There’s ton’s of reasons you would want a professional planner and not a hobbyist, or a weekend warrior wedding planner. We’re just going to cover the main one’s. I strongly believe that more information is far better than not enough, however at the same time, there is such a thing as too much info and overwhelmed with the amount of it.
Here’s the biggest reasons you want a full fledged wedding professional.
Professionalism and experience.
- The special occasion planner that lives, breathes, sleeps and eats all things special occasions from the sweet and simply stated to the elaborate has their thumb in the pulse of industry. They are going to know the best of the best, the best quality, steals and deals for you and when the best time to purchase items for your event is. Not just will refer you to the best of the best wedding professionals, but actually knows the professionals who fit best with your personality, style and most of all in your budget. In addition to all of this, they have the experience you need in order to successfully assist you in planning your wedding and then coordinating on the day of all while making sure its yours and your finances style that shines through on the day of the wedding or special occasion. This planner is cost you more, however when you think of it in terms of schooling or experience it not only makes sense but is a given. Such as you wouldn’t pick a doctor or dentist because he’s the least expensive and has only been out of school for a couple months, right. Why would you do that to your wedding. It’s the biggest day of your life next to having your little ones. She’s not going to refer you to use other professionals, that may or may not show up, where you have a 50/50 chance that the work will arrive the way you envisioned it nor vendors who don’t have a proven track record.
On the flip side, the weekend warrior wedding planner is only going to know their little group. The other wedding vendors they know may or may not be the best of the best and many times aren’t tried and true. In addition, they only have their hand in the industry upon occasion so their experience level is lower. They may not be prepared for any chaos that may occur on your wedding day. Usually they don’t think to check your orders or verify vendors before hand so vendors may be showing up at the wrong location, late or not at all. Things may slip through the cracks because your planner doesn’t think to check and verify that they’ve been completed. Items that you thought that they handled you may find out at the last minute, not only weren’t handled but she doesn’t even do them.
Agreement so there’s no surprises.
- The professional wedding planner is going to have an agreement that spells out her responsibilities in detail. In addition, that agreement will spell out in detail what, if anything depending upon your package choices are your responsibility to handle. The agreement isn’t there to scare you, but protect both yourself and the wedding professional.
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard from a new wedding vendor that they don’t have an agreement for their brides to review and sign but don’t plan to have one, because isn’t everybody trusting or that way, I can change my responsibilities in the middle of the wedding and not be held accountable. What???!!?. Run, seriously, run.
Deals and Steals
- We touched on this in number 1, but here it is in more detail. The wedding professional, has world wide connections, gets the first word on sales, purchases in bulk so items cost less then getting it on your own, has access to different quality of goods, if a wedding or event business is going out of business, many times they get a heads up and can purchase items at a steal for their clients. In addition, because the wedding professional has been such a valued customer over time, that same business sometimes gives them even better deals. The wedding professional will have “assistants” who can spend the time to research and make sure that the absolute best price is being achieved for their clients. If you want high quality or low quality products they know where to find them for you.
Inexperienced wedding planners and vendors, aren’t going to have the same pull just due to sheer volume, and having their name and company out long enough for people to know who they are. As a result, the client pays more.
Quality of Service and Time Spent
- With the wedding professional with years of experience you have far more tips and tricks that the professional can put in practice for you. Have knowledge of space requirements for you, your guests, the bar, buffet vrs. seating, how many restrooms should be the minimum for your guest count, when invites and such should be mailed. She’s not stingy with the tips she passes onto you. Has the knowledge and foresight to see where there could be issues and quickly swoops in to make those adjustments so it’s not noticed. The professional knows approximately how long and how many people are required to install your chuppa or décor design, the set up of the room and has relationships with the location and the professionals to put it all together. She’ll go above and beyond to ensure that her clients are taken care of. Due to the amount of experience chances are she’s worked at your location. Her duties will be outlined and she’ll make sure that you truly understand what all of those duties are, ultimately reducing your stress, removing the frustration, saving you money and most importantly saving you time. She’ll have ton’s of pictures and a good planner will have pictures from several different price ranges so you can see all of the possibilities and not just the best of the best and super high end pic’s of events and weddings but some that may not be as fab. The professional, knows she’s already had her wedding and don’t impose her ideas on you. She’s there to make your vision a reality not to recreate her wedding day. She’s there to assist you, guide you in making decisions so when you look back on your wedding album it’s not dated to an era, to listen to you and be a sounding board. Absolutely not take over. An experienced planner has all of these connections at her finger tips and therefore saves you and your pocket book ton’s of time and extra expense of searching for it. She knows the costly traps that new brides and planners get stuck in and she’ll steer you away from them.
The weekend warrior, not having the experience rarely can do the same. She may go above and beyond to the best of her abilities, however due to lack of experience that may not be enough to get all of the above handled. She’ll have very few pic’s for you to see and review, some suggestions, but probably won’t just roll off her tongue, won’t have any idea if the ideas she’s throwing out would possibly be able to fit in your budget. In some cases, I’ve heard where the brand new planner, or weekend warrior planner – takes over the brides wedding or is overbearing like having a second or third mother. OMG, who wants that?
Control and who makes decisions
First you want a well rounded planner, one who knows and understands design, décor and floral, someone who will gently guide you and finally not interject their own opinions or makes you feel pressured. You should always have the final word and decision making. I personally have a few clients that leave a majority of decisions up to me, once they’ve told me the budget, theme and goal, however these folks have been clients of mine for literally years and know that I fully understand their vision and trust I’ll do it exactly as they’ve envisioned and throw a couple extra wow factor items into the event while keeping them in budget. This isn’t the norm for a wedding. Usually you strive to do your wedding only once and that really packs on the pressure to ensure it’s right. Having a planner with a team to back them is safety for you…how, there’s a check point, a double check and a final check to ensure that your vision is completed to your specifications on the day of your wedding.
The brand new planner, although charges less, is still trying to figure out exactly what her job is and how it’s supposed to be done. She’s going to be all over the board and you’re not going to feel like you’re being taken care of. She’ll make some decisions for you and you’ll find out about them on the day of your wedding. Not the way you want it to be. Believe it or not, these early in their training stages planners, sometimes fall off the face of the earth. I’ve not only seen it, but it’s happened to a few of my brides that I was blessed with working with later when the planner packed up shop and left with no contact info.
The bottom line is that you pay more for experience, knowledge, expertise, connections and quality. In the long run, it saves you costly mistakes, time, frustration and oops during the planning process and on the day of. Having a professional to be able to help you where and when you need it is not a luxury but a necessity when you’re talking about the biggest day of your life that doesn’t get a do-over.