by Ivan Apfel of Ivan Apfel Photography
OMG, I know! Another “What you Must Have” wedding article from a vendor trying to convince you that you need to hire them! But wait, I’m a photographer and this is not about photography… well, not entirely. But it isn’t about hiring a photographer, so you’re safe.
Over the years I have had the “wedding planner” conversation with a lot of couples. Like you, most of the time they are really conflicted because from “Father of the Bride” to Hallmark TV features, they all seem to emphasize the wedding planner in wedding related movies. So there’s a part of you that probably feels like they are someone who you should have for your wedding. But there is also that part of you that says, “Do I really need one these days?” And your reasoning makes total sense. Think of all the things you can do on your own these days. You can shop for details online, there are a ton of “planning your own wedding” blogs and articles in magazines, you can watch DIY videos online, research vendors and venues from your sofa, etc.
Then you think, “I need food, I want pictures/video, I need flowers, music, and a dress. But a planner doesn’t provide any actual physical product. So maybe they’re a luxury that I don’t really need to spend money on.” And while that is a valid thought, let me tell you what their physical product value really is.
Sanity and Money
Having a wedding planner can save you both your sanity and some money. How? Well, let’s start with your sanity. Weddings, even the small ones, involve dozens and dozens of little details. While you will learn what all of them are by the end of your wedding, you won’t when you start planning your wedding. Even after spending hundreds of hours reading blogs and magazine articles, you will still learn most of them through trial and error. And that is enough to make even the most mellow couple go insane. That or immediately catch a flight to Vegas and elope. Wedding planners know all of these little details regardless of your wedding size and location. In fact, they have even learned some great tricks and tips that could make your wedding experience even better.
Let’s talk about how they can save you money on your wedding as well. So you know that list of photographers, videographer, caterers, venues, cake makers, and florists you spent all that time compiling from online? Here’s the thing, not only do they know them and many other great vendors not listed on The Knot; but because they also have a working relationship with many of them, they can reach out to them on your behalf and get you a discount or some complimentary add-ons. To go back to the first point, because they know these vendors, they can also help you pick the right vendors for the type of wedding you are having.
You Will Have a Better Wedding
No matter if you have a big wedding or a small one, or whether you end up using the same vendors you would hired without a planner; having a wedding planner will hands down, without a doubt, make your wedding better than if you didn’t have one. The reason is a very simple one. A wedding, regardless of size or budget is made up of three parts taking place in three locations and that includes weddings where everything is at the same venue. You have the pre-wedding getting ready, the ceremony and the reception. While easier, weddings where all three parts take place at the same venue, those events are happening in different parts of the venue. And while you may only be at one of those locations one at a time, there is a lot happening at each location at the same time. While you are getting your make-up done, the caterers are setting up chairs, tables, plates, candles, linens, silverware, etc at the ceremony location. The florist is bringing you your flowers while their team is both working on the arrangements at the ceremony site and the arrangements at the reception location. Your photography and video team is shooting you and your “soon to be” in two locations. Plus all of the other various vendors reporting in at different times. And no matter what, situations, issues and questioned at each will come up; often times simultaneously.
Your job on your wedding day is to be drinking the cocktail of your choice, relaxing and laughing with family and friends. It should not be spent running around answering questions, making sure things are being set-up as agreed, checking that every vendor is where they are supposed to be, putting out fires, etc.
Your planner will handle all of these things for you. They will also make sure that your various vendors know what is happening at each of the other locations. This allows them to know what they need to do, be where they need to be when they need to be there, and stay focused on making your wedding go off as close to perfectly as possible.
And how does this make you have a much better wedding? Because instead of spending most of your wedding stressed out running around answering questions, putting out fires, checking on vendors, etc; you get to spend it with your family and friends relaxed, smiling, laughing, crying, and dancing.
Not only does this create a better wedding experience and memories, but it also allows your photographer and videographer to capture a day full of real smiles, real laughter, real tears, real joy and real love.
So do yourself a favor and reach out to some wedding planners. In the end, you will not regret it.