Wednesday, September 6, 2017

My #1 Wedding Planning Tip

I know, I know, our wedding was over two years ago now (what?!) but with new friends (ahem, and internet friends) getting engaged, I've been getting hit up for advice a lot lately. Honestly, I could probably talk about seating arrangements and florals and how to handle family pressures all day long, but I have one main tip that will make a huge impact on the planning process and your wedding day.

Hire a wedding planner! 


I was never one of those brides who had dreamed about her wedding day for years. When Jeff and I got engaged, we started by finding the venue, and even just that was overwhelming for me. There are just so many choices out there! We ended up getting our venue locked down, but when I started looking into all of the other pieces that need to come together for a wedding, the planning process started to become incredibly stressful. Jeff suggested we hire a planner, and we never looked back.

So what are the benefits of hiring a wedding planner?

  1. Extreme Organization
    Our planner had spreadsheets for us to track everything from the guest list to vendor info to budget to who had sent a gift and needed to receive a thank you note in exchange. And, she had a rough timeline with deadlines for everything, and kept us on our toes to make sure everything got done so nothing fell through the cracks. Sure, we could have tracked everything ourselves, but not being experienced wedding planners ourselves we probably would have missed a line item or two, and realized at the last minute we hadn't budgeted for cash to tip our vendors.

  2. A Narrowed Selection
    When it comes to getting married in a big city, the choices for photographers, music, food, and florals were literally endless. If finding a venue was overwhelming for me, I don't know how I could have handled finding all of these items myself. I mean, I read at least twenty reviews before deciding where to go for dinner, I can't even imagine what I would do for photographers. My planner listened to what we were looking for and what our vision was for each vendor, and then came back with us with a short list of 2-3 vendors to consider for each. Our planner had already worked with all of our vendors, and had great things to say about each plus recommendations from other brides. If we liked her choices, she would put out a request for proposal and help us work through what we needed and what we didn't for each vendor. And here, she actually saved us money because we cut out unnecessary items and usually got a discount through her connections - score!
  3. Having a Sounding Board
    I had a lot of ideas for the direction I wanted our wedding to go (thanks Pinterest!) but inevitably asking for Jeff's input didn't help much (he basically said he liked everything haha) and asking friends, family, or co-workers often resulted in a lot of unsolicited advice or questions as to why I wasn't including this or that traditional wedding feature. Being able to go to my planner to bounce off ideas for the theme and decor made things much easier, as she was fully aware of my vision and could see how different elements would fit in. We were on the same team and always on the same page, and telling her I didn't like an idea didn't result in hurt feelings. And also, our planner was an expert. She'd seen it all, and would let me know when something would work, or when it just wasn't worth the money.
  4. Take Away the Stress
    I don't know if you've heard this, but planning a wedding can be amazingly stressful. What?! I know, I know, it's totally new news to you. But honestly, I was barely stressed at all. I knew that someone else was at the helm of the ship, and everything didn't depend on me to get it done. I'm one of those people that has a really hard time asking for help, so it was nice knowing that I was paying someone to get shit done for me instead of having to rely on a friend. My planner was in charge of deadlines, and making sure that everything went off the day of without a hitch. I mean, I was still a little stressed. I actually woke up in the middle of the night before our wedding and tried to find another place to hang my dress in the dark because I was worried my very pregnant sister would trip over it in the middle of the night trying to go to the bathroom. Then I took a deep breath and realized that wandering around in the dark with my wedding dress probably wasn't the best idea and put it back. Crisis averted. But besides that I was able to just focus on the whole getting married thing without any of the details getting in the way.

  5. Run the Show
    I mean, really, this is the big kahuna. On the day of my wedding, my planner showed up with an assistant and a fleet of summer interns ready to get. shit. done. She brought up our flowers to our suites where we were getting ready and pinned boutonnieres on most of the guys. She oversaw getting the venue set up, including the load-in of the huppah my father built (and then getting it safely transported home afterwards). She made sure the vendors all showed up and were ready to go. She put out programs on all of the chairs, arranged all of our escort cards in alphabetical order, and even helped with a couple of our cake toppers (ahem - we had six cakes). She got the ceremony started on time, then after the ceremony helped me take off my veil without messing up my hair, bustled my dress, and reapplied my lip gloss, all while overseeing switching the room out from ceremony to reception. And really, if my planner hadn't been there, who would have done all of that? Sure, the individual vendors all have a plan, but the wedding planner is the queen bee and is in charge of making sure everything is there and on time, and that your cake hasn't accidentally been switched out for one for a child's birthday party (which is something that actually happened to a friend!), or that your wedding slideshow hasn't been switched out for another bride's (which happened at the last wedding we went to)! Not to freak you out about what could go wrong or anything, but why worry about stuff like that if you don't have to?!

You may be thinking, "But that just isn't in the budget for me!" It's definitely something you can afford - there are wedding planners for all budget levels. Our planner ended up only costing us around 2% of our total budget, and for the stress and work she took off my hands, I think that she was definitely worth it! We worked with the main planner at her agency, but had we worked with one of the newer planners we could have saved a ton.

If you start researching wedding planners in your area and really feel like you can't make it work, consider hiring a "day of coordinator." This means the planner won't be working with you throughout the whole planning process, but instead for about the final month before your wedding. A day of coordinator will be there to make sure everything is confirmed, to handle all of the little details that pop up at the last minute, coordinating getting all of those things you DIY-ed to the venue, manage load-in and set-up, and, of course, run the wedding itself! It means that you won't have to ask your bridesmaids, family, or friends to be in charge of important wedding tasks or worry about them yourself, leaving everyone free to enjoy the day!

I really couldn't recommend hiring a wedding planner enough - it made the whole process so easy and actually fun! I loved the planner we worked with - if you're looking for a planner in the Chicago area shoot me an email and I'll be happy to share her info.

Any other questions about hiring a wedding planner? Let me know!

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

No comments :

Post a Comment