Wedding Planning Advice- Full Service VS Partial-Day Of
Many brides know from the beginning that a planner is one of their wedding essentials. Whether due to guest count, complex decor plans or family dynamics, a demanding job or travel schedule, or simply a desire to have the bandwidth to focus on their relationship throughout a yearlong engagement, the reasons for engaging a planner are many and valid! If you fall into that category, you might still be wondering whether full service or partial planning is right for you. Or, if you’re not convinced, you might be wondering if a planner, even for the month-of, can be justified at all! (Spoiler alert: read through almost every online article regarding our Partial Planning –Day of Planner nightmare! :)
1. How budget conscious are you?
If the answer is “very,” your first impulse might be to look for a day-of coordinator because of the lower cost. However,a full-service planner can often save you the cost of their services thanks to their industry knowledge and relationships. For example: two vendors have very similar styles and packages. One is well-established and well-known. They other is very talented, but still adding to his or her portfolio. Both are exceptionally talented, artistic, and amazing to work with. There is, however nearly a $3,000 difference in pricing.
That savings is HUGE for your budget, but you aren’t likely to find the newer vendor on your own. Or, if you do find a newer vendor whose work you love, you might not be able to get a great read on their level of professionalism from an initial interview. Wedding planners spend a lot of time networking, developing relationships, and getting to know people before providing them as a referral. The vendors your planner will recommend are vetted and responsible.
2.Are you easily stressed?
Planning a wedding can be very emotional, and one of the biggest emotions you feel will be stress. If you are an easily stressed gal, then wedding planning can be paralyzing. So many clients tell me that they started having nightmares during the planning stage. A full-service planner in particular can help alleviate that stress by guiding you through the entire process. We will be your advocate and your biggest supporter.
3. How organized are you?
This is going to blow your mind… ready?! It takes roughly 450 hours to plan a wedding. That is 37.5 hours a month if you have a year-long engagement, or about 10 hours per week. Add that to your 40-hour work week, hobbies, date nights (because you have to have those to keep from going wedding crazy!), school (many of our brides are pursuing their Careers , Masters degrees, taking the bar, or prepping for their MCats while they are engaged), and you’ll quickly become overwhelmed.
I equate being a wedding planner/coordinator to being a project manager and implementations specialist. Each wedding has a project scope, budget, and deadline that needs to be strictly adhered to. Not only does that take exceptional planning skills, but you need to be extremely organized as well, or things will inevitably fall through the cracks. If you struggle with organization, task management, and/or time management in your personal or professional life, you’ll struggle with it during wedding planning, too.
4. Do you think that you and your mom will disagree on the planning?
Getting help from friends and family is fantastic, as long as you are seeing eye to eye. If not, better to get help from someone who is impartial and unbiased. Moms, sisters, friends, and coworkers may want to chime in at any given opportunity, which can derail even the most diligent planner, because it will cause you to second guess yourself. Many parents have a hard time understanding new trends and etiquette, as well as reconciling the costs of events.
I see it from both points of view. A wedding planner you work with from the get-go can help you bridge the gap and give you some insight as to what compromises you can make without affecting the design of the event.
5. What is your motivation for hiring a planner?
Are you only looking for help with logistics or do you think you might want some guidance or opinions on the planning aspect, too? I tell my clients that full-service planning is for folks who want or need a lot of help, advice, and guidance.
6. Do you have a lot of vendors in mind already?
One of the best things about having a full-service planner is the resources they can provide. It’s much easier to choose vendors when you have a narrower field of trusted options, and a planner can match you with a vendor based on budget, style, and the experience that you’re looking for. Best of all, they will likely have good relationships with the vendors they recommend. Creating a “dream team” of vendors is key to helping your event run smoothly!
7. What is the vision for your wedding?
Do you plan on a very simple celebration or do you have aspirations of a grand affair? The grander the decor and design of the wedding, the more planning required. Additionally, if you have a plethora of items that you want to hand craft or source for your wedding, then you will likely want help sooner or later with executing those projects and putting them into play on the big day. Gathering the perfect details, of course, is time-consuming and often expensive. Working with a planner who already has a collection of beautiful items can cut down on both time and expense.
8. How large is your wedding?
The larger the celebration, the more moving parts. More guests equates to more everything: tables, food, linens, centerpiece, staff… As a rule of thumb, any event with over 75 guests needs a planner.
9. Are you getting married near the place where you live now?
If you live more than an hour away from your venue, you’ll need to account for that extra travel time when you meet with vendors. And when you’ll already need your PTO for engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette excursions, and your wedding week, taking time off work to meet with vendors can quickly burn through any extra accrued vacation. Having a coordinator to help manage those meetings will be a Godsend!
Happy Beginnings, Mike