Stress-Free Wedding Planning | Hiring a Wedding Planner

I really am enjoying writing this blog series on stress-free wedding planning.  I hope you are enjoying it, too!  If you are, would you mind taking a moment to re-pin or share these posts with other friends who might be in the midst of the wedding planning roller coaster?  I would love to know that my posts can help as many brides and grooms as possible.  You readers are the BEST! So it's time for post number four, and today's topic is all about people who make weddings easier on everyone: WEDDING PLANNERS. why you should hire a wedding planner Now, before you cringe about how that's SO EXPENSIVE, let me hit you with this: it was once explained to me that wedding planners actually keep couples on budget.  Nearly one-third of all couples bust their budget, according to various sources, so this is a real concern.  Couples often begin their wedding-planning process with a budget that does not include a professional planner, and end up going over that budget amount anyway on items that weren't as important as a planner could have been.  Why?  Because weddings are an emotional event and every business who caters to the wedding industry is trying to capitalize on your emotional connection to this very important day.  It's not a bad idea to have a mediator between your emotions and your bottom line; a wedding planner is an advocate who stands by your side and helps you work through budget concerns in addition to a whole host of other situations you've likely never had to deal with before in your life.  So unless you are experienced at throwing parties for once-in-a-lifetime events that involve guest lists into the hundreds, I believe you should at least seriously consider a wedding planner.  Budget aside, here are some other reasons:
  • Wedding planners have networks that will kick Google's butt when it comes to selecting the best vendors.  As a small business owner in the wedding industry, I can attest to how serious many of us are about the quest to get to the first page of Google.  We're bombarded by marketers who want to charge us money to get on page one or two.  We are lured into spending money on ads that our clients skip right over (I mean, come on- do you ever click on one of those yellow highlighted boxes at the top of Google unless you're looking for a cheap deal?).  So while Google is a great place to start, it's just not a reliable way to find a truly reputable company.  Word-of-mouth is so much better, and a recommendation from a trusted party is the best.  A wedding planner can give you a list of their top 3-5 favorite companies who are actually available for your day, cutting out the guess work and the painful interview process for most of your vendor selections.  Which leaves you more time for the fun stuff!
  • Great planners are designers, too.  They know what all the trends are and what's new and exciting, but a GREAT planner is also interested in making sure that you wedding is not just a mish-mash of this year's biggest cliche's.  A good planner will help you navigate the waters of the blogs, magazines, and reality TV shows and select the ideas and concepts that are most cohesive to your overall vision.  They'll hear what you're looking for and add their own creative ideas to the mix.  And then, they'll use their aforementioned awesome network to make sure you get the best pro's who can make that vision come to life!
  • A wedding planner is like the BFF who will tell you what you don't want to hear.  Let's use the budget example.  Say you find a fun little detail like a favor or a custom piece of decor on Etsy, and you rush to your betrothed and say "We MUST have this, look at how cute it is!!"  Well, your fiance might not want to disappoint you.  He might not want to be the buzzkill, so he says "OK sure."  And it happens again.  And again.  And suddenly your are $1000 over budget for little things you got attached to.  Now, let's add in a wedding planner.  You show your planner the brilliant little thing you MUST have.  After sharing a little "squeee" with you about how positively perfect it could be, they're going to pull you by your ankles back down to Earth and plug it into the budget.  If it doesn't fit, they'll help you brainstorm where you could save some money elsewhere or perhaps how this little must-have detail could be done differently.  And I don't know about you, but I'd rather have that discussion with my wedding planner than my future hubby.
  • You can delegate all the un-fun stuff to someone who actually finds it fun!  Let's be honest, who in their right mind would take on a career as an entrepreneur in the wedding industry if they didn't love weddings and all that goes along with them?  I have personally marveled at my favorite wedding planner (the gal in the antlers above!) as she describes to me the things she finds enjoyable about planning a wedding.  Seating charts?  No thank-you.  Itineraries?  Nope.  Budget spreadsheets?  Blech.  Let someone else handle some or most of that.  Your input will be required, of course, but you can leave the heavy lifting to a planner who does it in their office hours!
  • You and your loved ones can truly kick back and enjoy your wedding day.  Even if you don't hire a planner for the majority of the process, don't overlook the benefits that just a day-of coordination package can offer.  Wedding days do not usually go perfectly smoothly on their own.  If you attend a wedding and everything falls into place just so, then you're probably dealing with a very organized planner.  What if your cake does not arrive to the venue on time?  Do you want to hear about it, or would you rather find out later that it arrived just at the last minute?  What if a groomsman goes missing right before the ceremony line-up?  Do you want to spend your day worrying about where the garter went, how to feed two extra guests, where to send the gifts at the end of the night, or which vendors still need checks for the final balance?  NO.  You want to soak in every single lovely moment of your incredibly special day.  You want to speak to your guests and clink glasses with your favorite friends and, for crying out loud, sit still long enough to savor the meal you selected.  And so can your mom and dad, your best friend, your god-mother, your favorite sorority sister, and everyone else who means so much to you.  They want to be a part of your day, too, without worrying about how the flowers from the ceremony are going to make it to the head table.  Oh, they'll offer to help- that's what loved ones do.  But how wonderful would it be if you could say, "don't worry about it- the planner has it under control!"
It might seem daunting to add another pricey vendor to your budget, but it is worth some serious research before nixing the planner from your list.  One of the things I really wish I had done when I was planning my own wedding was to hire a planner.  I probably would have avoided a few things that didn't go so smoothly on our day!  We didn't have enough food for our guests (despite being told by the caterer that we would- big mistake!), we didn't plan for transportation that we needed throughout the day, and my little brother and his best friend spent the end of our night packing up our gifts and making sure they got into my parents' car.  All of these things and more would have worked out better if we had hired a professional to guide us through the day.  Remember, most couples have only one wedding day in their entire lives.  We wedding pro's handle these elaborate days as our careers- trust in a recommended professional to make your day smooth and enjoyable!  Here are some of my favorite wedding planners in Wisconsin; I've worked with each of them and highly recommend them from personal experience!

Lavender Hill Weddings & Events - Madison

Top Shelf Weddings & Events - Madison

Beyond Elegant Events - Madison

Dare to Dream Weddings - Milwaukee

Tailored Engagements - Milwaukee

As always, best wishes with ALL your wedding plans!