Wedding Planners – Do You Need Them? Or Do You Really Need Them?

It has been accomplished. Almost everyone knows that some special someones are going to get married, and a few people are even perfectly clear on who it is that is getting hitched. The rest will most probably be excited at the prospect of free food and some will even wonder whether there will finally be an open bar at one of these events. Oh, and of course they will also want to be there to wish the new couple all the best on their embarkation on the saga that is marriage. The first port of call in this journey is obviously the wedding ceremony, and thus the wedding day becomes both the inception and the first hurdle of the dashing duo of imminent newlyweds’ new life together. So it becomes almost imperative that the couple find themselves some help to aid them in reaching their destination.

Wedding Planner? Why?

It is a monumental task to arrange even a small wedding. Many naysayers will say that they would be fine without any help, and more budget conscious individuals will always want to tackle the tasks thrown at them in the course of preparing for a wedding entirely on their own, or at the most with some help from close friends and family.

However, first you have to fix the venue and book the hall. If you’re having more than one ceremony, then your work is just doubled. Scavenging for a place, especially if you’re getting hitched in a premier wedding season, is a difficult proposition. And then there is the fact that you have to start haggling with the operators of the venue. Here’s where the wedding planner comes in.

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Image: Shutterstock

Then, you have to arrange for catering. A large segment of the wedding attending population does so for the food, and if you don’t have this crucial step arranged for well in time, then you are looking to get people detracting from the event, and going on to speak behind your back as well. You have to ensure that there is enough to go around for everybody. Another headache best saved for wedding planners.

The dresses and other parts of the bride’s trousseau and the groom’s attire need to be arranged for well before the wedding itself. Both parties, and their respective bridesmaids and groomsmen, need to go for a sitting to get their measurements taken. Then, after all the garments have been made they have to picked up and kept in wait for W-Day.

You have to think up and contrive seating arrangements for everyone in the hall as well. An inordinately drudging and tiresome task, this is a situation rife with the potential for disaster. Especially in families where people don’t get along with each other; can you really imagine this aunty sitting next to, or really within 50 feet, of that other aunty?

All of this added to the stress of sorting out everything else leads to the creation of a recipe for total pandemonium.

Who is a Wedding Planner?

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Image: Shutterstock

Also known as bridal consultants, an on-site wedding planner or coordinator is your go-to individual on the wedding floor. Their sole purpose is to oversee all the arrangements for the wedding and to ensure that the wheels of service are kept continuously lubricated with the grease of efficiency. They will see that all aspects of the wedding are going as streamlined as possible, for your wedding and reception.

A wedding planner:

  • Would arrange a meeting with you to discuss your ideas and inspirations that you have for your reception or ceremony.
  • Will provide an overview of what will be on offer at the venue.
  • Together, they will work with you to create a feasible budget that will be affordable.
  • They will discuss the food choices, and might possibly even arrange for some taste samples.
  • They will aid you to organise a floor plan for the seating of guests for your events.
  • They will present you with an initial written quote for their estimate which will depend solely on the scale of your function.
  • The policies on deposits and the payment schedules for the vendors will be explained in great detail.
  • They will act as an overseer for the entire setup of the ceremony and/or the reception.

Levels of Involvement

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Via: Source

Wedding planners operate at your convenience and level of requirement. Thus, there are wedding planners who specialise at operating at every level in this spectrum. The three main types are:

  1. Initial Consultations- This planner will only help you at at the beginning, using their experience in the field to help you sort out your budget and a schedule of events. They will also advise you on how to deal with vendors, and in some cases will even give you referrals to potential vendors in the vicinity. These wedding planners typically ask for an hourly or per-session basis, so it’s a little easier to keep the flow of money in check.
  2. Partial Planning- This planner customarily enters the picture a few weeks prior to the wedding to ensure that all the little details are finished and sorted out. A few of them even only appear for the rehearsal and the ceremony itself to ensure that the felicitations are going smoothly. These wedding planners usually bill by the clock or alternatively charge a flat fee that counts for a set period of time.
  3. Beginning to End Service: This planner will slowly take their time to understand you and your significant other better, getting to know your tastes and needs, before helping you craft a perfect budget and a timeline for the events leading up to the big day. They will involve themselves in everything from recommendations for food and beverages, to choosing the floral decorations and other elements of decor that complement your aesthetic and budget. Usually in possession of connections to a wide variety of vendors, they will help you find the best and most economic ones. These wedding planners usually charge a flat fee or negotiate their contract on a case by case basis.

We would suggest that if you choose to employ the services of a wedding planner, then you should look for one who is either an Association of Bridal Consultants member or one who at the least follows the same code of ethics. This code charges wedding planners with the duty of full disclosure on any referral fees before the signing of the contract.

Reasons You Can Skip on Hiring a Wedding Planner

For some people there is no debate on the subject of hiring a wedding planner. It is in most cases a categorical no, as most people think that they can handle every preparation and do all the vendor research by themselves. They go into it thinking that the whole thing could actually be a lot of fun, and assuming that the only way for them to know all of their options is to look into the suppliers themselves. They’ll think that this is the only method to make an informed decision, so that they can ensure that they achieve just the right style at the perfect price. They will think that there is no need of a wedding planners experience or ‘contacts’. A lot of couples prefer to do this because they feel it saves them a decent chunk of money that they can now put into the actual wedding itself. But then, is it not said that hindsight is perfectly clear, while your foresight has all the visual acumen of a drunken bat. Notice the lack of a question mark there.

Reasons You’ll Wish you Hadn’t Skipped on Hiring a Wedding Planner

Preparing for a Wedding Isn’t Always Fun:

wedding-planner

Image : Shubharambh Production Photography

Of course it’s all fun and games when it’s cake designs that you have to go over, it’s all laughter and happy exclamation marks. But when it comes to arranging all the buses for the transportation of your guests from your reception area to the ceremony and back, and the organisation of the seating arrangements is devoid of any enjoyment and will in fact bring about exclamation marks of an entirely different sort. When you get to going though vendor contracts or start to keep track of your payments, then you really want to start hurting people. Contrary to what most people believe the hiring of a wedding planner doesn’t mean that you don’t get to choose your saree or gown, or that you have no say in how anything goes. A wedding planner limits their involvement to only what is relegated to them at the onset of their contract. The path to your wedding will be trail blazed by you, leaving the wedding planner to handle all the decidedly boring bits.

Planning a Wedding is Stressful:

Far from being a serene romantic experience, planning for a wedding is one of the most irritating and frustrating tasks known to human beings. With innumerable details to oversee, from bothersome relatives and meddling friends to dealing with multiple vendors, a wedding is a hectic affair to plan for. Most people who choose to take up the mantle of wedding planning for themselves usually find themselves completely fed up in the penultimate months before the wedding day, and just wish that it was all over. You’ll stress lose weight, break into frustrated sobs and end up being snappy with you partner as both your nerves reach fraying point. Brining a professional on board would help take some of the weight off your shoulders and relax, even if just a little bit.

You Won’t Find The Best Vendors:

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In spite of researching vendors by themselves, most couples don’t end up making the best supplier decisions. At an average, of fifteen vendors that they had chosen, most couples were only happy with about three. This lapse in judgement can severely affect the smooth flow of the wedding proceedings. The fear that a planner will make couples choose and settle for things that they don’t want is a completely irrational one.

You Won’t Know What To Seek in a Vendor:

Other than the mighty ally of Google search, most people won’t have much support to begin the interrogation of potential vendors, especially since most initial contact happens through email. They won’t know the protocol of what exactly to ask for. People have to be very specific with vendors, and have to ask them for all the specific details of the services that they promise. Naturally, it wouldn’t do to find out that the 4 tier cake that you’ve been set on in your dreams only turns out be nine inches tall.

The Sheer Investment of Time:

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Image: Shubharambh Production Photography

It is hard to fathom exactly how much work goes into the planning of a wedding until people really get into the thick of things, which usually happens once you’ve fully laid out your plans and desires. The million little details that have to be considered and planned for will stagger most people. Most people who take up the responsibility of handling their own wedding planning usually end up taking copious amounts of leave, just so that they’ll have enough time to do all the work. If they work late, or have hobbies that they can’t afford to drop, or indeed if they have a life, then they would not appreciate the prospect of drowning under a tsunami of to-do lists right up until the wedding itself.

Murphy’s Law Always Rears its Ugly Head:

The colossal number of things that can go wrong in the worst possible way at the absolute last moment is worthy of a Laurel and hardy movie, or any of the other slapstick classics. Of course, it’s only funny if you’re a completely unprincipled reprobate, and more importantly, if it’s not happening to you. Everything from the cake, to the speakers for the sangeet, to the number of tables or plates is a potential disaster waiting to spring itself on to the poor unsuspecting, but intrepid couple.

Wedding Planners Can Actually Help Reduce Costs:

While it might seem to be an exorbitant waste of money to hire someone to help with organising a wedding, people are constantly surprised at how much money they end up saving after hiring a good wedding planner. A professional is aware of the going rates, and can instantly shoot down any vendor who quotes too high, and are knowledgeable enough to avoid pitfalls where the service sounds too good to be true. They will know the vendors in your vicinity and will help you to get the best value for your rupees.

Finding Other Help is Often Difficult:

There is such a staggeringly huge amount of things to take care of that most people will try and rope in friends and family to help out in their trials. And while people will find some others who can help, they won’t find all the help you need, and those who do volunteer will have their own lives and things to do. A lot of coordination and effort can be saved by the hiring of a wedding planner who can then do all that for you. At the end, all people want a stress-free and romantic wedding experience, not to deal with bills and logistics.

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