The role of a wedding planner is entirely dependent on how involved you and your fiance want to be in the planning process. There are wedding planners who can, and will, take on the whole process of planning your wedding, but often their services are costly.
Most couples cannot afford the type of wedding planner who will turn your Pinterest board into the real-life wedding of your dreams. That doesn’t mean a professional wedding planner isn’t an option. In fact, for most couples, the help of a wedding planner is an outright necessity.
Cost is only one factor that should influence your choice of whether or not to use a wedding planner. Here are some of our insights to help you decide if wedding planners are worth it.
Are Wedding Planners Necessary?
If you're thinking about using a wedding planner, first consider if you have the free time to organize the big day without one. Planning a wedding of any size is a huge undertaking, so having a professional wedding planner to guide you only makes your life easier.
The level of help you need is totally your call. If you're excited by all of the preparation, planning, and admin, go for a day-of wedding coordinator. If you have the vision and budget but no time, you'll likely find a perfect match in a professional top-to-toe wedding planner. Or, there's a third, hybrid route that keeps you actively involved in the planning process, but with a little extra guidance and help from a professional. In all cases, an expert wedding planner plays a crucial role, but the level of involvement (and related cost) will be down to your planning style.
Coordinator vs. Planner
The difference between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator is subtle but critical. A wedding planner is in complete control. For a wedding planner, you give them the creative direction and allow them to take the reins and make decisions with autonomy.
Alternatively, a wedding coordinator assists with the organization without becoming involved in the creative vision. Think of a wedding coordinator more as a project manager and a wedding planner as a CEO who brings the creative vision of the couple come to life.
A Ring Leader
Your wedding day is going to be jam-packed with excitement, nerves, reunions, happiness, and so much love. But it can also get busy with last-minute tasks and questions from a dozen different people. A day-of wedding coordinator handles all of this unexpected admin so you can stay focused on each other.
Your wedding day is about the love you share with your partner and the commitment you are making to each other. The last thing you want to be doing an hour before you say “I do,” is talking to the caterer about an extension cord or some other insignificant task.
If you choose to hire a wedding coordinator or planner, that person will more than likely double as your day of coordinator. Usually, a wedding planner has a team of two or three trusted assistants who work under them, and in most cases, the entire team will be your day-of staff to help ensure everything goes as planned.
Photo Credit // John And Colette Photography
Planning and coordinating a wedding is not something just anyone can do. While you may be tempted to hire that friend-of-a-friend with a great Pinterest board and fire Instagram, those aren’t good indicators of a reliable wedding planner.
A wedding planner needs to be organized, ambitious, and in sync with your vision. They should be able to come to you with questions, but also operate autonomously on your behalf.
Part of being a good wedding planner is being able to overcome obstacles. This is far easier to do if your planner has good connections within their industry. Many wedding planners use their inside connections to get you better rates on things like rentals and hotel bookings, and often, these financial breaks help to offset the cost of the planner.
And not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but we know that wedding planners love Zola! We hear about planner-recommendations for our wedding stationery for invitations and thank you cards, and for our universal wedding registry You can also use the Zola app to communicate with your planner about everything from guest tracking to new gift arrivals.
Trust is one of the most critical aspects of any relationship between a couple and their planner. A wedding planner is an integral piece of your engagement and your wedding, and whoever you hire needs to be someone you can lean on.
You will need to rely on your planner to work on your behalf without you having to continually remind them of what you need to have done. A good wedding planner should be able to operate entirely autonomously, making good decisions based on your preferences.
Trust in an experienced wedding planner is what allows you and your spouse-to-be to let go of the stress surrounding the details of your wedding. Typically, the things that cause couples the most stress in the lead up to their marital celebration are the small details. A wedding planner should have full responsibility for those little details, and you should feel confident that each small decision adds up to your perfect wedding day.
Trust is not just about believing that the person you choose to coordinate your wedding will follow through. Establishing trust also means that you need to step back as a couple and set clear end goals with clear deadlines. If you want a specific caterer booked by April 27th, then who cares how it gets done! Trust is a two-way street, and it is an absolute must in any couple and wedding planner relationship.
Photo Credit // Becky Williamson Photography
The Best Way To Stay Involved
Even with an experienced wedding planner on your team, you and your fiance will likely want to remain involved in the decision making process. There are so many fun aspects to planning a wedding that you’ll want to be included in. Things like the color scheme, picking invitations, and even registering for gifts are all fun tasks that you can and should be involved in.
And we’re here to help you plan all the little details! Think of us as your online wedding planner. Zola will not only help you and your fiance to stay involved, but we’ll also help your wedding planner, should you choose to hire one.
We understand the pressures that come with planning a wedding, which is why we make everything as easy as possible on you and your wedding planning team. From our guest tracker tool to our universal registry, we keep all things wedding in one fun and easy-to-use place.
Whether you have started planning your wedding or not, Zola should be your next stop on your wedding journey. Even if you have hired a wedding planner, Zola has the resources to make your engagement period, and your wedding day, perfect for the two of you.