Planning a wedding can be a very large company, and even the smallest of weddings may require some considerable advance planning. Therefore, many brides and grooms now go the way of a professional wedding planner to help them put together all the details for their big day. Previously, only the wealthy could afford to hire a wedding planner, but these days many people of any income rent wedding planners, often because a wedding planner can help you save money and pay for themselves in their ability to negotiate better prices with suppliers.
So what should you consider when weighing the pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner in contrast to plan the show itself? Here are a few questions you should consider before making any decision or start shopping for a planner.
Do you have time?
Big weddings with several hundred guests can often take 250 hours or more to plan, and even small weddings can require 100 or more hours to put together all the details. If you are an active person already, and has a full time job and a busy calendar, you can hire a wedding planner save you and your spouse-to-be lots of aggravation and inconvenience. Even if you hire a planner for day activities, this can take enough away from your plate, you can stay sane in the months leading up to your big day.
Do you have the extra funds?
Hiring a wedding planner does not necessarily have to cost a mint, and in many cases, a planner can save you money because they know how to find and negotiate the best deals. Wedding planners charge for their services in a few ways. Some charge by the percentage of the cost of the wedding, which can fall anywhere from 10% to 20% of your total budget. Some charge by the flat fee and offer a fixed number of services and time they want to spend on your wedding (with any overtime charged beyond). Still others charge by the hour (and expect to pay north of $ 50 / hour for most planners). If you’ve decided you can afford a wedding planner, make sure you get all the costs and what they include in writing before you proceed.
Are you a do-it-yourself type of person?
Do you have things like make your own soap or sew your own clothes? Do you get your kicks at making things from scratch? Do you spend hours at craft stores sifting through piles of felt and locations of buttons? When it comes down to it, you’d rather do something than to buy something?
If you answered yes to at least one of the above questions, then you like to do at least some things on their own. For many brides who creates the favors, invitations, save-the-dates, centerpieces and dozens of other wedding-related items is really a dream, and what they would enjoy most about their wedding (apart from getting excited for their one- and-only). So if you are a crafter or independent kind that people who look to do things yourself, then hire a wedding planner may not suit your style. Instead, you can use a planning binder or online wedding software to help you manage all your information. If you’re a DIY type of person and decide to go ahead and hire a planner, just make sure you have a clearly defined division of labor so you do not step on each others toes.
Some people are detail freaks and love to manage all the little things in life. Others can not be bothered with annoying little tasks and details and prefer the big picture perspective. How do you know who you are? Well, if you must balance your checkbook, empty the dishwasher, put out tomorrow’s clothes, answer all your e-mails, and before you can to sleep at night, so you’re a detail person, and would probably not only feel at home plan your own wedding, but plan weddings for a living. If you can sleep like a baby, and it does not occur to you to think of these things, then you’re probably not a detail person, and might want to find someone else to help you plan your wedding. This is not to say that a certain person should consider hiring a planner or a non-detail person is not even able to do it; Just remember that if you choose a path outside your comfort zone, you may find yourself second-guessing yourself at some point.
Like negotiating and haggling for deals?
Think about buying wedding services and items like shopping for a car. In many cases the service or product in question does not really have a set price and is definitely negotiable (although it does not look like it). So you should ask yourself: do I like to haggling and negotiating, or I would rather leave it to someone else? If you enjoy or even taste back-and-forth, dodge-and-parry of haggling over a price and negotiate terms and services so you can revel in doing it for your own wedding. If you would equate haggling with visits to the dentist or doing your taxes or pick up friends at the airport, so you might want to hire a wedding planner to do it for you. An important advantage of the latter is that wedding planners are accustomed to haggle with wedding vendors, know what things should cost, and can tell you if you are getting a good deal or not.
Like to plan parties?
This is really the key question, because even though a wedding in many cases have a religious component to it, in the end, what you really planning a party. Some people love planning parties and all that it entails, including the development of guest lists, create invitations, planning food specials and entrees, scouting out / arrange for venues, comes up with the main counter, which serves as a welcome / host / Girl Friday and the like. If you love celebrations and all they imply, and then planning a wedding is right up your alley. But if you prefer very involved parties but fear to schedule them, so a wedding planner may be in your future.