What do Wedding Planners Actually Do?
Ah yes, we get it. J-Lo wore a headset in the film and Monica Geller had a clipboard before Phoebe sacked her (spoiler! Though if you haven’t watched Season 10 of Friends by now, I fear it was never really on your horizons anyway). Everyone vaguely knows what a wedding planner’s role is—they, you know, plan weddings, right?—but what does this actually mean day-to-day? And, away from the lofty, moneyed heights of New York and San Francisco, do people actually use and need them?
I mean – they’re not trying to hide anything. At the root of it all, wedding planners do plan weddings; all of their services can be said to be part of this. However, a major misconception is that wedding planners are always involved in the planning of a wedding from beginning to end. This is one of the services that wedding planners offer, and is super useful if you feel major wedding panic essentially from the moment you get engaged. Weddings are a crazy (wonderful, but definitely crazy) dive into the deep end and it can be wonderfully reassuring to have someone to take the journey with you and assist your decisions from start to finish (other than your partner.) Nevertheless, wedding planners can also offer so much more that’s specific to your particular situation; here’s a rundown of the kind of the things they can (and would love to) do for ya.
On-the-day coordination. This is the opposite of the full start-to-finish involvement: if you have everything sorted, but just want to relax and not have to be in charge of it on the day, most wedding planners will be happy to step in for you and be the point of contact. They’ll do the small talk with suppliers, keep time in check, and even deal with any disasters that may arise. However, this isn’t to say they’ll take over your day and make it march to the beat of their very own, hyper-organised drum: you should plainly set out how you envision the day going perfectly, and then your wedding planner puts in the groundwork on the day to make it match your dream. (Obviously, within reason. As much as most wedding planners can turn muddy fields into gorgeous plains of wedding wonder, they can’t turn water into wine: for a wedding to be coordinated by an external planner on the day, there needs to be a certain level of organisation beforehand. They will need a list of suppliers, and a running order, and probably your premonitions about any worrying behaviour too.) A good wedding planner will do this all in the background: it’s not their day and it’s not even their show. They’ll try to stay back as much as possible, almost invisible: so that you know the help is there, but you don’t really see it in motion.
Last minute coordination. This falls in between the two aforementioned. If you’ve got some things booked – a date, for example, and a venue – but you need other aspects to be finalised and everything to be sorted beyond doubt, many wedding planners will offer a last minute service. This is usually around 6 weeks to a month before your wedding, where they identify problem areas and find the suppliers who are crucially still free for your date, and willing to work.
Venue searching. With a brief detail of your ideal location, date and your vague vision for the day, your wedding planner will can create a shortlist of suitable venues for you, and accompany viewings to help nail the answers to all the important questions.
Supplier suggestion. Last month we talked about the demonisation of wedding suppliers on the blog, and with the amounts of money you’re paying out it’s only natural that you’ll want to have complete trust in the suppliers you’re using for the day. One way to get around this is to ask wedding planners for their personal recommendations. Again, armed you’re your ideal date and vision for the day, wedding planners often offer a service in which they will shortlist available suppliers who’s work they trust.
Styling and design. This bit may seem like a radical departure from planning but rest assured it still takes an analytical approach! Wedding planners are immersed in a brilliantly creative industry, and spend the as much if not more time on Pinterest than planning budgets. If you want a hanging flower installation, they’ll know the people. If you want a beer canoe, they’ll make it happen. If you want to know how you can incorporate your love of literature into table centrepieces, they can give you the perfect way to do it. They’re always keeping on top of burgeoning trends and love to flex their creative wings and discuss ways to make your day pretty as well as perfect. Bring your Pinterest board and your Instagram saved section and start dreaming!
So wedding planners can help you in so much more than you probably initially thought. As well as being your wedding planner, they’ll become an invaluable ally and at the end they may become a lifelong friend. Why not contact one today? We have loads of trusted suppliers who can make your day perfect - check them out here. Most consultations are no obligation – pick up the phone, arrange a coffee and see if you like their vibe. Happy wedding planning!