When people ask me what I do for a living, they get really excited to hear that I plan weddings and events. Most nod their head in excitement and then ask if it’s similar to Jennifer Lopez in the movie “The Wedding Planner”. My response? Absolutely! Except, I don’t always wear the headset…
Thanks to TLC and their perfectly scripted wedding programs, people have a glamourized idea of what a wedding planner actually does and what they cost. Most people assume we charge thousands of dollars for our services and that they couldn’t possibly afford one. The truth is, wedding planners are actually much more affordable than you might think – both financially and with respect to your time and sanity.
There are many reasons why hiring a wedding planner is the right choice and I’ve decided to dedicate this blog post to explaining the advantages. Below are some of the reasons why you could benefit from hiring a professional to plan your wedding:
1. We are experts in our industry!
Congratulations – you are engaged! You’ve been dreaming about this wedding for your entire life! You know your perfect bridesmaid colours, you know the flowers you’ve always wanted, and you know the perfect venue for you is a vintage barn in a country setting …but once that beautiful diamond ring is placed perfectly on your left ring finger, those meticulously manicured plans aren’t always an obtainable reality and the truth of planning a wedding starts to set in. All of a sudden you are faced with a never ending “To do” list of items you need in order to create your perfect wedding. Ideas are flowing (Thanks again Pinterest) but you don’t know where to start.
Guess what? We do! Why? Because we are experts in our industry. We’ve planned many weddings and we have become experts in our field. We know where and how to start, where to find the perfect venue, and when each task needs to be completed. We can easily turn your perfect vision into the perfect day: using our resources, connections, and expertise.
2. Its all about who you know (and what you know!)
In the hospitality industry, its truly all about who you know. We are like one big family and tend to stick together. When I first started as a front desk agent in a hotel in Toronto many, many years ago, I would never have thought that the people working in the hotel sales office would be some of my dearest friends today. Year after year, you meet and work with the same people on different events, at different venues, and even in different cities.
We have maintained our connections and are constantly creating new ones. How does this help a bride? We are able to reach out to our connections for help on each and every wedding we plan. We know which photographers are perfect for outdoor weddings, and who can make the perfect invitations for your theme – and the best part? We often benefit from preferred vendor discounts, which can be applied to your wedding budget and save you even more money. This process takes a lot less time for us because we know who to call, and saves you time, energy, and of course those day-time minutes on your phone plan.
3. This is our full time job!
So maybe you are not a high powered executive (or maybe you are), but regardless of where you work, you have your own personal work load, responsibilities, and stress that you have to deal with. Not to mention, you have your home life, your social life, and your…well….everything else! Why on earth would you want to add another full time job to your life?
As a wedding planner, your wedding IS our full time job. We live, love, and dream weddings all year round and we never tire of it. Let us take the stress away from you and leave the work to us. After all, it’s what we are most passionate about!
4. We’ve planned more weddings than just our own (but we did plan those too!)
If I had a dollar for every time I heard a bride say that she is going to plan her own wedding (because how hard can it be?!?!?!) and enlist the help of her sister/mother/cousin/best friend, who recently got married…well, I wouldn’t need to plan weddings for a living, because I’d be rich! Many newly engaged women are influenced by their married friends, who planned their own wedding, and think they can plan any wedding. And while that is true for some (many planners in our industry became a professional planner after they planned their own wedding), it’s certainly not true for everyone.Every wedding is unique and no two weddings are alike. So listen to your sister/mother/cousin/best friend’s suggestions and tips, but keep in mind that those vendors were ideal for HER wedding, and not necessarily your own. Don’t get us wrong, word of mouth is a great way of gaining referrals (and those are our favourite kinds) but thinking you can just rely on your sister/mother/cousin/best friend to plan the wedding for you is unrealistic and a great way to end that relationship. Don’t believe us? Ask a few friends that have been in a bridal party (without a planner) what their least favourite part was… chances are, they will tell you it was the never ending request list from the bride and setting up/tearing down on the wedding day.
You need a third party, who is not directly involved in your life, and who can devote the time and resources needed to plan the perfect wedding. You also need someone who has planned more than one wedding, if you are not willing to take on all of the responsibility yourself. And the other thing to consider with this one: They have full time jobs, family obligations, and social lives too – and when the going gets tough…there was no contract in place to ensure they honour their promises.
5. We know budgets and we can stick to ‘em!
One of the most crucial aspects of planning your wedding is creating the right budget. You’ve likely been saving for this day your whole life – or maybe your parents have – and we know there isn’t a reserve of funds for those last minute desires and dreams. A real wedding planner will sit with you, and encourage you, to create a comprehensive budget of your expenses. Because of our knowledge and experience, we know what a wedding costs. We know what is realistic and what is not, when it comes to planning a wedding! So when you tell us that you want to invite 250 people to a golf course wedding with sit down dinner and open bar, but only have a budget of $15,000 – we’ll be the first to tell you that it’s an unrealistic dream. We know what it costs – we know linens, flowers, food, venue fees, photographers, invitations….we know it all (or at least most of it!) So we can sit you down, review your dream, and create a real budget that will work throughout the planning process! This is a key tool in stress reduction and a necessary first step in the planning process.
6. We fit perfectly within a budget!
See point 5 – but also consider this: Most wedding planner fees can be covered by the savings found in a budget, from a wedding planned by a professional planner. Don’t believe me? One of our 2012 brides came to us with her very own budget – already made. She had worked in a similar industry and felt she had created the perfect budget. Because of the size of her wedding, our fee for the wedding was going to be a few thousand dollars (ouch, right?) and she was a little skeptical at first. So, we got to work in proving to her why our fee was worth every penny and why we are experts in creating a budget. With our industry knowledge, we revised her budget and managed to shave $5000 off the top. That easily covered our fee, and put some money back into her pocket for her new marital life!
7. We aren’t paid by the venue!
Many venues like to promote having an internal wedding planner that will help you plan there perfect day. Pay the $1500 deposit, sign the dotted line, and they promise you a wedding planner for your wedding. The truth: Their wedding planner (Venue Planner) works for the venue, not for you. Do I doubt that they are helpful? No, of course not – they are amazing and we would know – as many of us were once those people. They too have industry knowledge and advice that can help make the process easier for you… But at the end of the day, their pay cheques come from the venue, and their ultimate goal is to increase revenues for their venue. They are not helping you stay within your budget, or locate the perfect calligrapher for your invites, and they certainly aren’t there to have those difficult discussions when your dream isn’t becoming your reality and you need to flex your style. But guess who is? A professional wedding planner!
We are dedicated and devoted to each and every one of our brides: to make sure every possible dream comes true. We search high and low for the perfect venue, that must have sequin table cloth that you need, and that substitute flower that looks like the one you wanted, but wasn’t in season! And on the wedding day, we will be there! Following through on every detail – not just those of the venue.
Honestly – the list could go on…and on… and on… as to why you need a wedding planner (In fact, here is another blog post on the matter!). I could write a book on the subject (and I just might) but the point is: A Wedding Planner is here to help! Sure, we make money from planning your wedding – it’s why we do it professionally. However, we are also emotionally invested, connected, and passionate about your wedding first and foremost. We plan weddings for a living because we LOVE to plan weddings! When we take on a new client, they may think they are choosing us, but we are also choosing them! We listen to their plans for the perfect day and we decide then and there, if we can invest our whole heart into the project. And if we can’t, then we don’t! We aren’t there to “take you for a ride” or make a quick buck! We are there to help make your wedding day ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!!