How to Know If You Need a Wedding Planner
When it comes to wedding planning, we believe that every bride needs some help. Whether that comes in the form of a wedding planner or a team of bridesmaids (with the bride at the helm!), is up to you. But how do you decide which approach is right for you? Do you really
need a wedding planner? It's one of the first questions brides typically ask, especially when they see a planner's hourly rates. And then, the question that naturally follows: Is it truly that difficult to plan a wedding on your own?
It depends. All couples come with a different set of circumstances. If you and your spouse-to-be work full-time jobs, don't particularly love the idea of taking on all of the preparations yourselves, or have absolutely no idea what you want your big day to look like, a planner is likely the smart choice. Other couples relish the process and enjoy navigating this new territory together—and are particularly resistant to stress. For those of you on the fence, we've outlined a few criteria that should determine whether or not you need a planner. Answering yes (hire one!) or no (you can go without!) to the majority of the following scenarios should indicate where you stand.
Still, taking on all of the details (especially if you're planning a large or destination fête) can be overwhelming no matter what, which is why we typically do recommend hiring a professional. Don't forget, hiring a wedding planner doesn't mean signing your authority away—and you don't need this expert to assist with every aspect of your wedding. Partial packages (at lower price points!) exist, which means you can assign specific jobs out while tackling others on your own. Here, a guide to determining whether or a not a wedding planner is right for you.
You Work a Full-Time Job
And so does your fiancé. It doesn't take long to realized that planning a wedding is an occupation in and of itself—which is why it often makes sense to turn over the majority of the legwork to someone who's made bringing weddings to life their actual vocation. If you or your significant other are currently taking some time off, though, and want to take on the brunt of the preparations personally, having a planner might not be necessary.
You Have Budget Concerns
Beyond quelling pre-wedding stress, one of the biggest benefits of hiring a wedding planner comes down to financial strategy. While you'll have to dish out extra cash to enlist the services of a planner, he or she will be able to help you navigate (and negotiate!) hiring other high-cost vendors, like the venue, caterer, and florist. Even better? You'll likely benefit financially from their insider connections—especially if they've been in the business for a long time. If you're a first-rate money manager with a penchant for spreadsheets (and are absolutely stringent about reading the fine print), feel free to tackle this component on your own.
There's a Time Crunch
Maybe you want to get married on the anniversary of your first date. Perhaps you just don't want to wait the standard year-and-a-half to marry your best friend. Either way, you have to plan a ceremony and reception in six months—and you have no idea where to start. We'll give you a clue: Start researching experienced wedding planners in your area (a tight deadline makes extra help a must!). Before making things official with any planner, though, be sure to ask about their experience organizing an event on the fly.
You're Planning a Destination Wedding
Getting hitched an hour or two away from home is one thing. But if you're venturing halfway across the world to tie the knot in a foreign country? That's a little stickier, and a scenario in which having a planner who specializes in overseas celebrations is a necessity. After all, you'll be dealing with vendors with a different set of rules (every country has its quirks!) and currency type. Take our earnest advice and save yourself the headache (and the international call minutes) by hiring an expert to take the lead. The only exception to this? If you or your fiancé are actual citizens of your wedding location's country and understand cultural common practices and financial protocols.
You're Not Sure About Vendor Contracts
Unfortunately, some of the paperwork you're about to be responsible for looks like it takes a law degree to understand. While it doesn't (usually), weddings often involve lots of vendors—which mean lots and lots of vendor contracts. A planner is there to help you make sense of it all, so you don't get slapped with hidden fees that you and your budget definitely weren't prepared for.
Your Wedding Day Vision Is Unclear
While most of your décor falls into the hands of an event designer, plenty of planners specialize in both planning and design. At the very least, they're equipped to help you develop your big day vision—meaning, they'll be able to find the sweet spot in the middle of your bohemian-meets-rustic-meets-contemporary-meets-traditional wedding Pinterest board. Are you clear on the vibe and layout of the big day? Feel free to skip over a planner and go straight to your designer.
Wedding Planning Is Impacting Your Relationships
If you find that planning your own wedding leaves you stressed, overextended, you might want to bring in reinforcements—especially if you're using your fiancé, bridesmaids, or mom as punching bags. While pre-wedding stress is normal whether you have a wedding planner or not, having assistance alleviates the burden. While both the aforementioned and following criteria are all useful when choosing between hiring a planner or going it alone, we'd say that this (your mental health!) is the biggest indicator.
You Need a Reality Check
Sometimes you need someone to tell you that you shouldn't have life-size 10-tier confection, a vodka luge, or a carousel. Jokes aside, you don't need to have lofty, over-the-top wedding dreams to benefit from a little bit of real talk. Before you can even think about getting ahead of yourself, your planner will help you keep your goals, theme, and budget in check. It works the opposite way, too. Stressed about making sure your napkins are three shades of gray lighter than your table runner? Your planner will be there to tell you not to sweat the small stuff. After all, your planner has got it covered.
You Don't Enjoy Wedding Planning
Yep, go ahead and admit it. It's not for everyone and—if we're being honest—most couples don't enjoy planning 100% of the time. If you're dreading setting up your nuptials, definitely enlist a guru. The reason? The engagement period is one of the happiest of your life. Why subject yourself to something you know will make you categorically miserable for a whole year? If you know you want to be more hands on, but don't want to shoulder the entire responsibility, consider hiring a planner for a few specific goals. So you can tackle the planning categories you love, like the flowers and the menu, and leave figuring out a seating arrangement for your 300 guests in your barn venue to your planner.