Anyone can organise a wedding. That is fact. There are also wedding venues who include a ‘wedding planner’ in the hire. Great news! But venue wedding planners do not usually offer the same support as an independent wedding planner. What do venue wedding planners do? And what should you ask yourself before saying NO to an independent wedding planner?
Venue Wedding Planner
A venue wedding planner is someone who works for the venue who can provide wedding planning support once you have booked their venue. Some venue wedding planners offer more support then others.
You have venue wedding planners who will send you documents with all the information you need to know and be on hand to answer any questions you may have. And there are venue wedding planners who will do the same, but are more proactive in checking in on your progress, booking all your suppliers and help you to create a running order for your day.
Generally speaking, venue ‘wedding planners’ tend to be the former. They don’t actually plan anything for you. In the industry, these are more venue coordinators than wedding planners. As long as from a venue perspective, they have provided you with the information you need and help to coordinate the day based on the details you provided them with, that is their job done.
Independent Wedding Planner
Independent wedding planners do much more than venue wedding planners (I will now refer to them as venue coordinators to save confusion). They listen to your vision and tailor all of their recommendations and ideas to suit you and your budget. A wedding planner will plan and organise the whole wedding day from start to finish. Tasks they get involved with include:
- Research and propose wedding suppliers
- Check contracts and help you book wedding suppliers
- Be the main point of contact for any supplier related questions and liaise between suppliers so everyone has a clear understanding of their role during the wedding day
- Set up and organise meetings, trials, tastings and site visits
- Consider the logistics of the wedding day and how you and your guests will get the most out of everything you booked
- Keep tabs of your guests list, RSVP’s and dietaries so your guests are thought about throughout every step
- Provide advice and support on wedding attire and personal touches to make your day extra special
- Manage your wedding budget to avoid overspending and missing payments
- Timeline creation with lots of detail so everyone knows what they are doing and there are minimal questions throughout the day
- Foresee potential issues, and find solutions before they happen
- Coordinate the day and check up on you to make sure you have everything you need
From the list above, at most, a venue coordinator will help consider logistics, create a timeline, foresee potential issues (with the information they have) and coordinate the day.
Before You Say NO to a Wedding Planner, Ask yourself These 6 Questions
1. Do you have time to plan your wedding?
A wedding takes about 250-300 hours to plan for an experienced wedding planner. The wedding couple who hired the wedding planner will still have to invest time in supplier meetings, trials, guest liaison, signing contracts. But this is minimal in comparison to the additional workload taken to get to those points.
For couples planning their wedding on their own, you will be spending a lot more time on wedding planning. The additional time to research your suppliers, liaise with your guests, make mistakes and fix them. You inevitable will be investing more time than an experienced wedding planner as you don’t have experience on your side and you are doing it all yourself.
2. Do you know what you want?
Do you have strong set ideas of what you want on your wedding day and how your wedding day looks? Indecisive couples are going to need a bit more support in knowing what will work best for them on the wedding day which a wedding planner can help with.
Decisive couples might have a strong idea of what they want, but even decisive couples may need guidance from someone who has tried and tested an idea they have their heart set on. They can question your decisions so you get a different perspective and make informed choices.
3. Do you have any support around you?
Wedding planning on your own is a difficult task. You need someone to bounce ideas off, discuss concepts and logistics and provide a different perspective. Your partner can be someone, but not all partners understand the importance of what you are talking about.
On the day of the wedding itself, you can’t be the main character and coordinate everything on the day. Bridesmaids and Groomsmen are a great help if they are proactive and take instruction. But you will need someone to guide them to getting their tasks done correctly and in a timely way.
4. Do you get overwhelmed easily?
Lots of detail, deadlines and decisions to make can be very overwhelming. Especially when you have other things going on in your life which you are focused on. Work, children or moving house is often the main reasons people do not have time to wedding plan. Be kind to yourself. You cannot do it all. Get support where you can. It makes for a much more enjoyable experience if you can rely on someone to help you.
5. Have you ever planned a wedding before?
Planning a wedding must be like planning a big party? Yes and no. There is much more to a wedding day than a party, the expectations are higher and the pressure to get it right is on. There are more elements to a wedding, and restrictions and licensing can have an impact on how those elements run. Having a party in your own home is going to be a lot more simple than a wedding at a venue.
Think back to when you hosted a party. What was that like for you? For me, it involves setting up the decor, preparing the drinks, serving the food, washing up, showing people where to go and where glasses are kept. That is not what I want to be doing on my wedding day, do you? Your suppliers will help with a lot of those tasks but a wedding planner will make sure they get done so you don’t have to worry about it.
There are also things that go wrong which you won’t care when it’s just a 32nd birthday party but you will care when its your one and only wedding day. Forgot to cook the pizzas that you bought? Did everyone walk through your backdoor so missed the beautiful welcome décor you set up? Oh well, it was only £50 wasted. But £3,000? You might have something to say about it.
It’s only after the wedding that you see the value in having a wedding planner.
3. Can you afford a wedding planner?
A wedding planner will be anywhere between 10-15% of your total budget, subject to a minimum fee. Plus any additional expenses involved with travel or accommodation if required. For smaller budgets, this can be a large sum out of your wedding budget but for mid-range to larger budgets it is a great opportunity to get an expert on board.
I understand that not everyone has the budget to be able to afford a full planning wedding service, but there are other wedding planning services out there for you which might be more budget friendly.
- Partial planning – You’ve booked the majority of your suppliers but realised you seriously need help in pulling everything together. The wedding planner can take on where you left off for a bespoke fee based on the expected plans left to organise
- On the day wedding coordination – Support in the month leading up to the wedding day. The wedding planner takes over your supplier communication and reviews all of your wedding plans to date. They help to build a running order and coordinate the set up and wedding day.
- Wedding consultations – The opportunity to discuss any specific concerns you may have and get expert advice. You can even book to touch base once a month to help keep you organised throughout the planning process. It’s like having a wedding planner but you are guided on what to do next and what to look out for
- Wedding planning workshops – A workshop that anyone can attend and discusses how to wedding plan, the challenges you may face, how to overcome them and advice on how to manage your spending. Get in touch if you want to be the first to hear about wedding planning workshops in your area
If you are not sure what option would suit your budget, have a discovery call with Kept Weddings and we can talk through your options with your budget.