We hired a full planner (Leanne), but then went with an all-in-one venue. *However* I loved working with her and switched her contract to a day-of coordinator (cost $1,200 vs. $3,000). I'm so incredibly happy that I did.
She and I really clicked, and while our venue has a coordinator I honestly don't enjoy talking with him - part of Leanne's duties in 2 weeks are to keep the venue coordinator away from me on the wedding day. She has been much more in tune with my feelings and desire to have detailed preparations, whereas the venue coordinator is just not in sync with me and agitates the hell out of me. Best money I've ever spent.
I'd say cut something else to spare the budget for a day-of person (so that the rest of the things in your budget go well!) but if you absolutely can't spare it, then find your most organized friend, cousin or somebody that won't flake on you and let them organize the heck out of your day.
I hired a day of coordinator instead of a wedding planner
We have an event coordinator with our venue/catering package. A day of coordinator wasn’t in our budget, so it’s kind of a blessing that our first choice venue didn’t work out because we would have been managing everything on our own and asking friends and family for help. A full planner isn’t a necessity, especially if you enjoy the planning process, but someone to handle things the last couple weeks and especially the day of the wedding is definitely helpful.
We are definitely hiring a month-of planner to take care of final details and help the day/evening run smoothly.
A venue coordinator is typically only involved with making sure that venue rules and restrictions are upheld and don't work with you for non-venue related issues that come up. I have been recruited as a guest to do things that fall under the umbrella of day-of coordinator duties that prevent you from enjoying yourself as a guest, and stressful in general when you have no clue what's going or how to remedy anything. I would never ask any guest to do that, based on personal experiences. Plus many of the venues we've looked at require a licensed insured professional coordinator.
An organized friend or family member, or several see-what needs-doing-and-do-it-types, are all most weddings need up to the 250 to 300 guest range , if you are even reasonably organized yourself. I also have seen one big thing in many weddings I have been in, that was the same when I worked catering, and in large resort inns. People who do a basic somewhat traditional wedding do not have problems doing it themselves or with some one friend or family, and the staff of a venue. Those who do a TV / Media / Pinterest wedding are more likely to have difficulty. People lose their focus looking for the exact colored ribbon to match a bridesmaids dress, to go around proclamations for honorary bridal party members, that have to exactly match 19 other things, not one pf which impresses anybody, or which no one sees as any better than non-matching things. Looking at generations of movies and pics, the most glitzy or foal or royal weddings til recently, cummerbunds and vests of men have never needed to match bridesmaid dresses. Really elegant stylish people do not match the decoration scheme of the furnishings. That is a very nouveau riche or celebrity styling, very recent things. traditional elegant napery is often simple and white. Cut glass or pressed glass provides neutral sparkle, with no need to buy vase filler marbles to maych clothes or wedding colors. ..... Many brides these days do 30- 50 presents for other people that have never been seen as necessary til recently, which they take time to search put and buy, more than they think. You need 1 per wedding party member , near the end. That is it. Proposal gifts, getting ready gifts, at my shower and bach gifts, RD gifts, parent gifts are all new add-ons much loved by the gift industry, but they cost a lot of time, not just money. And then, there are the cute boxes, hangars, and wrappings to buy or make to present them. Truly, the most elegant or fun or beautiful and tasteful wedding can be put on without a planner, by most, for usual size weddings, if they forgo a hundred or so unnecessary hours spent hustling unnecessary color matches, unnecessary gifts, and a huge amount of money os saved too. Apply a fraction of that time to keeping youself organized, and having an uncluttered view of what needs doing, and there is little need for a professional planner for most people. And if you want a 4 day get blasted vacation with friends, keep in mind that your wedding is not the only time you see your friends, or hold a party. People taking 3-4 day vacations instead of an evening bachelorette are losing time near the wedding, that leaves them rushing around to get things done. You do not have to jam everything you ever wanted into things wedding. Have some dinner parties with activities, or mini-vacations, after the wedding, during your married life. You will have $1000-3000 more to spend if you do not use a pro wedding planner. And hundreds more not spent on un-wedding like gifts. Lots of weddings here are done for $5000 to $20,000 total. Wedding planners take a big chunk, so if you can simplify and focus on a spectacular wedding with no TV touches, you have the time and ability.
While we probably could afford it, I couldn’t stomach spending what day of coordinators cost. I posted something on Facebook, which lead to a conversation with a Friend. She volunteered to do it. We paid her of coarse. I planned and organized everything. We met a couple of times prior to go over everything. She set up the venue, acted as point person for all my vendors day of, helped clean up at the end of the night. While this doesn’t work for everyone, I am super happy with my choice to have her help!
We didn't, but our venue came with a coordinator, so we had someone to handle everything, day-of. Which you totally need... otherwise, everyone is interrupting the bride and groom to ask what to do.
Wedding planners are expensive and take up a good chunk of your budget, which is great if you have the money, but not the time. If you are good at researching/decision making, and get a planning book for holding all your notes/cards/contracts/etc, then I don't think you need one.
We hired a wedding coordinator. If you choose not to have one, I would at least look into a day of coordinator. Our wedding coordinator really helped me out on days where I felt super overwhelmed and like we couldn't pull it together in time. However, the bgorh before and the day of he really was our godsend. Having someone there the day of to direct you where you need to be and keep everything moving on time, while keeping your other vendors on time and giving you the freedom to actually enjoy your wedding was priceless. I would have paid him triple what he asked for.
We hired a planner for partial planning since we already had the venue and food. You can customize the services they provide and some do a la carte also. They know the "business" and can save you money by making suggestions on vendors and negotiating with them also. Remember vendors are giving you a different price then what they tell planners.
I found it really helpful to hire someone since I'm not having a bridal party.
We had one and be was amazing!!! He was the coordinator at the venue, but he did charge by the hour. I honestly don't remember what we paid him but I would have easily paid him double. I had people actually tell me the day after how amazing he was.