Hiring a Wedding Planner vs Planning a Wedding Yourself
You have probably heard the stories from all your friends who are already married. Wedding planning is stressful. It takes a lot of work and planning, not to mention time and energy. No one can argue with the result, but everyone agrees that the process of getting there is not an easy one.
How can you make this process a little easier on yourself? One of the ways to decrease stress while planning a wedding is to hire a wedding planner. Plenty of people do it and swear that it helped streamline the process to no end. But maybe you are skeptical. After all, might having a wedding planner not make things more stressful? Would it not be difficult to have to run all your decisions and ideas through another person in addition to your significant other, parents, friends and everyone else who already wants to help?
Today, we want to examine this question: Does a wedding planner make planning a wedding easier? Is it worth it? Does it lower your stress levels and make the time leading up to your wedding easier on you and your whole family? By the time you have finished reading, we hope you will have your answer.
What Is a Wedding Planner and What Do They Do?
To begin, we want to clear up any confusion about what a wedding planner is and what they are not. After all, the confusion is understandable, especially when it comes to how much a wedding planner does.
A wedding planner is someone who helps you plan your wedding. However, your wedding is still very much your own. No final decisions are made without you and your partner’s knowledge and consent unless they are extremely minute details. For example, your wedding planner will not pick the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses, leaving you no choice in the matter. They will not plan the music for the bride to walk down the aisle to without telling you. These kinds of decisions are big and important, and they are ones you and your partner need to make.
However, your wedding planner can do all kinds of things to help you out. They can meet with vendors and set up meetings, food tastings and other events. They can help you negotiate prices. They can give you advice about which vendors are a good choice. They can screen potential DJs or videographers. They can coordinate with your photographer. Essentially, they handle the business and logistics side of things.
It might help to think of it this way. Imagine that your wedding planning process is a business. You are the CEO. All major decisions either come from you or are run by you for approval. But you can hardly expect to manage every tiny detail, and that is why you have other managers. They handle nitty-gritty details. You delegate work to them because you would be overwhelmed if you tried to do it all yourself.
Why You Should Use a Wedding Planner
Now that we know who a wedding planner is and what they do, let us dive into the heart of the question and look at why you should hire a planner to help you in the months and weeks leading up to your wedding. They can do all of the following.
1. Help With Your Budget
As you might expect, wedding planners see a lot of weddings. They have a ton of experience. That means they know all the typical pitfalls and dangers that an inexperienced planner like yourself might stumble right into. This possibility can apply to a lot of different areas in your planning journey, but it is particularly relevant when it comes to money.
Planners know where your money will do the most good and where it will be wasted. They are aware of what endeavors are simply not worth the money and which ones are worth paying a little extra to. While the final financial decisions will always be yours, your wedding planner can offer invaluable insight and help you see where your money would be best directed.
2. Give You Legal Advice
No, wedding planners are not lawyers, but they know the law when it comes to weddings. By leaving legal matters in their hands, you are ensuring that things on that end will go smoothly. They will know if your paperwork is off, whereas your untrained eye might miss something, and you might not realize it until the day of the wedding or later.
In addition to things like marriage documents, they can also make sure you are covered in terms of your venue. Depending on where you want to get married, there is a legal side to it. For example, if you want to get married on a beach, you should know that many beaches have regulations and laws that you will need to follow. While processes like these can certainly be attempted by an amateur, there is always the possibility of mistakes. Often, paperwork and documentation are best left to those who know what they are doing.
3. Fight for Your Vision
Wedding planners understand that this is your day, and they know how important it is to you. While all the vendors and venues you work with will see you as just another one of the hundreds of couples they will see this week, your wedding planner is personally invested in you and your special day. They will sit down with you to talk about your vision until they get a good understanding of what it is you want most out of the experience. While they might have some suggestions if your ideas are unrealistic, they understand that their job is to help make your perfect day a reality.
All this means that you have someone in your corner willing to fight for your ideas. While an amateur might be cowed and back down from a vendor, your planner will know how to work with them until you have what you need for your wedding. That level of support is something you cannot put a price tag on.
4. Decrease Your Stress Levels
Planning a wedding involves keeping track of a crazy number of details. It is more than one person can handle without a huge amount of stress unless you have a lot of practice at it. Lucky for you, wedding planners have just this type of practice. They are used to juggling all the different necessary tasks.
By handing over some of the responsibility to a capable planner, you are freeing yourself from weeks of stress. Instead, you can use this time to make plans for after your wedding, your honeymoon or some other important task that might otherwise get lost in the shuffle of wedding planning.
Your mental and emotional health will improve immensely with the weight of this stress lifted. The time leading up to your wedding is already a highly emotional time, and you need the time and space to process these emotions without the added burden of stress.
5. Get You Discounts
Discounts are not accessible in every case, but they are available often enough that it bears mentioning. When you go to a wedding vendor, they will not know you from any of the other couples they deal with. While they certainly want to do their job well and please you, they will not be overly invested in matching your budget or making sure you get what you want.
Wedding planners, on the other hand, are repeat customers for many vendors. Vendors recognize planners and know that planners can steer couples away from them or toward them. Because of this, vendors know that it is in their best interest to please planners. They are often willing to give planners special bargains or deals that they would not simply give to any customer.
6. Help You Tie the Whole Day Together
No matter how great your different vendors are, they are all only there for one job. The caterers are there to handle the food, the DJ is there to control the music and so on. They are interested in doing their own job and doing it well. But they are not there to help you pull the whole project together.
A wedding planner, on the other hand, knows every detail of the entire day. They know what everyone is supposed to be doing at any given moment and where everyone is supposed to be. They will know if a detail is wrong, which means they will be able to jump in and fix it.
What makes them so uniquely valuable is their ability to tie the whole event together through their intimate knowledge of all your plans and goals. While everyone else is primarily interested in only one aspect of the day, they are the running through-line that keeps the entire day on track. In other words, they are the glue that holds the whole thing together.
7. Be Your Second Pair of Eyes
Two heads are better than one, or so the saying goes. The same is true when it comes to planning a wedding. With two people putting their heads together, there is a much greater chance that things will go right. Having a second pair of eyes can be invaluable. Your wedding planner may be able to catch details you have missed, think of things you have overlooked and remember information you might otherwise have forgotten.
There might be a small detail that you were not even aware was something you had to think about since you have never planned a wedding before. But your wedding planner has years of experience and will be able to direct your attention toward that detail.
Ideally, your wedding day will go off without a hitch. All the vendors will arrive on time, the guests will have a wonderful time, and by the end of the day, you will be married. However, there is always the possibility that something goes wrong somewhere along the line. If a problem rears its head on your wedding day, you are not going to be able to deal with it — you will be busy getting ready yourself.
Here is where your wedding planner can step in. Your videographer sprained their ankle at the last minute and cannot come? Your planner will track down a replacement. The flowers arrived, but they are all wrong? Leave that to your planner to troubleshoot. With them there to sweat these kinds of last-minute emergencies, you can spend your time focusing on getting ready for your big moment.
The Counterarguments: Why Would You Not Want a Wedding Planner?
As great as a wedding planner is in every way, we know some people will be unsure about hiring one. Maybe they have heard negative stories, have their own doubts or are just not sure how necessary the planner is in the first place. One by one, we want to address these potential concerns and see if they hold any water.
1. Will I Have to Relinquish Control?
One common concern is that you and your partner will have to relinquish some of your control over the ceremony and reception to your planner. You might worry that, by hiring a planner, you are giving up some of your own agency in the planning process and putting yourself at the mercy of whatever your planner wants to do.
But remember the analogy we used earlier. You are the CEO of your wedding. You are in charge. Your wedding planner works for you, and that means it is their job to execute your vision. You are the one making the final decisions. Your wedding planner is there to handle the details and the busywork — not to usurp your control. The only things you might be losing control of are the hours spent on the phone with the florist — and did you really want to do that anyway?
2. Can You Save Money by Planning Your Own Wedding?
Cost is another reason some people may balk at the idea of hiring a wedding planner. Why spend the money? Why not save by just planning the wedding yourself?
These are valid concerns, but there is a good answer to them. Yes, hiring a wedding planner costs money, but it is worth every penny. Your wedding planner is an invaluable source of information, experience and know-how. They can lower your stress, sweat every detail for you and be your biggest cheerleader when it comes to creating the wedding of your dreams. And that is worth every single dollar you will spend.
In addition to this, think of all the money a wedding planner can save you. They have a vast knowledge of tips and tricks to help you cut your spending in places that you might never have thought of. They may be able to get you discounts and special deals with certain vendors. In some cases, you can think of hiring a wedding planner as a way of saving money instead of spending extra.
3. What If I Am Really Good at Planning Myself?
Another reason some people may have for not hiring a wedding planner is they simply do not see a need. Maybe they are really good at planning things themselves, or they really enjoy the DIY approach.
However, based on all the different reasons we outlined, we hope you will agree that no matter how good you are at planning, a wedding planner’s experience is extremely valuable. It is not a matter of who is a better planner, you or a professional. Instead, it is about relieving your stress and freeing you up to worry about more important things instead of concerning yourself with minute details.
Questions to Ask Your Wedding Planner
If you are seriously considering hiring a wedding planner, we congratulate you. But we understand that you might still be held back by uncertainty. You might feel ill-equipped to meet with a planner and talk about weddings. After all, what questions do you ask them? How do you know what things to talk about?
If this is your cause of uncertainty, there is no need to worry. Here is a quick list of what to ask about with any wedding planner you are thinking about hiring.
- Cost: A question about prices is standard. Before you hire anyone, you need to know how much they charge for their services. Before interviewing wedding planners, you may want to do some quick research online to see how much a typical wedding planner charges. That way, you will know if the price your potential planner quotes is excessively high or suspiciously low. You might also ask this planner how they arrived at their chosen salary.
- Availability:This is another important factor to ask about. Will the planner be online 24/7 for you to contact, or available only on Mondays and Wednesdays during business hours? If they have limited availability and you foresee yourself needing a lot of planning help, you might want to go with someone who has a more open schedule.
- Experience: Essentially, you want to know how qualified a planner is to do this job. Are you going to be the first wedding they have ever planned? Or are they an old hand at this, making you just one of the hundreds of weddings they have done? While it is a great thing to help someone get started by being their first or second customer, there is also nothing wrong with being uncomfortable hiring someone with so little experience. When questioning a potential planner, you might feel much more secure if you find out that they have planned many, many weddings before yours.
- Recommendations: This section is not always necessary since a person can have recommendations and still not be great at their job and vice versa. But there is no denying the fact that hearing a glowing review about a person makes you much more inclined to trust them and hire them. If you are on the fence about a wedding planner, we recommend asking if they have any references from couples they have worked with in the past. You might also ask if they are certified through any organization, and check with that organization for their credentials.
Delaware Weddings at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
At the end of the day, hiring a wedding planner is a personal decision for you and your spouse to make together. If you choose to hire one, you may find your stress burden lifted and many speed bumps removed along the way. However, if you decide not to hire one, it may be the right decision for you — especially if you are already naturally surrounded by a team of eager, helpful and capable individuals ready to lend a hand.
Wedding planner or not, we know that everyone is looking for ways to make their wedding day truly special and memorable. If you are wracking your brain for ideas on how to do this, we have a great one. Why not hold your wedding in a casino? Specifically, why not hold it in the beautiful and luxurious Dover Downs Hotel & Casino?
We offer several different wedding packages so that no matter what your needs are, there is an option here to suit them. Depending on the number of guests at your wedding, we also offer several complimentary rooms for your convenience.
Learn more about hosting a wedding with Dover Downs Hotel & Casino today.