Wedding Planners… Are They For Me? – Continued

Pros, Cons and Tips on Choosing a Coordinator, or Choosing to Do It Yourself

The day of your wedding is probably going to be more hectic than any of the planning process. You have to get your hair and makeup done, get into your dress, get to your venues make sure everyone is where they should be and so much more.  A coordinator, armed with their cellphone, pager and poise can handle most of this for you.  If any problems arise it will be much easier for a planner to deal with them than for you to interrupt your carefully planned schedule and primping.  Also a planner is more likely than you to be able to replace a vendor at the last minute should a problem arise.

Some planners advertise their services as free. Most of these planners get kickbacks from vendors.  Be wary.  These planners are more concerned with steering you towards what will pay them the most than they are about giving you your dream wedding.  The saying “you get what you pay for” stands true especially for such a big choice.

Weddings can take anywhere from 100-250 hours to plan. That is a big chunk of time in the one or two years in which you are probably planning your wedding.  Wedding planners can save you about 75% of these hours.

A wedding planner can be an expert opinion on etiquette, color schemes and everything in between. The final decision on every detail is still yours though.  A good planner will make suggestions that fit the wedding you want without trying to bully you into anything in particular.

If you are the do it yourself type and really don’t relish the idea of getting someone else involved in the planning, you can turn to all the planning software and websites that are available.  A lot of it is even free of charge.  You can plan your budget, track R.S.V.P. s from guests and even get crafty ideas for center pieces and such.  Many of the websites also include vendor reviews from other brides.  Be sure to read a good bit of the reviews to make sure the overall experience with that vendor has been good.  One or two good or bad reviews don’t really mean much.

Sometimes family can be more of a handful than any vendor. Coordinators are great peacemakers and intermediaries and can help settle even family issues that may arise.  They are experts at compromise and can work out conflicts without you ever having to know they existed until after your big day.  This helps keep you stress free and focused on one of the biggest moments of your life.

Weddings also can cause strain between the bride and groom. Since a coordinator handles a lot of the details they can help reduce this.  If you opt not to use a wedding coordinator be sure to set aside one night a week with your intended spouse where wedding planning is off limits and it is just the two of you.  Don’t allow either of you to wiggle out of it.  Staying focused on the reason for the party is more important than planning it.

Wedding planners can also help you stay on budget. They have great ways to cut costs and will stay on top of every penny spent.  In this way they sometimes pay for part of their own fee.  Also if the things you want for your wedding aren’t realistically in your budget, they can help you find similar things that will give you the experience you are looking for that are more within your means.  Many of your vendors are charging you by the time spent at your event.  Wedding coordinators help keep things moving so you can avoid incurring additional fees.

Still undecided on whether a planner is right for you? Make that list of what you would like your planner to do and schedule a few consultations.  Many planners will offer an initial consultation free of charge so you can see if they could provide what you want and to see if you will enjoy working together.

The decision is yours and it is one you will want to make early. It all depends on how much work you want to put into every little detail.  Do your research and list what you want at your wedding and look into what that would take for you to do yourself.  If you have plenty of time and help, you may choose to skip the coordinator.  If not, make your list, hand it over and sit back and relax while your fairy godmother, in the form of your coordinator, takes care of things.

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