We get this question a lot..."Do we need to hire a wedding planner, and if so do I need one for the whole process, or just day of? It' a great question & it's not the quickest answer. Let me try to break down the options for you so that you can decide what works best for you.
Yes, you should absolutely have a wedding planner. They are a godsend the day of your wedding. Instead of having to harass you, there is a neutral 3rd party to field all questions to that is on the clock. This isn't a friend who will end up drinking too much champagne and forget something somewhere, but someone to make sure that all the many, many details are taken care of.
That being said, there are roughly 2 larger categories that wedding planners fall into:
Category 1: “Day Of Planner”
This is a total misconception. They day of planner usually gets involved much before that day. They typically start organizing all your vendors into 1 list about a month before the wedding. They make sure that there is a timeline that makes sense, that everyone lines up & that all contact information is on hand. They typically organize your rehearsal, help with organizing your bridal party & are usually on site for the rehearsal. Then they are in charge of being on site for 10 – 12 plus hours the day of your wedding. They make sure that the timeline is followed by all of your vendors. They make sure the ceremony happens on time & in order & then work with the other vendors (catering, floral, dj, photographer, etc.) to make sure that your vision and desires happen the way that you wanted to. They’re also great for adjusting the timeline when things don’t go exactly to plan & keeping you informed of where everything is at. They often will bring an assistant or two, depending upon the layout of the wedding & usually help with getting all the little “stuff” place cards, gifts, etc to the correct spot.
Costs: Typically anywhere from $1,500 - $3,000+ depending upon your market & how many assistants & the tenure of the planner
Category 2“Full Planner”
This is a planner who will take your vision at the beginning and find all of the pieces to put your “dream wedding” into place. You will tell them what you want & what you can spend and they will make it happen – within reason! They will usually give you several choices on venues, vendors, etc, but they will do all the research & package everything for you. They often accompany you on any site visits or tastings, or make sure that they are set up to work with your timeframe. If you don’t have a ton of time to plan the wedding, this is a great option. Depending upon the offerings of the planner, they will even go and pick out a dress with you! They will take care of all of the details for you. They will also act in the capacity of a “day of planner” that evening.
Costs: $5,000 - $15,000+++
So there it is! Those are the two big categories. Sometimes you will have a blend of the two, if you need some help with planning / vendors, but don’t need the full kabang. Pricing really varies from planner to planner. Some are a flat fee, some charge a referral fee from vendors that they recommend, some take a percentage of your total spend. Generally, the more time you spend with your planner, the more they are going to charge!
So which one do you pick? Depends on how much time & money you have! To pick a good vendor, make sure to ask for some recommendations from past clients & meet the vendor in person. You will spend a lot of time with them, regardless of what type of planner they are, so you want to make sure that you vibe with them. Also, does their style match yours? If you are super type A personality – pick a type A planner. Not every planner is for every couple, so just do a little research & then go with the person you felt the most comfortable with. If you have already selected a vendor, don’t every hesitate to ask what planner they would recommend. We have seen a lot of them & can give you the low down on what we know!