Wedding planners, day-of coordinators, and onsite coordinators all can help make your wedding day go off without a hitch. Find out if you should hire a wedding planner with our guide.
In order to pull off your dream wedding, you’ll need an amazing team in place to execute your vision. That’s why putting a boss professional wedding planner in charge is a must, right? Well, not necessarily. It’s true that a wedding planner can do a lot—from overseeing vendors to negotiating wedding venue contracts—but they aren’t an absolute necessity for all weddings.
If you’re on a tight budget, having a small wedding, or just on the fence about turning over control to someone else, you may be able to get by without a planner. Alternatively, you can just hire a day-of coordinator to help with some of the last-minute event logistics.
Whether you hire someone or not, know that someone will need to manage the timeline, your vendors, and your guests on the day, and it can’t be you. Having a family member or friend who has offered, and you're confident can handle unforeseen scenarios with ease, may be more your style. But this person will no longer be a guest as they will be actively managing the event, and need to prioritize the wants and needs of the couple and the rest of the guests over their own.
Here’s a look at the pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner so you can decide what’s best for your day.
Think of a wedding planner as a jack-of-all-things-wedding-day-related. A full-scale wedding planner can help with anything and everything on your to-do lists. That may include the following:
There are other types of professional planners, too. A day-of coordinator may not do a lot of planning ahead of time but helps to make sure everything is organized and set-up so your ceremony and reception go off without a hitch. They can also help out with the flow of the wedding and small details. That may mean getting vendors set up or directing your wedding party and guests to make sure everyone is where they need to be at the right times.
Some venues also assign an on-site coordinator who serves as a semi-wedding planner. You can choose to bring in your wedding planner, too, or work solely with the coordinator instead. (They may be in charge of multiple events each weekend, so don’t expect the same personalized attention, though.)
Whichever type of planner you choose, you’ll need to meet with them first to go over their services. Everything should be spelled out in their contract so it’s clear which professional services they are and aren’t responsible for. It’s a big commitment, so feel free to ask for references of past clients to e-mail or call to ask about their experience.
There are plenty of benefits to hiring a wedding planner.
Finally (and perhaps most importantly) the wedding planner’s job is to make sure your wedding day is beautiful and that it runs as smoothly as possible. While you’re off enjoying your day with your friends and family, you can take comfort knowing they are making sure the ceremony décor is set up, the photographer is in place, and your servers know which hors d’oeuvres to pass during cocktail hour.
The benefits of hiring a wedding planner should outweigh the negatives. You are hiring them to execute your dream wedding, plus make your life easier for the upcoming months. However, there are a few potential downsides to consider.
On average, a full-service wedding planner may cost between $3,000 to $10,000. The cost largely depends on where you live and where you’re getting married. They may charge up to $20,000 in a high-cost area like New York City.
If you are having a destination wedding, consider finding a local wedding planner. Otherwise, you may need to factor in paying for the wedding planner and their team’s expenses like accommodation, meals, etc.
For a day-of coordinator, the costs are lower. They may charge a flat fee of between $1,000 and $3,000. Or, they may charge per hour. Always ask upfront about all costs so nothing comes as a surprise later.
At the end of the day, whether or not you hire a planner comes down to your wedding budget and personal preference. Below are some questions to ask yourself and help you decide.
Wedding planners are exactly that: experts at planning weddings. Whether you choose a full-service planner, day-of coordinator, or an on-site coordinator, these people can help bring your dream wedding ideas to life.
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