The Road to Mrs.: Do We Need a Wedding Planner?

Nadine rejoicing after beating her beau Sean in a game of Wii. Like then, the couple has to find ways to get over when they don't see eye-to-eye during the planning process.

Now that the preliminary plans for our nuptials are out of the way, you would think I’d be in chill mode. Breathe a little easier perhaps? Not quite yet. Sean and I have yet to answer one important question: Do we need a wedding planner?

We agree that because our wedding is small and intimate with less than 100 guests, a wedding planner may not be the right fit. However, Sean feels we can plan it ourselves. I disagree and feel that some help is needed. On our big day, I’d prefer to have someone else obsess about the details. And we don’t want this “someone else” to be one of our guests so there you have it. Our choices: Wedding Planner, Wedding Coordinator or a Day-of-Coordinator. Wondering what the differences are? Me too. Determined to settle this once and for all, I decided to do some research and bring it to my Triple B family because I can’t be the only one in this situation.

Not sure what the difference is between a wedding planner, wedding coordinator and day of coordinator?  Check this out:

Wedding Planners visit vendors, negotiate prices, help develop themes, control budgets, and offer advice. They can be hired at any point in the wedding planning process. A great planner will have relationships with vendors and will often be able to help you negotiate deals you wouldn’t be able to on your own.

Wedding Coordinators normally don’t handle as much as wedding planners. They help pull your wedding details together. Coordinators physically attend your wedding activities –including the rehearsal — to make sure everything is going as planned. They make sure the vendors are doing what they are paid to do, flowers are fresh, the right photo is taken, the bridal party is announced, wedding participants are in place, and most importantly, that everyone is happy.

Day-Of Wedding Coordinators help get everything done on your actual wedding day.  You meet with them beforehand to fill them in on who’s who and what’s what and exactly how you’d like the day to play out. They’re in charge of handling all of your vendors and set-up on the day of your nuptials, as well as any type of clean-up or post-wedding duties, so you and your loved ones can relax and enjoy the moment.

Tip: Make appointments to meet at least two coordinators. Never choose the first vendor you meet, you need to compare.

Questions To Consider Asking:

•                How long have they been in business?

•                Are they certified? CWP (Certified Wedding Planner)

•                Do they have references?

•                Are they within your budget?

•                What do they offer: consultation only, planning preparation or full wedding package?

•                How do they charge clients? (percentage, flat fee, hourly)

•                What time do they arrive on the wedding day and what time do they leave?

•                Will they pay vendors on your behalf?

•                Are they part-time or full-time?

Do they have a no show policy or backup in case of emergency?

•  Do they have a cancellation policy?

Our decision: Sean was impressed with my fact-finding mission and we’ve reached a compromise! Looks like at the very least we’ll have a day-of-coordinator. Yes! Now, I can relax.

Your decision: Whether you decide to hire a wedding professional or not is up to you. It all depends on the size, scope and budget of your wedding. If you do decide to hire professional to help, be sure they’re experienced. Be clear on the extent of the services they’re willing to provide to make sure you’re going to receive all the support you’re expecting.

Who is helping you on your big day? Have you hired a professional or will it be family, friends or your bridesmaids? I want to hear your stories!

For more from Nadine visit her over at Nia’s Piece.

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  1. As a wedding planner I may seem bias on the topic but I’ll still give my thoughts but on this wedding in particular. If you have selected all of your vendors then now a wedding planner could help you with the details and the design of your wedding. A planner will help you bring your vision to life and bring the wow factor you’ve been looking for. A planner can also help you during those last 8 weeks of planning which is the busiest time. You’ll have fittings, bridal showers, RSVPs to track, seating arrangements, final meeting with the venue and vendors and the list goes on. During that time, your planner or month of coordinator can help alleviate the stress of it all by taking some of the task off your plate. At this point of your planning process these are the factors you should consider when trying to decide on if you need a planner. For you, I would consider having a month of coordinator at the very least. Someone to be there during those last 8 weeks. You seem like if you need design ideas or help you have some people to reach out to!! Good Luck and Happy Planning!!

  2. I got a planner. I am very obsessive and spent two week looking for photographers. I was driving myself crazy and so i got a planner to recommend and deal with the vendors. She knows my budget and often acts as the voice of reason when i say that i want the $5000 car rental… I get to focus on the fun parts of plannings like paper and flowers and she does the negogtiations and all the stuff I dont want to do. I love her and I know that she has already paid for herself based on what she was able to get me for photography/video. Definitely the right choice for me!

  3. Thanks for your comments ladies! All valid points. @Deneisha: Thanks for your insight. You make some valid points. I’m definitely going to consider getting a coordinator for the last 8 weeks. @Erika: I appreciate that planners can be that “voice of reason” when you really need one. Happy planning! :-)

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