we still work with these vendors to this day. We could not have made that magic happen without them.” – Wright & Co. 

“My recruiting expertise, akin to matchmaking, influences how I curate vendor teams for our clients, believing in the power of epic collaboration to elevate events. A standout moment was collaborating with Terry Kaye for the House of Pearl event, where we united three competing tent companies to work together and educate at our academy. This synergy showcased the strength of well-chosen partnerships.” – Jessica Ashley Events

“Our 2023 event season felt like a well-oiled machine, thanks to long-standing relationships with vendors who go above and beyond for us and our couples. Our expectations rise each year, and our teams consistently meet and exceed them, striving for an ever-improving client experience. A memorable moment was in 2017 when we produced a special 30-person wedding across three locations, marked by extensive collaboration and alignment among all vendors, ensuring a spectacular event.” – East Made Co. 

“We’ve had great luck with wonderful teams, and a recent wedding showcased this perfectly. The grooms trusted my expertise and recommended vendors, creating a collaborative magic evident in their photos and throughout the day. They treated every vendor with kindness, inspiring everyone to outdo themselves for this amazing couple.” – Ida Rose Events

“The best vendor team I’ve ever had executed a $350K wedding planned in 3 months without any issues. With such a quick turnaround, it was crucial to ensure that we hired the right vendors who could execute at an optimal level with no issues.” – Jayne Heir Events

Planners Keep You Financially Sane

Budget management is a critical aspect of wedding planning, and luckily, planners excel at it! They help navigate the complex world of wedding finances, providing guidance on cost-saving measures and helping prioritize spending. Since experienced planners have been around the block quite a few times, they can help shine a light on hidden fees or surprise expenses that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought about. Even if you don’t have a strict budget, a good planner can take your wedding day priorities and allocate funds to each category accordingly. 

Interview Question: What advantages would couples gain from hiring you instead of managing everything independently?

“A decade’s worth of expertise which is invaluable. I am a knowledgeable resource to couples and can save them a lot of time and money by educating them on all of their options as it regards to vendors, venue selections, budget, and design execution.” – Jayne Heir Events

“Our wedding planning and design journey has been tailored over a decade to make the process rewarding and enjoyable so you can actually have fun with your engagement, make intentional choices, and have a truly unique, innovative celebration to look forward to (instead of pouring hours into confusion, copy-paste designs, and hard lessons learned).” – Silk + Slate Co. 

“Hiring a planner makes wedding planning more fun and efficient, transforming it from a second job into an enjoyable experience. We care deeply about your event while maintaining the objectivity couples often lack, guiding you to make the best decisions and maximize your budget. A planner saves time and ensures that no detail is forgotten or neglected, enriching everyone’s experience.” – Ida Rose Events

“Hiring a planner provides peace of mind, a less cluttered inbox, and alleviates decision fatigue. We interpret your style cohesively and elevate your wedding vision beyond your expectations, handling all the nitty-gritty details like load-in logistics and production. This allows you to enjoy your day without worrying about unnecessary specifics.” – East Made Co. 

“Hiring our team provides couples with luxury concierge service and meticulously implemented systems for successful weddings and events. We focus on intensive planning in the initial months, allowing us to refine design elements, logistics, and production details in the final stages. Our commitment to collaboration ensures vendors’ success, maintaining constant communication and providing thoughtful amenities, enhancing the overall experience for everyone involved.” – Jessica Ashley Events

“Having a dedicated advocate guides you through the planning and design process and handles issues as they arise. We describe this ongoing relationship as having a non-judgmental wedding bestie. With our experience and creativity, we curate a wedding weekend that surpasses what a couple could create on their own, enhancing the aesthetic and overall guest experience.” – Wright & Co 

“Hiring a planner is one of the best decisions you can make for your wedding, offering expertise, time savings, vendor connections, budget management, creative input, problem solving, and stress reduction. The benefits are endless, ensuring a seamless and unforgettable wedding experience. The limit truly does not exist!” – Vida Events

If COVID Taught Us Anything…

The pandemic era underscored the importance of flexibility in wedding planning. Those with planners found rescheduling and adapting to new regulations far less daunting. Planners took on the challenge of communicating with vendors, managing date changes, and communicating updates, allowing couples to focus on each other rather than getting entangled in logistical complexities.  Imagine having to reach out to every single vendor multiple times, through multiple email threads without losing your sanity. It would say it’s damn near impossible!

Interview Question: What aspects of planning or design bring you the most enjoyment?

“The event design brings so much joy because it allows me to tell the story on behalf of my couple. It provides an opportunity to showcase love through the use of the 5 senses. Every single detail of the design is a reflection of the couple individually and together as one.” – Jayne Heir Events

“We love the personalization and creativity involved in planning high-end guest experiences that showcase each couple’s unique personality and story. Our passion lies in creating artistic concepts that challenge traditional wedding norms and push creative boundaries. Collaborating with top-tier vendors and seeing collective creativity come to life brings us immense joy.” – Silk + Slate Co. 

“Connecting with our clients and understanding what makes them happy, allowing us to create a collaborative and trusting environment. We love taking the time to get to know their likes and dislikes, ensuring the event reflects their unique personality and dreams. Personalizing every detail, we nurture each project from start to finish, making sure it’s a perfect and memorable milestone in their lives.” – Ida Rose Events

“I always love putting together our vendor teams to suit each client’s style and personalities, and then interpreting each of our couples into their own brand through design is also such a fun process. It’s so fun to introduce couples to ideas that they wouldn’t have thought of themselves, but that also feel very personal to their styles.” – East Made Co. 

“I find immense joy in creating extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that forge unforgettable memories for our clients and their guests. The fleeting nature of a wedding weekend heightens its specialness, and I love making our clients’ wildest dreams come true. Our goal is to be pioneers, setting wedding trends rather than just following them.” – Jessica Ashley Events

“Our design decks take 4-6 months to curate, and presenting them to clients and witnessing their initial reactions is pure magic. We love seeing our couples recognize themselves in our creations and then experiencing their joy again during the wedding weekend. Watching guests enjoy the experience and serving as problem solvers throughout the planning process is also unmatched!” – Wright & Co 

“Two favorites, getting to know our clients and their love story, as well as creating one-of-a-kind events. The creativity and personalization are elements we feed on and seeing it come together at the end, and the joy it brings to them and their guests, is truly a one-of-a-kind feeling.” – Vida Events

In Conclusion…

Engaging in wedding planning while balancing work and enjoying your engagement can be overwhelming. A wedding planner is not just a luxury, but a necessity for those who want to enjoy their engagement without the stress of planning. They bring expertise, efficiency, and peace of mind, making your wedding journey as joyful as the day itself!