If you’re on the fence about if you should hire a wedding planner, you’re in good company. While some couples consider the expense a no-brainer, others have a tough time making the decision. After all, a wedding is hardly an inexpensive endeavor, and the thought of spending a couple extra thousand dollars or more on help with the wedding planning process can seem exhaustive, and potentially even unnecessary.
While it’s true that a professional wedding planner costs money, it’s actually possible that they may help you save—in terms of money, but also time and stress, which some consider to be priceless. “A wedding coordinator can point out areas to save money, such as rentals, and sometimes, other vendors will even pass along little cost-saving perks for clients,” explains Lindsey Nickel at Lovely Day Events in Napa, California. “A wedding planner can also save their client countless hours Googling and asking friends for input.” To help guide you in your decision, we asked planners to share the five key signs that a couple should consider hiring a wedding planner.
Your organization and planning skills are subpar.
When talking to prospective couples, Leah Weinberg of Color Pop Events in Long Island City, New York, always tells them to be realistic about the bandwidth they have to plan a wedding and also about their strengths and weaknesses. “If spreadsheets and to-do lists just aren't your thing, bring in a pro instead of trying to do it on your own and letting things slip through the cracks,” she says. “Having a full-service wedding planner help keep you organized and on track is going to give you such a confident feeling that the price tag will be well worth that value.”
You have a very demanding job.
If your job feels more than full-time, it might be a good idea to hire a wedding planner so you’re not spending every lunch break and evening wedding planning. “Planning a wedding becomes a part-time job and takes a lot of hours,” says Nickel. “Vendors work business hours and typically are not available on the weekend since they are executing weddings, so if you work full-time, save your sanity, save a ton of stress and hire a wedding planner.”
You’re having a destination wedding.
A wedding planner for a destination wedding is a must, according to Nickel. “If you don't live in the town you are getting married in, it's really hard to know who the best wedding vendors are, what the weather is like and local laws,” she says. “A local wedding planner has vendor relationships that can help your event go smoothly.”
Your venue doesn't have its own coordinator.
Many wedding venues, particularly all-inclusive spaces, provide a coordinator as part of their packages. This venue coordinator can help you select vendors, put together a wedding-day timeline, and much more—but it's important to find out upfront what the coordinator's role will be, as it can vary. If your venue doesn't offer a coordinator, or if you feel you need more assistance than what your event space's venue coordinator provides, we recommend hiring a wedding planner. This is especially important for backyard weddings—you're basically creating your own wedding venue, so a planner is a must.
You’re struggling with your wedding budget.
Planners know how to make—and stick to—a budget. “We understand how much money you can spend on alcohol and how much you realistically should be spending on a photographer,” says Carly Rose of Orlando Designer Weddings in Winter Garden, Florida.. “When budget is a concern, a wedding planner can work the numbers to make sure that everything you are looking to include, is a part of the day at a good price point.”
Your wedding day has a lot of “moving parts”.
If you’re planning on bringing in a lot of decor and inventory that needs to be placed for both ceremony and reception, you should definitely hire a wedding planner. “Decor needs to be moved from ceremony spot to cocktail hour and reception areas, place cards needs to be alphabetized and placed on appropriate tables and place settings, etc.,” says Deb Erb of Simply Events Inc. in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Many vendors, from your florist to your caterer to your wedding photographer and more, are working and their arrival/departure times, set-up, etc. all needs to be coordinated and managed. Family dynamics can also play a big part in a couple’s special day. Divorced parents don’t like to be near each other or family members need assistance getting around the property—wedding planners assist with all this, so the couple don't have to think about it.
You want peace of mind on the day of your wedding.
On your wedding day, you'll want to relax and focus on your family members, friends, and of course, your spouse. You won't want to worry about last-minute questions and details, or worse, last-minute problems—and assigning that role to a wedding party member can cause added stress, especially if they're not experienced in the wedding industry. A planner, wheter it's a full-service or day-of coordinator, can serve as a point person for all of your vendors, ensuring that your big day is totally stress-free.