My Take on Common Wedding Planning Misconceptions
There’s a lot of information out there when it comes to planning a wedding. Most of it is great and proves helpful...but there’s also quite a bit of misinformation that floats in the wedding sphere! Here, I want to help you weed through some of the less accurate information specifically regarding planners.
Photo: Danfredo Photos + Film
Word on the Street: Planners are a waste of money! With all the DIY options out there why not just do it ourselves?
My Take: You could argue that any item outside of your marriage certificate is a waste of money. To get married, you need few things, you + your love. A planner is only a “waste” of money if you don’t perceive them as a value added. If you are a DIY couple and want to tackle the planning, great, there are many excellent tools out there to help you do so. A planner/coordinator can still help by bringing all the details you’re planning together. Keep in mind even though you might be super resourceful, it’s likely you haven’t done this before. For such a big and important day, having the aide of an expert can ensure things run smoothly. And while you can DIY a lot these days there are still vendors to be hired and managing those vendors should not fall to you the day of your wedding. You should be focused on you, embracing your day, the last thing you want is while you’re getting ready for your first look to be feeling like you have to run around and make sure your homemade table numbers are on each table!
Word on the Street: Wedding planners will try to push their own style onto your day.
My Take: While this might be true for some planners (maybe your BFF vented to you about hers…) it’s not our style. We LIVE for helping each of our couples bring to light their own unique style and vision. It’s just as special to us when you want to incorporate items of importance or want to try something you’ve never seen done before! We are not into cookie cutter weddings, so the chance to see something new and different is what keeps us coming back to work every day!
Photo: Sarah B Photography
Word on the Street: Only disorganized or easily stressed out people can benefit from a wedding planner.
My Take: Absolutely not! Even the most chill people are going to attain some level of stress because this is a NEW thing...you don’t do this every day. Having someone who does can take some of the overwhelmingness that is wedding planning off your plate. There are so many small bumps in the road along the way to planning your wedding and a planner is the best way to make sure that those bumps don’t turn into mountains.
Word on the Street: Our venue has an on-site coordinator - that’s basically a built in planner!
My Take: It is awesome if your venue has an on-site coordinator! An on-site coordinator is a huge help in making logistical choices, they will know how best to use every nook and cranny of your venue and if are representative of the catering company will make sure food service is on point. Their primary responsibility, however, is making sure their venue/business shines. A planner’s responsibility, on the other hand, is to you and making sure your overall vision is is being executed. We ensure that all that is invested in your big day comes to fruition as envisioned. For example, while your on-site coordinator is working with the kitchen to make sure salads go out on time, we are with you making sure everyone is lined up for announcements or ensuring dad hasn’t wandered off prior to his welcome speech!
Photo: Justin Johnson Photography
Word on the Street: A backyard wedding is less expensive than a traditional venue.
My Take: This is a tricky one… typically, no. While there are always exceptions, essentially building a venue at a private residence tends to be more expensive. When you pay a fee for an event space or a rental fee, this is really because they’re providing you with a “completed” space. Especially in areas where weather is ever changing (particularly our lovely Northeast) weather backup plans are necessary. So while your family home might boast a large picturesque pasture that you envision not needing a tent to dine under… reality is, you’re going to need a tent as a back up. What it really boils down to is that with a private residence wedding there are a lot more logistical issues (restrooms, heating or cooling, kitchen setup, etc.) that can arise that will need money dedicated for them if something doesn’t go according to plan, especially at the last minute. All of this isn’t to say backyard weddings aren’t possible and simply lovely, just know that reality is a little different than the picture painted.
Word on the Street: You should only book vendors who are familiar with your venue.
My Take: False! I don’t like being ruled out as a planner because I haven’t worked at a particular location before. Hiring an educated and experienced team of vendors means you’re hiring teams that have worked enough weddings to be able to adapt to any location. We know the right questions to ask when working at a new venue to become acquainted with the space ensuring we aren’t missing a thing. Plus, we like a little variety in our lives! Working at a new space allows us a fresh perspective, a blank canvas...you’ll be getting a vendor who maybe sees things differently and through a different lens. That ultimately is a benefit to you if you’re looking for something a little different than what you’ve seen in the space before!
Word on the Street: Wedding vendors are overpriced and won’t even try to negotiate with us.
My Take: There has been a lot of conversation in media recently about wedding prices being exorbitant and couples being quoted different prices for a wedding as opposed to other events (say a birthday, for example). Well of course a wedding is going to be more expensive than a birthday! We have birthdays every year, but a wedding… typically a more rare occurrence. Vendors are fully aware of the pressures that come with these types of heightened expectations and so more time, precautions, and a more elevated level of customer service is provided. While there are always what some term as “shady” vendors out there, there are an abundance of trustworthy and hardworking ones, which is why it’s so important to do your research prior to booking. Book your vendors based on evidence… what have past couples said about them? Read their blog and review their social media accounts to get a sense of who they are. Get referrals from friends/family who have been through the planning process. Hire a planner whom you connect with and trust and rely on their recommendations.
Regarding negotiating, negotiating is ok! Keep in mind though, negotiating and haggling are two different things. The first thing is making sure you are honest about your budget up front. It’s a possibility that they might be willing to cut or reduce their services in order to fit into your budget, though realize the answer might be no. Most vendors put a lot of research, trial and error into their pricing, it’s not an arbitrary number that they are able to reduce without adjusting the inclusions of a particular package.
Photo: Michele Suits Photography
Word on the Street: Hiring semi-professional friends is cheaper and they’ll do the same job as a professional vendor.
My Take: Will hiring a friend as a DJ, photographer, officiant be cheaper/free? Probably! But does that alone make it the right decision? More often than not, sadly, the answer is no. Weddings are a monumental and emotional day, with a lot of high expectations in place. While you’re friends may have skills, they may not be equipped to handle certain challenges in a wedding scenario. You can always find ways to incorporate friends’ talents, but there are ways to do this on a smaller scale so they’re not the primary person responsible for major aspects of your day.
Word on the Street: You can’t have a great wedding without details, so wedding planners will push you to spend money on them.
My Take: Disagree wholeheartedly with this one! You don’t need a SINGLE detail to get married. A wedding is about two people coming together and being surrounded by those important to you. Details are just the icing on the cake (...literally sometimes!) and that’s only if you want them. You should choose details that are meaningful and have value to you. You don’t have to have something at your wedding just because it’s “tradition” or “expected”. It’s your day and if you have details they should be there because they are special to you.
Bottom line... trust your gut. I know wedding planning can be overwhelming with all the NEW things entering your new realm of reality and every.single.person has a different opinion, so just stay true to you and your fiancé and you'll be set!