When you start planning your wedding a whole new world opens up before your eyes and with it comes a brand new vocabulary. Words you’ve neither uttered nor heard are will start getting thrown around. There are wedding professionals that can help, but before you think about hiring one, you need to understand exactly what each can do for you.
A wedding planner does exactly what their name suggests: they plan your wedding!
A planner should listen to your ideas and vision and turn that into reality – within reason, of course. You shouldn’t feel you’re being told how your wedding should go ahead, so don’t be afraid to have an honest conversation about your expectations.
They’ll get involved in all aspects of your day – importantly they’ll recommend suppliers and negotiate contracts. A planner will have worked with many suppliers before and will be able to negotiate a better cost for you. Don’t get your hands dirty – leave the negotiating to the professionals!
A planner will not only help you set your budget but make sure you stick to it. They’ll continually track how much is spent throughout the planning process and make sure everything comes in on budget. Couples often overspend very quickly due to poor planning. This leads to sacrifices having to be made later on. By taking ownership of your budget, a planner will make your money go further. You might even be able to afford an extra treat on your honeymoon.
Some planners offer design or styling as part of their service, whilst some will leave that to a wedding designer. This means you’ll need to hire two professionals, so be sure you know what your planner can offer.
A wedding designer won’t get involved with contracts or attending appointments along with their brides and grooms. What they specialise in is everything from floor plans and lighting designs to flowers, linens and bridal wear. They’ll use their artistic eye to transform a venue into exactly what you had envisaged.
The designer will assist you with decisions that will give your wedding the right atmosphere and making the most effective and efficient use of the space available. Designers, just like other wedding professionals will have a vast network of wedding suppliers they’ve worked with before so will have the contacts to create the vision you dreamed of.
Imagine a designer to be like an artist, in that they will create a beautiful piece of art on your blank canvas.
A co-ordinator will usually start work for the last month before your wedding and will be focused on logistics, but on a shorter timeline than a planner. They’ll confirm supplier contracts and your wedding timeline, as well as ensuring payments are made too. Some will also confirm guest numbers. A co-ordinator won’t become involved in the earlier planning phases or keeping track of that all-important budget.
Their main role is to co-ordinate everything involved throughout your day, ensuring everything and everyone is on schedule and aware of what’s happening when. Co-ordinators make sure everything you’ve done up until they take the reins is in good shape.
Hiring a co-ordinator to take over the month before your wedding gives them time to tweak details and follow up where they need to. That way you are free to enjoy the build up to your wedding day stress free!
They’re there to tell you when things will be occurring throughout your day such as cake cutting, the bouquet toss, toasts etc. Some will stay until the end of your day, whereas others will stay until a pre-arranged time as part of their contract with you. Do check this beforehand as it can differ from one co-ordinator to the next.
With all planners, designers, and coordinators there is one common misconception we hear time and time again… they cost to earth to hire. Absolutely not! You’ll be very surprised at how competitively priced they can be and if it means leaving your day in the hands of a professional who’s done it all before – it’s money well spent!