Thinking back to when we were planning our wedding, I'm not even sure that I knew there was such a thing as a wedding planner in Winnipeg. Regardless, I was more than happy to take on the tasks of researching and selecting vendors and sourcing all the decor.
Planning our wedding would be fun and my fiancé and I would get to make all the decisions, down to the tiniest detail. I had an hour or two free every week to chip away at our big day that was yet a year and a half away, and this way a planner wasn't another expense to save up for.
Why I Wish We Had
Being the host and planner is hard. It means you don't get to fully appreciate all the little details and surprises from your own party. I find great pleasure in planning beautiful celebrations, including our family's, but honestly, there are times when even the planner wishes they had a planner.
1. Wedding planning takes time. Evenings and weekends were spent building our wedding website, designing and proofreading stationery, responding to vendor emails that I didn't yet know the answers to (my only source of information for planning a wedding at the time was from magazines), reviewing contracts, managing our budget, and spending countless hours on DIY items that I now know much faster and cheaper ways to do. If you have a demanding job, children, or hobbies that you'd rather not get pulled away from, planners are your personal assistant for all things wedding.
2. It's not always fun. Sure, browsing Pinterest for ideas, eating cake, and flouncing around in sample dresses is fun; but there's not much to smile about when building a budget and tracking payments in Excel, reviewing vendor contracts, and going down a list of rental companies to call for that one thing you need. Turns out that handing your wedding over to a professional doesn't take the fun away, it makes it more fun. Wedding planners are a filter for keeping the process of planning a wedding enjoyable while still leaving you in control with final decisions.
3. Someone needs to be the main point of contact on your wedding day. Without a wedding planner, it will (most likely) be the bride. I remember running to the reception hall to make sure the centrepieces were in place and the cake had arrived, being asked where cables were for the DJ, and getting pulled off the dance floor to respond to questions from the venue coordinator. Thankfully we had a great MC and venue coordinator that kept to my carefully plotted evening itinerary, but needing to be involved in everything distracted me from fully enjoying the day.
4. A wedding planner can save you money. When we got engaged we didn't know what things cost. We started with a budget of $18,000 and later realized our vision needed a budget of something more like $30,000. Since some details were already booked, we ended up locked in on spending more than we hoped. A professional planner is another line item on the budget, but a good one will cater their services to fit within your budget, start you off right with a realistic budget that balances what you want with what you can afford, pass along exclusive vendor discounts, and avoid costly mistakes.
5. Something will go wrong. On our wedding day I scheduled bridal portraits to finish half an hour before the ceremony (which is fine), but we ended up doing the photos close to where guests began arriving and some saw me before I walked the aisle. It was stressful trying to escape through an excited, small crowd with a 10' veil and 5' train, something a wedding planner would have calmly assisted with in sneaking me away. Thankfully nothing major went wrong on our wedding day, but what if something had? There are always last minute decisions to be made and often little emergencies. If something goes wrong, a planner will deal with it and it's likely that you (or your guests) will never even know of those little emergencies that went on behind the scenes on your perfect day.
6. Help is limited. The helpful venue coordinator included in your reception rental fee often isn't available to go beyond managing the logistics of the venue. They are there to ensure all aspects of the contract between you and the venue are executed, and that the venue's policies are followed. They may supply a list of preferred third party vendors, but they will not advise on vendors that fit your budget or style, schedule and attend vendor meetings, review resulting contracts and ensure they are adhered to on the day of the wedding, setup wedding decor, create a timeline, ensure your meticulously planned wedding day itinerary is followed, or quickly stitch up a tear in your groom's suit. That's what wedding planners are for!
7. It's a big day for family and friends, too. And you probably want them to enjoy celebrating, right? Our family and wedding party worked their bums off the night before our wedding, hauling rentals and decor to the venue, setting it all up and then taking it all back down at the end of the night. In hindsight, I wish we had just left it to a professional to oversee our day. Loved ones play an incredibly important role in the wedding, and that is to be 100% present in supporting your life-long commitment.
Your wedding day can't be repeated and having a professional on hand can be a real lifesaver in so many ways. If you're considering tackling your big day all on your own, take some time to meet with a professional wedding planner. I always recommend, at the very least, hiring a wedding planner for month-of coordination (also known as day-of). It's one of the best investments you can make. You deserve an amazing, stress-free wedding day.
Feast & Festivities offers everything from full-service planning and design to month-of coordination and hourly consulting. Wherever you are in your planning stages, get in touch with us for a free initial meeting. Let's chat!
Photos by Sugar & Soul Photography