image by Amie Otto Photography
Alright before any planner friends bite my head off with regards to my attention-grabby headline let me first say (without sounding too biased) that I always recommend someone hire a planner or at the very least a coordinator for their wedding. There are a multitude of reasons why you should leave it to a professional but here I want to express why maybe it's not for everyone.
First of all, as long as there have been wedding professionals there have been people who understand and need the value a professional can bring and there have always also been people who poopoo the idea and think it's best to handle everything yourself. This is true of literally anything and everything. For example, I love coffee and I believe in the health benefits of my cuppa not to mention the fact that it keeps me sane, rational and moving forward on my crazy busy days. However there are coffee opponents who hate the stuff, think it's awful for you and believe that it will turn you into some sort of caffeine-addled screaming monster and have a litany of reasons why you should stay away from it. Which one of us is right? Me, obviously, but also them. Even the most popular things will have their opposition and that's what makes the world a well-rounded place, even if that includes people who hate coffee and are wrong and must work as professional nappers or something.
But back to weddings, knowing several planners personally and obviously several people getting married, the fire is always rekindled when some wedding magazine or website publishes a "how to save money" wedding article and regurgitates the same thing about where to cut costs on your wedding day. However, these articles are usually brief, and can be put together by a writer who has a tight deadline and no other exciting or meaningful topic to explore or maybe is just lazy and knows that brides who are getting married now won't be looking for articles from a decade ago so it seems like fresh content, it's kind of like reddit where reposts get the most upvotes because the new kids weren't born when the first meme was created.
So to offer up a bit more insight as to why it might actually not be best for you to hire a wedding planner, here are a few things to consider. If you fall under one of these categories, roll up those sleeves and get ready to the work yourself and all the best to you!
1. too small of a budget
Look, not everyone has $100,000 to spend on a wedding, remember that thing I said about a well-rounded world? There are some people that aren't going to have the resources to book a caterer let alone a wedding planner. Sometimes you are forced to DIY because you don't have the money to hire a professional. No one should be shunned for this because after all the love you share between each other is all that really matters on a wedding day. Not to mention, if you have a $5000 wedding budget and invited 100 guests you aren't going to find a venue to host your wedding let alone a planner. Sometimes people need low-key, low-budget wedding days and often times some important things like a wedding planner, entertainment, great photographer etc have to be sacrificed. It just isn't practical for me as a wedding planner to tell you I can coordinate your wedding on a budget that low because it isn't actually possible. Sure I could save you money on other things but in general if that is all you can spend, you can't afford me either.
2. unlimited time, resources & a dedicated group of friends
I will say even if you plan your wedding day for 5 years from now, your don't work and have unlimited time to dedicate to planning I still at the very least recommend hiring a coordinator to manage your last minute details and the actual wedding day. However, if you have the luxury of unlimited time and money and nothing better to do with your life, planning a wedding might be perfect for you. In fact there are several people I know who planned their weddings so well they became wedding planners professionally! Wedding planners will dedicate unlimited time and expertise to your wedding day and will be focused on making everything happen exactly as you want it too. To put it like this, hiring a wedding planner is for someone who knows that time is money. Many of my clients have careers that don't allow them much downtime and the time they do have is spent enjoying their life and hard-earned money. Therefore, they pay me to do all of the busy work that they don't have the time nor the energy to deal with. Even with that being said, you can only be in so many places at once. If you are the type of person who has no problem bossing your friends around and making them do manual labor on the wedding day-assigning a few of them to do the tasks that your wedding planner would normally do is fine. Again, you have to talk to these people in the future, not me so crack that whip girlfriend, just make sure you can sleep at night knowing you might be called a "bridezilla" when you're not around.
3. No family or friends to celebrate with
This is probably the biggest bummer on the list. Before we get too emo I will say that even if you want to elope, having a planner that specializes in elopements is a great resource and will make things a lot easier for you before and on the day of. However, if you are Oliver Twist and you find the love of your life who also doesn't have any friends or family and would like to make it official without having a party then going to the courthouse might be the best bet for you. A wedding is a celebration of love between 2 people but also for your family and friends to celebrate with you. If you don't have any family to throw a big party for you can absolutely get married without a wedding planner. Alternately, if you want to give a big middle finger to your friends and family for whatever reason (again I'm not here to judge) running off to get married without telling anyone is something you could totally do sans planner. I also recommend glitter-bombing them the wedding announcement if you really want to make them cry.
4. Having a comfortable, relaxing experience isn't that important
I pay to get my hair and nails done. I also pay for a massage once a month (which is a direct result of working in this industry! ha!) But I value having some quiet downtime where I can relax and enjoy a service that a professional offers. Could I save $100 and paint my own nails? Sure, but I'm not getting a full luxury experience where I am relaxed and can feel refreshed at the end of the day. Not to mention I will never have the patience to sit quietly after painting my nails to not completely ruin them and get dog hair, sand, glitter and whatever else is lurking at the bottom of my purse stuck to them. Even if I did do them myself and had someone tie me to a chair for an hour, they would never look how they do when a professional does them, also, getting someone to tie you up for an hour is harder than it seems...I mean...ok changing the subject again. I put a value on this because for me it is something I appreciate and enjoy. Plenty of my friends don't bother to paint their nails at all let alone pay someone else to do it, some people I know cut their own hair (I did in high school...but that's another horror story altogether) and that's fine too. What I'm saying is if you don't care about having an enjoyable and relaxing wedding planning experience and if you are ok with the added stress and liability of handling various vendors and parts of your big day, maybe you don't need a wedding planner either. To put it in more universal terms, this is like hiring an accountant for your business. Could you figure out the tax laws and appropriate deductions yourself? I'm sure you're smart enough for that. However the time you will spend educating yourself on that instead of running the business (planning your wedding instead of living your life) will make you a less successful business owner (a more stressed out, less happy engaged person) and will take way more time than if you hired a professional. Not to mention the IRS is evil so having a middle man so you don't have to work directly with them is worth it's weight in gold. (sorry to anyone who works for the IRS, I don't think you're the devil, more just an demonic minion of the truly evil overlords who run the show).
Ok so look, maybe these reasons might be poking a little fun at some of the reasons people don't hire wedding planners but as much as I say you should hire a professional to handle things, I understand there are some out there who won't because they can't or because they don't know how much work actually goes into wedding planning. It's not just the time we spend on your wedding day making sure every last detail you've thought of is done precisely as you planned it. It's also the potentially hundreds of hours we spend beforehand researching, reviewing contracts, scheduling things, coordinating vendors, following up on things, emailing, phone calls, meetings, walkthroughs, assembling design boards, looking for ways to spend you money, curating rental companies, managing your budget, style and sanity so on and so forth. If you really don't think you need a wedding planner, I really suggest you speak openly and honestly about your budget with one before you completely rule it out, often times you will see the value of a planner and they will be able to help you plan your big day, budget efficiently and save you money. If you still don't feel it's a necessity and planning your wedding ends up being a breeze and even enjoyable, you just might be perfect for the industry or possibly even a great fit for The One Moment Events team!