This is going to be a tough one. The reason is because most couples would feel that the wedding planner is bias or trying to up sell them. So here are some things to keep in mind while choosing the right fit for you
The first thing you must consider is what your budget is and the best way to spend it. Wedding planners can help couples make the most out of the budget that they have. The planners’ job is to know ways to maneuver around a tight budget in a realistic manner, but they are not magicians. My advice is to look around in your area for wedding planners. Ask for as many quotes as you can. See what is included in the service – some planners could add services that you might not be sure that you want and may not want to pay for. Others might be more reasonably priced but may not offer what you need. At the minimum, my recommendation is to get the Day-of package. And the reasons are stress and unwanted questions. The wedding day, as exciting as it is, could be very stressful. The last thing you want as a couple is to not have the opportunity to enjoy it because you are juggling a million things all at once. Think about it – how do you expect to get ready comfortably if you have to worry about the setup, decorations, cakes and catering. Also in the meantime, you have to make sure everyone knows their role and they are where they need to be. Or while getting ready and the makeup artist is doing their magic for you, and you have to answer a million questions about the decoration and centerpieces. You might not be able to answer those questions because you are not anywhere near the tables so you just don’t know. Which will result in two possible outcomes – you stress out even more or you stop caring and tell them to do whatever they think is best. And after all the time that you spent planning and creating the perfect atmosphere, to have the execution done poorly because you can’t be in two places at once. That would be a shame.
Bottom line is this: how much time can you invest in the wedding. The less professional help you get, the more time you must spend planning and coordinating. Think of the countless hours spent searching for the right idea, making sure that it will fit in to the budget, the phone calls and emails, the tasting and walking through potential venues. If you are like most people who work full time, this can be another way to add more stress to your daily life. There are a lot of amazing DIY options on Pinterest that are budget friendly, however that will take time as well. You have to be careful with your time. What seems like a great idea when you have 10 months to plan and execute might not be such a good idea once you have 2 months and 1,000 teeny tiny details to still do.
Need vs. Want
This is a tricky one. While considering your needs, and wants, you have to be very honest with yourself and your situation. Sometimes couples want something unattainable. You can’t have a vintage and modern wedding at the same time or summer and winter wedding. You can try but the result might not be what you really wanted. Also, Pinterest can be your best friend and worst enemy. It’s a great resource for ideas but couples can find themselves easily going down a rabbit hole that will cause decision making to be almost impossible. Every couple wants to have the best wedding experience and by looking at their resources and time I can point them in the right direction towards the best package. Also, take a look at your personality (very important). If you are a procrastinator that needs a lot of pushing or you do things at the last minute and do your best work under the pressure of a deadline, you might have to consider investing in a full-service package. This package will be right for you because you will have someone else take care of all the work and keep you on track and you will only have to make decisions. If you are a person that would like to remember every little planning detail and you want to feel like you are a big part of the planning process, a partial package will be ideal for you. That way you will get the best of both worlds. You get professional help and you get to be as involved as you want to be. If you are a proactive person, and a real go-getter, then the day of coordination is the best option for you. This will give you the most control and involvement in the planning process but the greater peace of mind on your wedding day.
This decision will be like any other – give and take. Look at your budget and what you can afford. From the weddings that I have done I will give this advice to everyone, if you do nothing else treat yourself to the day of coordination. This is the least expensive option but will give you the peace of mind and the ability to enjoy your day. The last thing that you will want after all your hard work, planning and coordination of everything, is for something to go wrong because you were getting ready or taking pictures and you couldn’t be there to supervise setup. Wedding planners typically get asked countless questions at every wedding. You want to enjoy your wedding day and not be an information kiosk! Be realistic with your expectations and the time that you can dedicate to your wedding. If you are working hard for a promotion and putting extra hours in, you might not be able to put all the effort that you thought in to your wedding planning. Or if you have a job that offers you the flexibility that you need to plan your wedding. Either way is fine, but just keep in mind that a wedding that you are planning a year from now might seem very far away and that you might have a lot of time but time flies. The last thing that you want is to have to make last minute adjustments to your vision because you ran out of time. And be honest with you wants and needs. As a wedding planner, I offer strategies to help couples decide what their wants vs needs are. These guidelines will assist you throughout the whole wedding planning process.