Every bride has their own individual ideas in reference to color schemes, number of attendants, location, dress and just about every other aspect of their wedding day. This can also be said about the level of involvement they want to have in the planning and preparation processes. Some future brides insist on having their hands in every little detail to the exclusion of input from family and friends while others, believe it or not, want nothing more than to do what some grooms get to do and just show up on the day of with everything completed and in place.
Sometimes, rallying the troops of family and friends and the combination of the amount of time, creativity and energy you have, you can easily pull off the perfect wedding without wearing yourself out or feeling too much stress. Unfortunately, planning your wedding does not become a paid profession upon your engagement and your daily life can easily (and usually does) get in the way. It is not typically feasible to take off work in order to meet with each vendor in accordance with their availabilities nor do you probably want to spend every evening after a long day and each weekend mulling over the details. Additionally, with the number of vendors there are for any given aspect of your wedding, it can be difficult to determine who is the most reliable, cost-efficient and offers the highest quality products. Therefore, many brides, no matter the budget or size of the wedding, at least consider (if not hire) either a wedding planner who can provide as little or as much assistance in decision-making and planning as you feel comfortable with or a day-of coordinator.
Wedding planners often have established relationships with local vendors and, in return for using their services, receive a discounted rate that would not be available if you were just to walk in on your own. Also, planners are able to be proactive and prepare for all kinds of snafus that would never even cross your mind having never been married before. Wedding planners keep you on budget and keep your wedding day on a strict schedule. If photos are to be taken at 3:15, he or she will make sure that photos are taken at 3:15 for example. Some brides (and guests) really appreciate the rigidity of the schedule as it eliminates unnecessary waiting and downtime. However, it can also result in a sense of formality and depersonalization that may seem disconcerting to some. Another thing to consider is that the rate wedding planners typically charge is between 10 – 15% of your budget for the day, many without fluctuation based on whether you want their hand in absolutely everything or just a bit of guidance.
If you want to tackle the planning on your own, something else to consider is a day-of coordinator. These are people who are not involved at all in your planning and whose job is to solely assist you on your wedding day. You will let them know who everyone is, where they go, how you want things to run and they make sure that happens. Day-of coordinators are responsible for making sure the wedding party knows when to enter, prompts your little flower girl to walk down the aisle and will often remove your decorations after the ceremony is over. In addition, they act as a personal assistant and take care of any needs you may have such as help in getting dressed, ensure that all of your decorations look just right and handle any emergencies that may arise. The rate for these services often starts at $1,000 which may seem like a great deal but can really make you feel relaxed so you can focus on your wedding instead of worrying that everything is perfectly in order.
It is solely a matter of personal preference and each bride’s wedding experience is different and unique. Whereas some brides may run into roadblocks at every turn both in planning and on the day of, others will be lucky enough to float through the process seamlessly. One bride may be completely overwhelmed with the planning process, not even know where to begin and what is supposed to be fun and joyous quickly becomes a burden and source of stress. Another bride will love handling every detail and not want to do anything other than plan for the big day. An engagement is intended to be one of the most enjoyable and exciting times of your life. A small wedding doesn’t necessarily mean fewer details and the notion of either a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator is one that is certainly worth considering.