Wedding Planners – Coordinators – Designers
This is the MOST important decision you need to make and make it before you sign any contracts! No matter what you have seen in the movies or on TV – the planner and their team are the workhorses behind the scenes making sure that everything is produced to their high standards and your vision!
This is probably the biggest party you will ever throw until your own daughter gets married. If you are spending $25k to $50k or more – why in the world would you think you can do it all yourself? You do not want to make costly mistakes.
The Planner is a return customer to the venues and service providers. They know what the pricing should be, the quality of the service providers, how to read the contracts, how to ask for extras and get them, how to write a REAL timeline that accommodates everything and then they know how to produce the event.
Your Planner works for you – they are NOT the same as an on- site wedding coordinator at the church or event facility. These people work for the church or facility, the Planner works for you. That means they are always watching out for you and making sure every person hired lives up to their contractual agreement. Wedding Planners may help you with the concept of your overall vision, but an event designer will bring the vision to life. When interviewing a potential Wedding Planner ask about their design services.
There is NO such thing as a Day of Wedding Coordinator – this is a term the media created. You can’t have a “Day of Attorney” represent you in court without having meetings and knowing all the facts.
Hiring a Planner for “Day of” wedding day management can have its drawbacks. For example, they can only direct traffic that day, they can’t ward off mistakes that would have been caught in the full service planning process. Someone offering to provide “Day of Wedding” service in the $250 or $500 price range is NOT an experienced professional Planner.
Industry standards in the Pacific NW, have Month of Management starting at $1,750 and up, and full service wedding planning starting at $4k and up. This usually includes 1 assistant. Month of Management means you will have at least 4-6 meetings with the Planner, they will handle the timeline, be in touch with all your service providers, tour the facility, help you choose rentals and more. They and their team will be at the rehearsal and then at the wedding for hours, working to be sure it is perfect
Make no mistake – you and your Mom deserve to be Guests at the wedding, not workhorses! No Bride wants to be worrying if the cake arrived or have all the service providers asking them where to set up. You are busy being the Bride. No matter how many friends and family members say they will help on the wedding day – typically they won’t!
The average Planner gets at least 175 questions from guests, bridal party, service providers, facility folks and others during the course of the wedding day. That is a lot of interruptions that you never know about. They solve every problem and IF it requires a final decision from you or your family they will inquire in a discreet way. And they do it all with a BIG smile on their face.
Things to consider:
- Interview 3-5 Planners and get a feel for their style.
- Look at their reviews on My Portland Wedding and Wedding Wire.
- Look at photos from weddings they have produced.
- You have to click with them; you could be hanging out together for over a year!
- You are not turning over the vision to them but the execution of the vision; they want this to be YOUR day!