DIY Weddings

Wedding Planner yes/no?

Hey ladies, looking for some advice :)

Thinking about hiring a wedding planner. Wasn't sure if it's worth the money in my wedding budget. I was wondering what kind of questions you wish you could have spoken to a wedding planner about? Or things that would have been helpful to know or have assistance with.

Thanks! :)

Re: Wedding Planner yes/no?

  • The following reasons are why I did hire a wedding planner. DISCLAIMER: These just apply to my life; everyone has different circumstances and reasons for or against.

    1.       Extra Help - I do not have a huge budget, in fact for the 225 people we are expecting it is even smaller. However, when you are planning a party for over 200 people having someone there with you is a good idea. We are smart capable ladies but even we need an extra set of hands now and then.

    2.       Industry Knowledge - My fiancé is a lawyer so he can read a contract but he does not know the wedding industry. He has no idea if the stipulations in the photographer’s contract are “normal” or not. She does. Additionally, she can tell me immediately if something fits in my budget or not. Example: I loved a venue online, of course you never get pricing unless you email them or go visit. She was able to tell me that although it was lovely, she had been there before and unfortunately it was too costly. Heartbreaking yes but a time saver. She also asks questions I never seem to think of, that do not reside on any lists that I have seen but when they come up I am left wondering, why didn’t I think of that? You can tell these questions come from issues or almost issues at previous weddings.

    3.       I am gone alot - I travel every week Monday thru Thursday. (Consultant) So I am never home. I need someone who can do the research and make the appointments to maximize the time I am home. She researches different vendors, be they venues, photographers, or other. She sends me options in sets of 3 so it does not become overwhelming and if I hate all of them she sends me more.  She has even set up my dress appointments. I gave her a date and bridal salon locations and she went for it. I cannot tell you how nice it is to just sit back and not have to call different places and figure out who has what time slots open, when and how far apart they are for travel so you build in time etc.  She takes care of it all.

    4.       Family - I did not want, under ANY circumstances for my family or in-laws to have to do anything. No set up, no clean up, no “working” at all. I want them to show up and have a great time so I need a person who is there to do the working. (Note: I am not saying my family would not help if I asked, nor am I putting down anyone for using family that offers to help. My parents live several hours away and are the only care givers to my grandmother who requires 24 hour care and their attention must remain there.  Once again just my personal situation, everyone is different.)

    5.       Knowledge of our wedding -I did the full package so I have someone who knows all the details and was there from the start. In my mind it was just easier than having to bring a DOC up to speed a month before the wedding. (Note: I am sure that DOCs are more than capable of onboarding within that time frame and are professionals, this was just seemed easier for me. No need to explain to someone how we ended up picking XYZ on something if they were there when we did it.)

    Sorry so long, I just wanted to be detailed. I will not know her full value till the day of the wedding but so far, she has been more than worth it.

    I am sure many other people have additional reasons they hired a planner but these are my top ones.

  • All the reasons above are a great reason to hire a coordinator. On the opposite of the things, here is why I didn't hire one

    • Our reception venue provided the centerpieces, linens, set up & cake and cake box. All I had to do was drop off the candles for the centerpieces, escort cards & cake topper & favors & they set everything up & their coordinator kept everything on schedule & coordinator w/DJ to act as master of ceremonies
    • Small bridal party so each to keep everyone on schedule & in line
    • Budget didn't allow for it
    • I didn't travel so I had time to research things & pull it together
    • We only had 120 guests
    • Asked for recommendations from froms on DJ's & other vendors & only checked out the ones that were recommended.
  • This is great information! Thank you so, so much!
  • For us, a wedding planner wasn't worth it. I liked doing all the DIY projects and we both liked planning out the details and doing our own research. 

    We did hire a DOC (day of coordinator) to manage vendors, timing, deliveries, set up/tear down, etc. for the day of. We met with her in person and went over the details. Then we handed her a binder with everything she needed and we could just kick back. THAT was definitely worth it.

  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    The first decision we made was to hire a full time wedding planner. And it was a great decision for us. Here is why.

    • We had the budget for it.
    • We had a large wedding with lots of OOT guests
    • We had a huge wedding party and my H's family is really big
    • We had a few guests with some severe disabilities that were VIPS, so we need help finding vendors that would work with us.
    • We picked one of the busiest weekends in our city to get married.
    • We had no industry knowledge. We didnt have any idea what a good price was for anything.
    • Our jobs are not flexible and I travel for work. So I couldnt be making a ton of vendor phone call or go to meetings.
    • The wedding planner did everything a DOC would do.
    • My mom/ MIL needed help planning the engagement party and RD.
    • Peace of mind.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • All of this is SO helpful! Thanks ladies :)
  • dolewhipperdolewhipper [wh]orlando member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    If you decide to forgo the FT planner, I would highly suggest a DOC. They work for you, not your venue, so their priorities are complete opposites. 


  • For my wedding, which was very DIY, I did not hire a wedding planner & do not regret it. 

    I do wish that we'd have hired a day of coordinator. There were several (minor) hiccups which could have easily been prevented if we'd had one. To any DIY brides, I highly recommend a DOC!
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    We also had a pretty DIY wedding. No wedding planner and that was great. I also wish we hired a DOC. The wedding was lovely without one but it would have reduced my stress a lot and we could have avoided some serious annoyances.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Our Venue came equipped with a day of coordinator. She is going to take care of the vendors when they get there, dish out our tips for us, make sure everything is set up the way we would like it, and make sure that dinner flows the way it should. this is an includedicated perk of our package for our venue so I am very excited to work with her and not have to include. So maybe look into a day of coordinator?
  • We hired a wedding planner and it was the best decision I made!

    If you have the money in your budget its worth it. One of the reasons I wanted a planner was for her expertise in this industry. She has contacts with all of the good companies I figured if I hire say a caterer on my own they might not work as hard for me because at the end of the day what is the likelihood I will book them for another event.

    Also she I read an article that was called "my wedding planner paid for herself" and that really pushed me to go with one. So far she has saved me close to $1000 by using the companies she uses for a lot of her events and weddings and also got my caterer to give me free welcome drinks and champagne toast

    Mine wasn't the cheapest but she is a amazing person and im so glad I hired her.

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