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Archive for the ‘Why hire a wedding planner’ Category

DIY vs. Hiring Professionals

The first step in the planning process of a wedding or big event is figuring out the budget. From there, it’s about setting priorities and finding ways to bring all of the elements you want to create your vision within your budget. More and more couples that come to work with me are paying for at least part, if not all of their wedding, so keeping a tight rein on the budget is very important.

It’s often tempting to do this by becoming a DIY (do it yourself) bride or asking friends and family to help out. While this is a great idea in theory, I urge caution when moving forward with this idea. It may sound like a nice idea to have your friend who just bought a really nice camera take all of your pictures, but if you have been visualizing your photos you need to know that the caliber will not be the same with a “friendor” as it will with a real wedding vendor. However, if you really are OK with snap shot style photography then this might be an area you could cut back. Keep in mind that even though someone might have equipment, this doesn’t mean they know how to take pictures from the most flattering angles, using lighting correctly or how to do so without being intrusive.

When you hire a pro, you also have the contract which ensures they will deliver what you are paying them for. I recently had a wedding where the bride was working with a lot of friends and family to help out with different elements, a few of them backed out at the last-minute (including the friend that was going to make the cake! Backed out three days before!). This is an unknown, and nobody thinks it will happen to them but I’ve seen it all. It’s just another thing to keep in mind when setting those priorities.

It all comes down to priorities. DIY may save you money (and I say MAY because this is not always the case. Just ask the bride who had to buy DIY invitations three times over because she didn’t print them correctly or realized a spelling mistake or didn’t like the font!) but the offset is that it will take a lot of time and probably cause you stress. I usually recommend to my couples that they really think hard what is most important to them. Are gorgeous fragrant flowers the element you have always held important, but maybe cake is not as important to you? Or maybe having your day photographed perfectly is a top priority but that limo isn’t really a necessity. Is a live band what you’ve always dreamed of? If so then an “i-pod wedding” might not be your ideal.

The photos from the wedding below illustrate such a point. This chocolate loving couple was all about the cake, but flowers from the local farmers market were just fine for the centerpieces.

No DIY on the cake for this couple! It was all about the chocolate 🙂

Flowers from the farmers market made a lovely centerpiece

Because I am a wedding planner, I have an obvious biased towards the importance of hiring one. But I also want you to consider this. Hiring a professional to help you with your planning should not ultimately ad money to your budget. I work with wedding pros in all budgets, many of whom will give my couples a discount or added value so my fee is absorbed that way. It also saves you time and stress. This is one area where you don’t want a “newbie” or a friend to help you out. They don’t have the experience and professional contacts to do this for you.

And your budget doesn’t have to be big to work with Memorable Events. I have worked with couples with budgets of a few thousand to tens of thousands and all were equally happy. It’s just a matter of working with the budget you have and deciding where it is best spent.

Call for a free consultation 603-762-4264, email jennifer@memorableevents.ws or visit www.memorableevents.ws to find out more!

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Why hire a wedding planner

Last week I talked about when to hire a wedding planner, now I am going to give you my top 10 reasons to work with an experienced wedding planner and how it can make your wedding planning experience amazing!

#10: Someone is as truly into your wedding as you are

Yes, your friends and family are excited about your coming wedding, but they are not living and breathing it the way you are. They may not want to hear about every little detail you think of, and they might not get as excited as you about the cute little center piece you found, or the fact that you are maybe thinking of changing your colors, or your cake flavor, or your vows…your wedding planner will want to hear everything! In fact, she’ll be giving you some great ideas to mull over too.

#9: Someone to help guide you through the etiquette

So you don’t want kids at the reception? Second marriage? Divorced parents? Vendor tipping? Invitation wording (is an email RSVP OK?) Is a cash bar tacky? When to send thank you notes?

OK, you get it, the list goes on and on. There are so many etiquette questions, it’s nice to have someone to guide you through the process ensuring that you won’t make a major blunder!

#8: Someone to help keep things in perspective

Weddings involve a lot of emotion and it’s easy to get caught up in drama that can go along with any wedding. A good wedding planner is there to help you keep it real. They are an unbiased party whose goal is to help you get down the aisle with as little stress as possible. She’ll base her advice to you on years of experience and countless weddings, rather than emotion and sometimes this is exactly what you’ll need to hear to keep you grounded.

#7: Established vendor relationships

A good wedding planner has been working with the area vendors for a long time. She’ll know the best fit for your wants/needs, vision and budget. She’ll recommend the vendor that will be a good fit for your particular event. She’ll know the work ethic and quality of the product or service offered by a particular vendor and can steer you in the right direction. Some preferred vendors may offer discounts or added value for brides working with her, which will help reduce your overall budget.

This being said, always ask your potential wedding planner if she takes kickbacks (payments from vendors to bring them business). This is a shaky ethical practice, your wedding planner should be passing discounts along to you and ensuring you have the best fit for your wedding, not the biggest kickback.

#6: Takes on the stuff you don’t enjoy

So you enjoy picking out flowers and coming up with your color scheme. You’re having a great time finding your gown and talking with the photographer about what shots you really want. But finding hotels for your guests and getting the RSVP’s are not so much fun? Figuring out the timeline is boggling your mind? Most wedding planners offer a custom package where you can do the parts you enjoy and hand the rest off. Sound like a dream come true…well it is! Your dream wedding come true.

#5: Experience, experience, experience!

I would never say we’ve seen it all, that’s just asking for trouble, but we’ve seen a lot! Every wedding is unique but there is potential for many of the same issues at each event but a good wedding planner will recognize them and act upon her experience to avoid them.  This is probably your first time planning a wedding (assuming it’s your first wedding, and if it’s not you probably don’t want a mirror image of your last one…) and your wedding planner has worked with countless couples to bring their wedding vision to life, so trust her. She’s there for you, to make your wedding special so she will use that experience to help guide you and give you ideas. And avoid the pitfalls!

#4: Saves you time

I’ve seen estimates that weddings can take 250 hours to plan! That’s a lot of time. Time, if you are like most people, is something of a commodity and a rare one at that. One of the biggest time vacuums is researching the vendors. You will get great vendor recommendations and even quotes from your wedding planner. You can also have her do other time-consuming tasks like addressing envelopes, keep track of the RSVP’s, follow-up with those you haven’t heard from-and that’s just on the invitations! Imagine taking every task involved with the wedding and streamlining the process to take out the wasted hours. It would make the whole thing much more enjoyable!

#3 You are a DIY bride

So you’ve made a lot of the plans and along the way these plans included many statements like “well I could just…” or “it would be easy to…” or “my friend can…” but now that the big day is coming up, you are realizing that somebody has to pull all of these DIY elements together.  If you haven’t hired wedding pros to do things like  the centerpiece or the decorating then it’s up to you. Is this what you want to be doing the morning of your wedding? Setting up tables?A trend I am seeing right now is to have a friend or family member officiate the wedding. Getting ordained online or becoming a JP doesn’t include a how to guidebook  for actually running a wedding so you’ll need someone to help guide your wedding party through the ceremony.

#2: Keeps you on budget

This was discussed in an earlier post, but it warrants repeating. Hiring a wedding planner early on in the planning process is the easiest way to keep you on budget. They will recommend the best venue and wedding pros to bring your dream wedding to reality, while staying on the budget of your reality. At the initial consultation you should leave feeling like you have a good idea of how much you’ll need for your wedding. She’ll help you to prioritize your budget and help you to make choices to ensure you stay within your budget. She’ll have an overall picture of where you are in terms of expenses already made, and what you still have coming up. It’s often the small hidden costs that can add up, and if you aren’t taking them into account then it can be a real budget buster.

Wedding planning firms often negotiate preferred rates for their clients with vendors that they bring repeat business to. This savings is passed along to the client and can result in significant savings allowing you to stretch your budget a bit further.

#1: Stress reduction!

The number one reason I am told by couples that they decided to hire Memorable Events  is just an overall reduction in the stress! All of the above reasons add up to stress. By working with a wedding planner the wedding planning process will be an enjoyable one and will allow you to appreciate the time you have together as an engaged couple. 

Even if you are the type of couple that enjoy the planning process, the weekend of your wedding is going to be a time that you will want to enjoy your friends and family. You aren’t going to want to be bombarded with questions about the timeline or have issues brought to your attention. You aren’t going to want your family to have to take on that role either. Many people who have done the planning themselves decide they want someone to help out for the day of coordination. This frees them up to be a “guest” at their own wedding, rather than having all of the hosting duties.

Please consider calling or emailing Memorable Events for a free consultation to find out how we can help you with any or all of the above reasons!

Photo courtesy of www.mccalisterweddings.com

Anne and Bayard a wonderful couple I worked last summer.

 

above photo courtesy of  www.mccallisterphoto.com 

(visit Anne’s wedding photography website at www.asweddings.com)

When is the right time to hire a wedding planner?

I am not saying that a wedding planner should be your first call after you get engaged…call your friends and family first! However, the earlier on in your planning process you contact a wedding planner the better off you will be.

The first critical step in planning your wedding is going to be setting up your budget. Most wedding planners offer a complimentary consultation and budget is often one of the things discussed.  At that first meeting, you’ll get a good idea of how much your wedding will cost and how to prioritize your budget to include all of the “hidden” costs.  A great wedding planner will help you stick to it.

Working with a wedding planner from the beginning can help avoid some pitfalls and can help couples really avoid a lot of stress and wasted time. We will make sure you have the appropriate wedding professional to help fit your budget and vision.

That being said, it’s never a wrong time to start working with a wedding planner. At Memorable Events, we have worked with couples as far as 18 months in advance, to as little as three weeks prior to the event. Often couples will start the planning process on their own and have some basic plans laid out but come to realize that they could use some help finalizing the details.

DIY brides often find themselves feeling a bit overwhelmed as the big day comes closer and they realize there needs to be someone to pull all of these elements together as well as oversee the day.

So from just getting the engagement ring to just about to say I do, the best time to hire a wedding planner is now! Stay tuned for the top 10 reasons to hire a wedding planner over the next few days.

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