Should you be hiring a professional to plan your celebration, or can you manage alone?
The beginning of the wedding planning process is one of the most exciting times. You’re still flushed with the thrill of getting engaged, and you suddenly have this whole new world open for you to explore. A world that is certainly fun, but can also be pretty draining. Planning a classic wedding whilst juggling a career, commitments and possibly childcare is no mean feat. And for this reason, couples often turn to an experienced professional for help. But how do you know if you need a wedding planner, and if you do, when should you hire one?
The question of whether a couple actually needs to hire a wedding planner typically comes at the beginning of the planning process, around the time when the full scale of what’s ahead is being realized. Upon realization, couples then fall into two main categories. ‘Yes, we really need to hire a wedding planner, like now!‘ or ‘No, we’re actually up for the ride, and looking forward to the creative adventure‘. Today we’ll explore which camp you fall into, and if you decide you do need a wedding planner, when you should book them.
How to Know if You Need a Wedding Planner
Whether you need to hire a wedding planner or not, really depends on your situation, and event goals. Working with a professional planner will save you a lot of time overall, while also lifting considerable stress from your shoulders. Money is the other factor. Wedding planners may be an ‘extra’ addition to your budget. But when all is said and done, an experienced planner should actually save you money. Like any good accountant, for example, they’re expensive right now, but in the long run you’ll thank them!
A professional wedding planner knows the industry inside out, has the best local contacts, and get you deals on vendors and products you just wouldn’t be able to achieve without them. Not only that, but they can help give you realize a higher level of big day personalization. One that feels authentically you. And that’s because any good wedding planner will really get to the heart of their client, and know what they want, even when they don’t know themselves.
A Destination Wedding Planner
If you’re planning to tie the knot in Mexico, Hawaii or anywhere abroad, a destination wedding planner is almost essential. Unless you already have a lot of contacts in the place you’re planning to marry. Otherwise, you’ll need someone to communicate with local vendors, know who is trustworthy and who is not, and actually be around to organize all those little things that need to be done. So if you’re planning a beach wedding, or European celebration. The answer to the question of when to hire a wedding planner, is now!
They Can Help You Enjoy the Day
There are different types of wedding planners. And there is a planner to suit all budgets and requirements. From a full-scale wedding planner who’ll organize everything on your behalf, from day one to the big day. To those who’ll get you over the last mile, and take care of everything in the lead up, and on the day.
If you feel like you can, and want to plan your wedding all by yourself, then a wedding planner can just come in towards the end of the journey, and help you better relax on the big day. By taking care of any logistics, queries, and problems you might have otherwise had to handle. This can be a god-send for those who just can’t chill. But, it can also be a nightmare for couples who like being in control. Especially if you’ve planned everything yourselves up to that point. So consider carefully your personality, when looking to hire a wedding planner. Be sure in yourself that you’ll be able to let go.
When to Hire a Wedding Planner
If you have decided that a wedding planner is right for you, the question of when to hire them now comes down to the type of service you require.
Full-Service Wedding Planner
If you want full-service wedding planning, a complete hands-off experience, then you should book as soon as possible. For this type of service, most couples select their planner 4-8 weeks after getting engaged. Sooner the better is always best, as this type of planning is very detail orientated, and intensive. Therefore, your wedding planner will need as much time as possible, not just to arrange your celebration, but to get to know you too.
Partial Wedding Planner
For those who don’t feel they require full-service planning, there is of course the option to have the wedding partially planned. A great option if you have a creative mind, and the time to pick and choose the elements you really want. But don’t want to get bogged down in contracts, and serious negotiations with vendors. This type of planner needn’t be hired straight away following your engagement. But, they should be the first vendor you hire in the wedding planning process, as they’ll oversee the contracts of every other subsequent vendor you book.
Month-of Wedding Planner
The last mile, month-of wedding planners are really useful for taking the strain in the lead up to the big day. They’ll usually come in once you’ve hired your vendors, booked the venue and mapped out your theme. The planner will then take the reins, taking over as the point of contact for vendors, creating an event timeline, and making sure everything runs super smoothly on the day.
When booking this type of wedding planner, it’s good to look for recommendations. Talk to your other vendors and venue, to see if they’ve worked with someone good. Because of this, and because their service is not needed until the last minute, maybe aim to book a month-of wedding planner 2-3 months before your big day. Or at least once you’ve secured all your other vendors.
I hope to have helped you decide when is best to hire a wedding planner, or perhaps guided you towards the best type of planning service for your big day. It would be an honour to go one step further, and actually be a part of your big day! As a wedding photographer based in Kitchener, I have shot over 300 weddings, across the world. And every photograph I have taken has been with the upmost care for the couple, and enormous pride at being able to capture a timeless memory for them.
You are welcome to browse my various portfolios, and if you like what you see, please take a look at my pricing where you’ll find a breakdown of my investment packages. For any questions, or queries about my services, feel free to get in touch via my contact page.