As a wedding planner for a little over three years, I get asked quite frequently what a wedding planner does. Being a black woman, I’ve grown to understand that it’s just not common to hire a wedding planner in the black community. It’s just not the cultural norm. Typically the mother of the bride, Auntie FeeFee, or the family’s self proclaimed fashion guru handles the “coordination.” There is the possibility that the wedding day can run smoothly using such “coordinators,” but isn’t it easier to hire a professional? Yes!
So recently, I’ve been making it a point to make random posts on my social media page about what it is a wedding planner does and ask my followers why they would or would not hire a planner. So, to counteract the feedback I’ve received, here’s why you NEED a wedding planner.
1. They Do This for a Living
First things, first. You don’t plan weddings for a living, and if you did, you’d understand the importance of having someone coordinate everything leading up to and on the day of.
But most importantly, YOU.DON’T.PLAN.WEDDINGS! So why would you want to take on the project of executing one of the most important days of your life instead of hiring a professional who’s done it countless times.
2. They Understand the Flow of a Wedding
A wedding planner is more likely to anticipate how the wedding day will flow and how to resolve any issues that may occur or are avoidable. BUT, you have to be willing to trust your planner, as well. Within 10 days prior to your wedding date, I’m stalking the weather, but not telling the client of course, so I’m not freaking them out.
I handled day of wedding coordination for a client, in which the ceremony took place outdoors. There was about a 20% percent chance of rain that morning, so I insisted that we did NOT need to rent a $1300 tent, especially since we were working within a specific budget, and we had an indoor space to use. They booked the tent anyway, it did not rain, and thus, they could have saved $1300.
3. They Know Budgets
Most every couple has a budget they’d like to stay within. As your planner, it’s my job to make sure you stay within those constraints. I’m going to have you make the decision about what’s most important to you and what’s going to have the most impact on your wedding day. I'll also remind you that you do not need personalized bar napkins or macaroons with your faces on them because you saw them on Pinterest. No one cares, and guests might be a little freaked out that they’re biting your faces.
Wedding planners can get vendor discounts, and we have the reputation with those vendors to Get.Shit.Done! Most every vendor I work with offers a discount if you’re working with a reputable planner. Although it may not be visible on paper, it’s there.
For example, say I’m handling the set up of décor, and I’ve noticed that a few rentals delivered are damaged. Instead of having a panic attack with the client, I call the vendor, ask them what the F is going on (politely), and have them get replacements on site ASAP. Due to the dissatisfaction of the experience, my client would potentially get a partial refund, or a rental upgrade if the company is out of the original items. Wedding planners are repeat business, not couples, so vendors want to make sure we’re always satisfied with service.
5. WAY LESS STRESS
Most importantly, we keep the client stress free! When a bride’s dress gets a tear and the bustle drags, the planner has an emergency sewing kit. When the ceremony and reception are in the same space, the wedding planner makes sure the room is properly flipped in time for guests to be seated for dinner. When the biological father arrives, and the client is planning to walk down the aisle with the stepfather, the wedding planner handles that conversation. When the client realizes that the rings were left in their hotel room a half hour before ceremony time, well, that’s when I have my assistant make that drive. You get the point.
Some couples are super creative and organized, and they are capable of doing much of the planning themselves, but even they need a day of wedding coordinator. So if you're ever questioning why you need a wedding planner, just think of how annoying it would be to have Auntie FeeFee come to you, as the person trying to enjoy your day and get married, asking where something goes every 15 minutes.
Ciera was the first person Christine trusted to join the Wood Grain & Lace family in the summer of 2014. She has since coordinated over 20 events on her own and helps train our new staff members. Ciera has a diverse background of event management experience including hosting various sales driven in-store events and promotions during her time in retail management and organizing marketing events such as FEED MORE food drive fundraisers and cook-offs for the Richmond interior design community. Ciera has planned and executed the logistics for public relations events such as press releases for up and coming designers and grand openings for local restaurants. Ciera prides herself on having strong organization skills and thinking creatively. She always pays attention to the small details that create a wow factor, and executing a theme is where she naturally excels.