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So, you’ve popped the question, or had the question popped to you and you’re keen to get started on planning your perfect day… Congratulations! If you’ve started doing any research at all, and we suspect you have since you’re reading this blog, you are sure to have come across adverts for wedding planners.You may be questioning why you should allocate some of your budget to hiring a wedding planner. Well, we are here to give you the reasons to consider.

Wedding planners can organise and coordinate all aspects of your big day. Their focus is on practicalities; venues, vendors, contracts and function sheets. A full-service wedding planner’s role is to be your professional guide and mentor you through every aspect of your planning and delivery process. Wedding planners will work closely with the wedding couple, family and friends, wedding venue coordinator and all the chosen suppliers throughout the process. They take care of as little or as much as required while you always stay in control. This could be anything from supplier sourcing, partial or full planning to on-the-day services.

When to book and what to look for

If you think you want a wedding planner involved in helping you make the arrangements for your day, finding the right one for you is undoubtedly something you should do early in your planning process. The number one box to tick is how comfortable you feel with the wedding planners you meet. Ideally you want to find someone who is friendly and who you get on with. However, their ability to keep a slight distance and a professional edge is a very important quality.  Good wedding planners get booked up quickly and many will only agree to plan a very small number of weddings each year, usually somewhere between seven to ten. This is a huge plus point for the client since you are almost guaranteed to receive a highly personalized service. When you consider that the planning process usually begins at least two years in advance of the wedding date, finding a wedding planner with availability does need to be done in good time.

The key benefit of hiring a wedding planner is the bespoke service you will receive, one which is tailored specifically to your wants and needs. It is worth looking for a company that guarantees your chosen planner will be with you through the whole process, from conception to being present on the day itself. There are companies out there who have a number of planners in-house and you may find yourself speaking to several different people. While this service is often cheaper, it may not offer the tailored service you are looking for. Look for wedding planners with lots of relevant experience. Not all planners are skilled in all types of wedding. If you plan to marry abroad, look for a planner with experience in destination weddings, preferably in the country where you wish to exchange vows. 

Time management

If you, like most people, are a busy person with a job and an active social life, weaving wedding planning into your day to day activities can be a huge challenge. When you consider that a wedding will take somewhere between 300 to 500 hours to plan, the benefit of having some paid assistance is clear. Your wedding planner will quickly become the person who cares about your wedding as much as you do!

Keeping focused

A wedding planner can help you focus on the type of wedding you would like and steer you away from ideas which don’t fit. If you need help choosing a theme, a wedding planner will be able to assess your personality and that of your partner and suggest ideas tailor the event to match your own individuality. They tend to have a huge ‘little black book’ and have likely built solid relationships with suppliers they know to be reliable. This will give you the priceless feeling of security on the day, the reassurance to know that your chosen suppliers will actually deliver what they’ve promised. 

Budget control and saving money

Another benefit is that your wedding planner is likely to be able to negotiate with their regular suppliers to get you the best possible price or have items added to standard packages at no extra cost. A really good wedding planner, like a really good accountant, should be able to off-set the price of their services, saving you more than they cost. Budget control is also an area in which wedding planners can help. Perhaps you have an idea you’d like to incorporate but you know it’s going to cost a lot. Your planning partner will be able to suggest ways to incorporate the look or feel of your desired element without breaking the bank.

Stress management 

There is no doubt that planning a wedding can be intensely stressful. There is so much to consider and even more to remember. While you might have a clear vision for your special day, communicating this vision to all the suppliers involved can be very difficult. A wedding planner is highly skilled in listening to your wants and needs and turning them into workable solutions. They’ll become the person you ask when you want to bounce ideas around and they’ll help you decide what’s really important. They’ll also become the person you can have a good old moan to when things aren’t going your way!

Guest management

Often the management of guests is overlooked when couples plan their wedding. We’re not just talking about making sure everyone arrives on time and is seated before you make your way down the aisle. Guest management begins much earlier in the process than the day itself. Having an independent person available who keeps an eye on responses to invitations ensuring that everyone has either accepted or declined so you know who is actually expected on the day sounds like a simple task but in reality it can be the cause of the most stress during the planning phase. 

Many people have diverse and complex family set-ups with parents who may be divorced and additional step-parents or siblings. You only have to take a quick look at some of the wedding chat forums out there to see that one of the most talked about topics is how family members just don’t get along. A wedding planner will have lots of experience of difficult family situations. They’re easily placed to become that neutral person who can gently take control of heated situations and calm any troubled waters. It is simple to overlook things like dietary requirements when you have so much else to consider. A wedding planner will most likely have experienced complex food related issues and will have the experience to know what to suggest to the venue to make sure everyone is catered for.

Working on an international scale

If you are looking to get married abroad but do not know where to begin there are wedding planners who can also assist with organising your destination wedding. Planning a wedding abroad can be extremely daunting as you may know very little about your chosen country and the associated legal requirements.There are a number of great benefits with dealing with a destination wedding planner. They are well placed to be your direct ‘go to’ person when searching for venues and suppliers. They will also be experienced in understanding the legal requirements and helpful in ensuring you comply with these. They can assist in arranging transportation for your guests from the airport to their accommodation and of course, bridging any language barriers to ensure your wishes are effectively communicated. When searching for a destination wedding planner, try using the abbreviation ‘DMC’s’ followed by your chosen country (Destination Management Company).

Diary management

As your big day approaches, you will find your diary full to the brim with appointments. Dress or outfit fittings for you, your partner and attendants. Hair, nails and beauty appointments, venue run-throughs and rehearsal dinners. A wedding planner can help with scheduling all of these and liaising with those who should attend to make sure everyone goes where they are needed.

On the day

Finally…. Your big day has arrived and you will be filled with excitement! But wait… what happens when you receive a text from a guest telling you they’ve forgotten to mention they need a vegan, kosher or dairy-free meal?! No-one needs to be dealing with that on the day of their wedding! This is truly where your wedding planner comes into their own. This is their function in a nutshell, to take the stress straight off your shoulders and deal with any last minute drama’s. They will have a tight running order and quietly work behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly. If you have a tight budget and can only have a wedding planner who is present on the day, we would strongly recommend you consider doing this.

Why should I hire a Wedding Planner?

When you consider that a wedding is probably the most expensive party you will ever have, allocating some of your budget to having a wedding planner involved is an extremely wise choice and is the best way to make sure you can be where you belong – at the centre of everyone’s attention! Are you thinking about hiring a wedding planner? Do you need help deciding on the right wedding planner for you? Let us know all about your plans and we’ll see what we can suggest.

Lisa Lloyd

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