You’re engaged! This is such an exciting – and overwhelming – time for you and your fiancé(e). You’re glowing thinking about your future together, but maybe the growing list of planning to-dos is making you consider running off to Vegas.
*cough, cough* NO shame in the Vegas elopement game, I LOVE helping couples plan a wedding that fits them. So if Vegas is your jam, let’s do it!!
Before you dive into dress shopping, venue visiting, and sending save-the-dates, I strongly believe you should consider hiring a wedding planner first. You may think I’m bias, but I have some serious reasons why you should consider booking a planner before anyone else. (psst… want to see my suggested order for the rest of your wedding day team. I’ve shared it here.)
Whether you’re looking to hire a full-service planner (someone to guide you step-by-step from engaged to “I do”) or simply want a coordinator (someone to take your carefully laid plans & make them a reality), hiring a planner first will give you the connections, budget knowledge, industry expertise to set you up for wedding planning success from the start.
Wedding Planners Have Connections
This is especially important if you plan to host a destination wedding. Yes, you can research destinations all over the country (or world) and then all of the venues in each of those locations, but a wedding planner can streamline process for you based on their connections.
One of my couples was dreaming of a wedding weekend close to an airport (1-2 hours max) where family & wedding party could stay on property with plenty of activities nearby for exploration. Their ideal region stretched from the Rockies to the West Coast, but they were open as far as exact location.
I guided them to their dream wedding venue, Gardener Ranch.
Carmel Valley is about an hour from the San Jose Airport (2 hours from San Francisco). The venue features five homes for guests as well as multiple lawns and indoor spaces for all the weekends’ events. And with the Carmel Valley wineries as well as Carmel-by-the-Sea, Big Sur, and Monterey all within a 30 minutes drive.
And our connections don’t just stop at venues! We have a large network of wedding professionals we can pull from that will save you countless hours of research. In fact, vendor “matchmaking,” as I call it, is one of my favorite parts of planning for my couples.
Wedding Planners Have Budget Knowledge
One of the less-than-fun parts of my job is being the bearer of bad news, especially when it comes to budget. However, when couples inquire with us, we often see discrepancies between the cost of their venue and their overall financial comfort zone.
A couples’ lack of knowledge of the true costs of their ideal wedding can lead to a situation we wedding pros refer to as “venue poor.” When you’re venue searching you can get excited and book the first place you fall in love with not thinking of if the dollar amount will align with what you have to spend.
Keep in mind though, getting a “cheap” venue isn’t necessarily the best financial decision either as it often take more money to bring the venue up to match your vision.
A wedding planner can create a compressive budget plan based not only on our industry knowledge, but with your guest count, style, and vision in mind. We also can advise you when looking at a venue what the true cost will be. And we can do all of this before you sign on the dotted line, saving you stress and keeping you from having to compromise on your vision.
Wedding Planners Have Industry Expertise
For couples considering hiring a coordinator only, I still recommend booking an experienced coordinator early. Why? Industry expertise. I’ve worked a few (okay, over 100) weddings and have almost a decade of experience with layouts, timelines, BEOs, and all the nitty-gritty that goes into a wedding day. An experienced coordinator can advise you on a variety of situations and planning topics.
When coordination was a staple service of mine, my couples got unlimited email availability with me to ask general planning questions. I offered this because, as I told them, it is much easier for me to advise them on the right path to begin with than to fix their mistakes in the final two months. This saved my coordination couples countless headaches & last minute costs.
For those seeking full-service planning, this is likely a given for you. You know having a planner’s guidance from Day 1 will save you time, money, and a lot of emotional energy. In fact, having someone tell you what to do and when to do it is the primary reason you’re looking to add a planner to your wedding day team.
As you begin to dream of your wedding day, consider talking to planners before you wade too deep into the wedding planning waters. Wedding planners come alongside you to provide expert guidance, creative vision, and on-site production management to make your dreams a reality. We can match you with that just right venue and team, put together a clear budget based on your vision, and provide you with the guidance you need to make it happen.
If you’re looking for a planning partner for your wedding weekend, check out our full-service options for couples seeking a memorable, stylish destination wedding that is as fun as it is beautiful.