Photography: Images By Inda
Weddings are expensive (no one is arguing against that). So, as you start to see the costs adding up, you may be asking yourself “Do I even need a wedding planner?” Modern day brides and grooms range from hyper detailed, DIY champions, all the way to completely overwhelmed newbies who are unsure about every decision. Regardless of the type of couple that you are, it still benefits you greatly to hire a wedding planner. This is a big day in your life and one that costs a good chunk of money. It is important to protect your investment and ensure that you will get the most out of your money, your time and your experience. After all, getting married should be an exciting time in your life! Let’s not dilute the excitement with a boat load of stress.
Different Levels of Planners
As I have mentioned, every couple is different! Which is why you have a choice between varying degrees of involvement from your wedding planner. There are generally three types of packages for wedding planning services: A full-service planner (our package is called Carefree), a partial planner (our package is called Relief) and then you have Wedding Management (which used to be called Day of Coordination and/or Month of Coordination). Let’s take a look at these options more closely and discuss the benefits of each.
Photography: Andrew Ho. Photography
Benefits of Carefree Planning
Carefree planning (as we call it at P.S. & Associates) is for the couple who needs the most help, whether that be due to busy careers that leave little time for unending email and phone correspondence with vendors, onsite meetings and of course, decisions. decisions. decisions – or due to the simple fact that the couple is uninterested in handling the planning journey alone. Carefree planning also comes with the most benefits to you, as a couple. As you start your journey with a planner, from the very beginning, you get a complete and well-rounded experience of guidance. This is the most hands on and most expensive option for hiring a wedding planner. Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits of Carefree planning:
Budget Control + Management
A budget is arguably the most important part of your event. It is also the part that can get the most out of hand, if you are not careful. A Carefree planner will lay out a complete budget for your wedding (spreadsheets for the win), including every detail of cost, down to the many small aspects that you may have forgotten to include, without proper guidance. The experience of a planner will allow them to shave your budget down by allocating expenses in a smart and strategic manner. This aspect of budget control is most likely going to recoup the costs that you spent on your planner in the first place, at least partially.
Vendor Recommendations + Management
An event can only come together through the collaborative effort of a hand-picked group of vendors. Each with their own detailed contracts, pricing packages and communication style. How do you choose the right vendors for you? Of course, there are online reviews and word of mouth, to help you with vendor selection. These are great tools, but nothing compares to the professional relationships built between
planners and their favorite vendors. Planners are able to help you select the best vendors for your event, based on experience. A preferred vendor will also, more often than not, have a special discount for the clients of their favorite planners. Here at P.S., this discount is extended straight to you, saving you money. A Carefree planner reviews vendor contracts, to ensure that you aren’t backing yourself into any corners. For the homerun, we also take care of all vendor communication for you! We have the difficult conversations, we negotiate, and we coordinate a symphony of seamless collaboration for your big day.
Styling + Event Design & Rental Selections
Photography: Katie J. Photography
Some couples may know exactly how they want their wedding to look, some may have Pinterest boards with contradictory pins from 10 different styles and themes (ladies, I’m talking to you) and some may just simply not have a clue. A Carefree planner creates a custom style board for your wedding, based on your personal style. This acts as a tool when communicating with other vendors and making decisions about event design. It guides the aesthetic for paper goods, signage, florals, attire, rentals and details. A Carefree planner also helps you execute your dream wedding, without blowing the bank. Carefully selecting rentals, décor and florals – while highlighting the best places to splurge and keeping it basic in areas that won’t make as much of an impact. Or simply going all out, depending on your budget, of course!
Having someone in your corner to deal with all of the potential issues that could arise during your planning process, is an invaluable resource for your sanity. A Carefree planner is your leader, a map to guide you through an unknown area. An open reference book, to answer all of your questions, small and large. A hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on and a friend to laugh with. Your planner genuinely cares about your experience and will stop at nothing to make sure that your wedding journey is as perfect as possible.
Expertise + Attention To Detail
When big decisions are prompting you for answers left and right, it really helps to have the expertise of a Carefree planner, to guide you through each of them. Your planner will know the answer to your questions, will be able to calm your nerves and will ensure that your decisions will all line up with the ultimate goal of a seamless event. Not sure if you should go through your venue for a bar package? Should you order alcohol yourself? We got you. Not sure how to split up your guest list and handle the task of having both an A list and a B list? We got you. Not sure how to deal with registries and what if you don’t even want physical gifts, but would prefer monetary gifts? We got you. The list is endless, but the point is…we always got you. Every last detail will be thought out and executed to your exact desire on wedding day. A Carefree planner is able to best execute wedding day coordination because your planner knows you well. You have been through many conversations together at this point and your planner knows your personality, your likes and dislikes and how you expect each vendor to perform. We even know which songs you absolutely hate, so we can make sure they don’t come on during your party. Your planner will create a custom event day timeline for your wedding and ensure that everything stays on track. Your planner cannot guaranty that nothing will go wrong…but a planner is there to fix problems, most of the time in a manner that prevents you from even finding out that there was a problem in the first place. You truly get to sit back and enjoy your wedding day.
Photography: Images by Inda
Benefits of Relief Planning
Relief planning (as we call it at P.S. & Associates) comes with some of the same benefits as Carefree planning, but not all. A Relief planner may or may not be brought into the mix from the very beginning, some vendors may have already been chosen and the budget may have already been impacted through those choices. Your planner will not attend every meeting (we will attend a selection of meetings with you, especially the big ticket meetings) and will not handle the entirety of communication with vendors but will still be there as a guiding light and an expert opinion. This is a more cost-effective option in comparison to Carefree but limits the planner’s involvement. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of Relief Planning:
Although you may have already chosen vendors and impacted your budget, before bringing on a Relief (partial) planner, your planner will still be there to guide you through the rest of your spending. Part of this is ensuring that spending is strategic and that no large costs are left until the end of the process, as this can cause an unexpected and big jump in numbers. A Relief planner is still a resource and guiding force, in place to make sure you get the most out of your budget.
Photography: Steve Cowell Photography
Your Relief planner will not be driving the vendor communication but will be in the passenger seat next to you, ensuring that you are headed in a good direction. Contracts will still be reviewed and communication will still be a huge part of the process. Your relief planner can also still recommend preferred vendors to you, as well as hook you up with that discount. The main difference with a Relief planner is that you (as the client) does most of the communication with vendors and the planner is a constant resource and support system for you.
Styling + Event Design & Rental Selection
A Relief planner does not create a custom wedding style board for you and does not provide full event design services for you wedding. Your planner will be there for guidance, to bounce ideas off of, to answer questions about aesthetic and design decisions and to help you make sure everything comes together in a cohesive manner. You planner will also help you with rental selections and budget control related to designing your dream wedding, without breaking the bank. We are an endless resource and helping hand, you are driving the ship.
Stress Management and Expertise
Your Relief planner comes with all of the same benefits of stress management and access to our expertise knowledge, as a Carefree planner. Regardless of your package, your planner is always in your corner and will always do whatever we can, to ensure your big day is everything that you’ve always wanted.
Photography: Katie J. Photography
Benefits Of Wedding Management
Wedding Management (formally known as Day Of and/or Month Of Coordination) is the least expensive and most limited package available. This package is ideal for that hyper detailed, DIY, organized couple, who has already done the brunt of the planning but wants an expert to help tie loose ends and execute wedding day coordination. With Wedding Management, your planner starts to work with you up to three months before your wedding date. This allows time for the planner to review contracts, walk the venue and map out logistics – carefully paying attention to potentially missed details. In the long run, this allows a planner to best execute day of coordination, where coming in at the last second (let’s say a few weeks to a few days before you wedding day) does not allow your planner to catch missed details, which could become a huge issue for the overall smoothness of wedding day.
As your wedding planner is able to tie up loose ends and ensure proper event day logistics, this takes the stress off of you in regard to flow of the actual wedding day. This also takes the stress off of close friends and family members, who often end up on coordination duty at weddings that do not involve planners. Having a wedding day coordination team to make sure that everything is running smoothly and that the happy couple is taken care of the entire day, is priceless.
Your planner will reach out to vendors in the weeks + months before your wedding, in order to get everyone on the same page. A custom wedding timeline will be sent out to all vendors before your wedding day, ensuring things run smoothly. A team will be on site to coordinate all vendors. Having special rentals delivered and need to make sure they get set up to your liking? We got you. Did you DIY a special favor for all of your guests and want them placed on each plate? We got you. Anything and everything that needs to be done for wedding day is taken off your plate.
All packages come with rehearsal – but for the couple who doesn’t need a Carefree or Relief planner, this comes in as a serious benefit of Wedding Management. Rehearsals are a different ballgame and having a planner to coordinate and help you and your bridal party practice, will ensure that your ceremony goes to plan. You can also pass off any décor and wedding items to your planner at rehearsal, so you don’t have to worry about anything on the morning of your wedding.
The Bottom Line A planner is a constant support system. An investment in your stress management. An expert opinion. A vendor whisperer. A coordination queen. Someone in your corner, at all times. The point is. We always got your back.
Photography: Liv Life Studio