There are many age-old questions that people ponder daily, like “Where does the other sock go after you transfer it from the washer to the dryer?” “Why does the microwave say ‘Quick Minute’ when really, isn’t a minute a minute?” But then, the important question always asked in a future bride’s mind is “Should I hire a wedding planner, or do it myself?”
There are valid arguments for both sides. You have to stand back and really look at your wedding and your vision in a business sense for just a “quick minute.” Are you having a small gathering where the ceremony and reception are in the same locale? Or is your wedding on a bigger scale, for instance a church wedding and grand reception at a commercial venue? What about a beach wedding with a reception at a private estate? Even if you are having your wedding and reception at a commercial venue, it doesn’t mean all details are going to be taken care of. And do you honestly want to task your Mother or Maid of Honor to carry out these duties and worry about situations during your wedding and reception? Or do you want them to enjoy the day and be “in the moment” with you?
After many weekends of running from here to there and hours of internet searching, reality does kick in as most DIY Brides begin to realize DIY weddings may seem to be cheaper, but instead are extremely time-consuming and requires some major sweat equity. Without a wedding coordinator to keep track, it’s up to the DIY Bride to make sure things don’t fall apart. One thing to consider if your head is spinning a bit from snipping photos and 50 % off craft sales, searching the internet, meeting with vendors, comparing pricing and services, it’s not worth being a DIY Bride if you blow your budget or if you end up in tears on your wedding day.
Here are some top reasons to hire a Coordinator:
Negotiate Contracts. Because they have the potential to be return customers, or they have frequented this vendor many times, planners have more buying power when it comes to negotiating with vendors on pricing and services. Let’s face it, coordinators plan special events everyday, all year round. Hopefully this is a one-time shot for you! The money they save you could realistically cover their charges and then some.
Manage vendors. Your planner is your liaison with all of your vendors. She/He will attend interviews and keep in constant communication with the team servicing your day. Your planner will review and maintain the vendor contracts making sure vendors uphold not only their own terms and conditions but the bride’s as well.
Wedding Day Management. A wedding planner is usually there from the beginning of the day until the last guests leave the reception, depending on your agreement. She/He will get you down the aisle, manage vendors, and take care of all of the little details that make up the day. Most brides forget that post-wedding assignments can be just as important as setting up the actual wedding itself.
Design. As a general rule, most planners have orchestrated dozens, if not hundreds, of weddings. They can help you decide on a theme, give you ideas for favors, help you with seating charts, etc. etc. – they know what works and what doesn’t. They can offer design advice that will make even the least expensive wedding more polished and elegant.
Even if you don’t hire a planner for the entire process, consider a “Day Of” Coordinator. Most have this option as a service. Some will even have an “A La Carte” menu of services. What if you just want to meet with a professional to make sure you are on track and haven’t forgotten anything?
So, what is the argument for a DIY Bride? If you are an extremely organized person, not prone to stress, and have some time on your hands, you may consider planning your own wedding. With all the resources available to you today, online and in print, you can find all the tools available to you to help stay on track and stay organized. You may have a friend that is creative and crafty! You may even know someone in the wedding business that will help you along the way. By delegating some responsibilities to your bridal party or even to that all-eager family member, you can still have a great event!
No matter what you decide, Do It Yourself or hire a Coordinator, enjoy the day, as this is your day to shine…so shine brightly!