Wedding Planning and Logistics
Article thanks to Lauren Sargeant Bride Online Columnist

Wedding Planner FAQs


(Courtesy hbo.com)

Why should I even consider hiring a wedding planner?

They make a living off of something that you will likely only do once in your lifetime. Therefore they have a rich bank of expertise in the areas of scheduling, budgeting and styling a wedding. They also have numerous contacts in the industry such as service vendors and venue operators so they will be able to recommend the best of the best to suit your style and your budget, and often can get a better price on the same deal due to these professional connections.

Why should I hire a wedding planner instead of having a friend or relative help me?

Aside from the above listed reasons, hiring a wedding planner can save your friendships and relationships. Planning a wedding is a lot of pressure. Just as you don’t want to be stressed on your wedding day; your guests don’t want to be either. Some might even argue that helping to plan a friend’s wedding is more stressful than planning your own wedding as there are so many expectations to live up to and a small mistake could not only jeopardise the wedding, but also the friendship. That alone is reason enough for many to hire a planner.

Doesn’t hiring a wedding planner take the fun out of the process?

You will probably find that it is quite the opposite, actually. Unless you get a thrill out of administration work; correspondence between vendors, chasing up invoices, signing contracts and arranging deliveries is not a tonne of fun, if truth be told. When the planner is in charge of this side of things, you get to do all of the best parts like flip through swatches, ooh and ahh over bouquet mock-ups and, best of all, sample cake!

What if the planner just chooses everything for me and I end up hating my wedding?

This is highly unlikely if you choose a reputable planner. During the wedding planning process, the planner is there to take the pressure off of the decision making process. They will work with you by listening to your preferences on every aspect of the wedding and then offering you a short list of the most suitable options for you to choose from. The process is collaborative and your relationship with your planner should be open and honest- meaning that nasty surprises are close to impossible.

What if I can’t afford a wedding planner?

This may seem counterintuitive, but hiring a wedding planner usually ends up saving brides money in the long run! This is because they will help you stay on track within your budget and will also be able to find the most affordable deals for you and may even be able to negotiate a lower price with many vendors (since their recommendations directly affect a vendor’s sales and reputation).

Do I have to hire a wedding planner from the very beginning of the planning process?

In short, no. Many planners offer different packages according to how far along the bride is in her planning process. Some brides feel more comfortable having a professional alongside her from the very beginning whilst others are quite happy to arrange the outfits and venue on their own but would like some help with booking vendors and tying up last minute details. Some brides even choose to hire an “on the day” planner who will attend the rehearsal and help to keep things running smoothly at the ceremony and reception, co-ordinating with vendors that the bride and groom have already chosen.

I want a planner from the very beginning of the planning process. How far in advance of the wedding date should I hire a planner?

As soon as you have that ring on your finger and have an approximate date in mind, a wedding planner can give advice on ways to best manage your time and set up a timeline for approaching relevant vendors. For an extra fee, you may even be able to hire them to help you arrange the engagement party.

How much should I expect to spend on a planner’s services?

This depends on the type of wedding, your location, the season you are getting married, how hands-on you want your planner to be, and how early in the planning process you are hiring a planner. You could expect to pay anywhere between $300 and $9,000 for their services. Every wedding is unique so it’s important to meet with planners for an individual quote.

Is it better to hire a planner who charges a flat rate or hourly rate?

The most important thing is to hire a reputable planner and to get some customer testimonials about how much time they spent on particular projects. This will give you an idea of whether or not an hourly rate or flat rate will be more affordable for you. Some planners who work at a flat rate will commit to completing the work agreed upon no matter how many hours of labour are involved, whilst others may charge a flat rate with a maximum number of hours and then charge an additional hourly overtime rate. Make sure that you check these details before signing a contract.

What should I bring to an initial consultation with a planner?

It is essential that you let the planner know how much you are willing to spend on the whole affair. You will also need to have some idea of the number of guests you would like to invite as well as an approximate date.

How will I be able to track how much money our planner is spending?

Funnily enough, you will probably be able to track how much is going out of your budget far easier with a planner than without one. Most wedding planners are meticulously organised and will file away every plan, contract and receipt in colour-coded, alphabetical and chronological order (okay perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration but they are super organised).

Do I need to accompany the planner to attend every meeting with vendors?

The beauty of hiring a wedding planner is that you can be involved as much, or as little, as you’d like. If you really want to choose every detail of the floral arrangements, you can go with the planner in person to every flower consultation. On the other hand, if you don’t really want to inspect the hire cars yourself, or be as hands on with some other service, the planner can do the run around for you and show you swatches and photos to choose from. This not only saves you time, it also saves a lot of hassle.

Is the planner only responsible for hiring vendors and setting up consultations or can I bug them with more obscure questions?

Most planners are more than willing to answer any wedding-related questions you might have – within reason of course. Some may require that you bring a list of questions to scheduled appointments while others may not have a problem with you calling them to ask a couple of questions. Answering questions is usually all part of the job, however excessive enquiries that require a lot of research and a large chunk of the planner’s time may be charged as overtime, so make sure to discuss this upfront before deciding on a planner.

What are the planner’s responsibilities at the ceremony?

The planner is in charge of making sure that everything runs smoothly. They will ensure that all of the final details have been taken care of before the ceremony begins. They will also provide emotional support to the bride and any other bridal party members who are on the verge of melting down.

What are the planner’s responsibilities at the reception?

The planner will ensure that all of the vendors are doing their jobs properly, that the guests are being attended to, that everyone arrives on time and that the program runs smoothly. They will also contact vendors, such as drivers, if the reception looks like it is going to run overtime.



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