You want to know a little secret no one will tell you when you first get engaged? Planning a wedding is a lot of work! It involves making A LOT of decisions, like your wedding date, your budget, your venue, your colors, your dream dress, your flowers, your bridal party lineup, your cake design...the list goes on and on! And making those decisions and doing the work they require on your own is not for the faint of heart, or the unorganized.
So for this post in our Bride Advice series, we’re going to talk about people who can help you with all those decisions- wedding planners and day-of consultants.
But before we dive in, let’s break down what we’re talking about with some definitions.
Planner - this is someone you will hire ASAP after you become engaged. S/He will help you plan your wedding, create your budget, articulate your wedding day vision, pick out your vendors. A planner, or someone on her/his staff, will also do all the tasks of a day-of consultant leading up to and on your wedding day.
Day-of consultant - Don’t let the title “day-of consultant” confuse you. This wedding professional is actually someone you’ll meet with a month or two before your wedding day. S/he will help you create a wedding day timeline to ensure everything you want to happens will happen. S/he will be the main contact for all the wedding vendors you’ve hired, and will be the person “in charge” on your wedding day. S/he will make sure everyone sticks to the timeline and will handle any emergencies that arise.
Okay, now that we’re all on the same page with who we’re talking about, let’s chat about obvious and not-so-obvious problems planners and day-of consultants will help you solve. And hear some insight from trusted wedding planners in Central Texas!
Having a timeline for your wedding day is essential! The timeline keeps everyone on task, and ensures every event you want to happen will. Timelines are so critical to us as your wedding photographers that if any of our J&M Brides do not have a planner or day-of consultant, Melaina will meet with her to create the perfect timeline for her wedding day. But by having a planner or a day-of consultant, our brides have not only a perfectly crafted timeline created by a professional wedding organizer, but will also have a person tasked with keeping everyone on the timeline the day of the wedding.
A large part of my job is to make sure that the specifics of the day happen according to the timeline in order to create smooth transitions throughout the day. The bride and groom (and family) are unaware of time on that day, as it should be! They are allowed to enjoy every minute of this special event while I keep it moving along flawlessly! - Shauna Pittman, Wedding Day Consultant
If you haven’t figured out by now, there are a lot of wedding professionals who will be a part of your wedding day team- photographers, videographers, baker, caterer, venue staff, rentals, florist, etc. One important way a planner serves you is by helping you find the perfect team of professional for your vision within your budget. You can trust their recommendations and know they are recommending quality professionals. In addition to that, a planner/day-of consultant will then take on the role of “point person” for your team of professionals. Vendors will check-in with him/her with any issues, and s/he will ensure every professional arrives with all the correct things to make your wedding day a success. Your consultant allows you, your fiance, and your family to relax and enjoy the day.
Hiring an event planner ensures that you have a consistent point of contact throughout the planning process. Having an organized professional event planner allows all the vendors to also receive the same coordinated, perfected timeline and point of contact which allows them to focus on doing their best work. - Kathy Thorman, Before I Do
Helps you create your dream wedding
A planner and consultant will be well-educated on the different trends and styles of weddings, and will be able to help you envision and coordinate a wedding that perfectly depicts you and your sweetheart. S/He will have a great network of vendors who will fit your style and be able to recommend accordingly. And if you are feeling overwhelmed by your Pinterest board, s/he will help you narrow down and focus on the elements of your wedding that will help your personalities shine through.
Some couples (and/or parents of the couple) have a wedding budget already set up, while others make it up as they go. A planner specifically can help make and keep you on your budget. S/He can help you book the perfect wedding vendors within your budget, and even point out areas where savings can be made and then redistributed to other areas of the budget. A great example of this is when our friend, Karen Bohanon at Posh Events, told us of how she recommend one of her brides not spend money on programs for her ceremony, which would be left on the floor or ignored by guests, and instead put that money into her flower budget to help her get the flowers she really wanted. Such a great idea!
Save you from wedding day fails
We’ve photographed enough weddings and talked with enough of our wedding planner friends to know things can go wrong at weddings. And your wedding day is supposed to be a time for you to focus on marrying your true love and celebrating with your family and friends, not running around trying to put out fires, figuratively or literally. Kathy Thorman of Before I Do told us of a time she salvaged an altar made of tree branches with mason jars filled with wildflowers that was blown over and destroyed by the wind. Karen Bohanon noticed one of her bride’s cakes had begun melting in the Texas heat, so she had it put in the fridge and used flowers from a display to expertly hide the melted areas of the cake. In both of these situations, the bride was completely unaware of any issue because these ladies acted quickly and perfectly to keep their bride’s wedding running smoothly. Saving you from wedding fails is a HUGE way a planner/consultant serves his/her couples.
Be a neutral voice
There are often quite a few people involved in the planning of your wedding, and even more who will attend. Having a neutral voice in the planning process and especially on the day of your wedding is such a huge service you may not know you need. A professional wedding planner can help you deal with the various opinions you will receive while planning, providing a neutral voice as you and your fiance navigate through the ideas of family and close friends. A day-of consultant can also serve as a neutral enforcer of your wishes to friends and family on your actual wedding day.
[A consultant] takes the heat so the bride and mother do not have to. And if needed, friends and family may be mad at her but since she doesn't spend birthdays and anniversaries with the family, it shouldn't affect those special events. - Lois Ferguson, Wedding Day Consultant
So should you hire a wedding planner?
We've seen time and again how a wedding planner or a day-of consultant have saved our J&M Sweethearts a lot of headaches. Their expertise, their connections with quality vendors, and their servant hearts all aid our J&M Brides especially in having a stress-free, dream wedding day.
So if you've never considered hiring one of these talented professionals, or if you easily dismissed it as an option thinking it wasn't in the budget for you, you may want to reconsider. They may end up being the best wedding planning decision you make!
We'd like to thank the amazing wedding planners and consultants who took a moment of time and contributed their thoughts and words to this post. If you're a central Texas bride you should definitely check out these wonderful ladies!