What is a Wedding Planner?

Wedding Planner

When looking on any wedding sites you will find thousands of event organisers selling their services. This person, for a fee, wants to organise and arrange your wedding for you. As a bride and groom, you need to decide whether you are going to “do it yourself”, or hire such a person.

Duties (or job description) of a Wedding Planner:

To relieve the parents of the bride, and/or the bride and groom, of the stress of arranging a wedding, so that they may continue with their social and/or business activities with the minimal amount of interruption to their daily routine. 

Having met with the couple concerned the planner will:

– draw up an action plan which reflects the activities and tasks required in order to achieve the couples dream wedding day.

– having ensured that the action plan accurately reflects the couple’s requirements, it will then be costed, together with the planner’s fees, and a quote presented. (Once accepted the quote becomes your wedding budget.)

– fulfill the action plan within the agreed timeframe to achieve your dream wedding. (This is where all the hard work comes in!)

Thereafter you may expect from your wedding planner:

– a wedding timetable to be drawn up in order for you to enter key dates in your calendar, e.g. dress fittings, meeting with the priest, menu sampling, looking over your wedding venue if not being held at home, wedding dress rehearsals, etc. Click here for a wedding timetable. 

– a wedding day timetable also to be drawn up. This will include appointments with the hairdresser, make-up artist, etc. Click here for a wedding day timetable. 

– a schedule of regular meetings with the bride, groom, and bride’s parents to be produced; each meeting should be accompanied with an agenda to include: (i) update on progress to-date (written schedule of bookings made, deposits paid, etc.), (ii) items on which decisions are required, (iii) items for consideration, (iv) budget expenditure to date, (v) any problems with a solution, or alternative for your agreement.

A good planner will not have to be asked for the above. They will be highly organized and efficient, which is, after all, what you are paying them for. 

Pitfalls of a less than scrupulous Wedding Planner:

– insist on receiving a minimum of three quotes for each item, i.e. florist, caterers, photographers, etc. Some unscrupulous wedding planners receive back-handers for steering customers to use specific vendors/merchants.

– find out if they are receiving any commission from large wedding firms, outlet stores, etc. You may find yourself ordering double the amount you actually need.

– when signing a contract, insist that yours is the only wedding that your planner will be overseeing on your wedding day. It would be very unusual for the wedding planner not to attend your wedding, or be with you throughout the entire day.

– insist on receiving monthly statements of expenditure. You do not want to find that the planner has blown the entire wedding budget and you have run out of money midway through planning your wedding.

– ensure there are penalty clauses built into the contract, e.g. if the wrong colour flowers are ordered! But, also ensure that you fulfill your obligations so that the planner does not walk out at the 12th hour declaring you are in breach of the contract.

When to consider using a Wedding Planner:

I believe you would engage a planner to produce an end result that you could not have produced yourself, in terms of excellence and perfection. Time is something which you do not have much of due to your daily commitments. You wish to enjoy the whole event and not end up a nervous wreck. You are able to afford to engage such a person. Therefore:

– you are hiring a professional with the experience of having organized numerous weddings before, who has come across and overcome most, if not all, of the pitfalls

– you are buying insider knowledge, e.g. of the best caterers, excellent florists, finest wine supplier, etc, who can be relied upon. They know whom to avoid, who uses second hand quality goods, which does not use the freshest produce, etc.

– they have an eye for detail and can make suggestions about things you have never thought about.

– they have skills that you may not possess, e.g. if having a home wedding an eye for interior/exterior design, they can turn your vision into a reality

– they will know of events that your wedding should not clash with, they will be aware of social etiquette and expectations, they can prevent social faux pas

I do not think I need to go on further. To get the best out of your wedding planner, it is essential that you clearly communicate what you do and do not want. They may well become your confident.

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