Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner

Fredericksburg VA Wedding Photographer Wolfcrest Photography

When I’m working with a bride and ask her if they have hired a wedding planner, it’s not just a question I found somewhere and like to ask for fun. People used to view wedding consultants/planners as an indulgence for the rich (insert a scene of Franck aka. Martin Short from “Father of the Bride” here. bahaha), but that’s not so much the case anymore. A wedding planner should be a gifted organizer, time-management guru, and style consultant. Within the last twenty years, weddings have become more costly, more involved, and filled with tremendous options. It can quickly become overwhelming for a bride and her mother/sister/closest friend to do all on their own.  Even though a planner means an additional cost that most brides figure they can save and use elsewhere in their budget, people don’t realize the perks that can come out from hiring a planner. She can frequently find better deals than you could get on your own and help to find creative ways to allow you to achieve your dream wedding on your budget. Think about this — you are a one-shot deal, but a wedding planner is a repeat customer so vendors have an incentive to do a better job for her. Typically vendors will often throw in some nice extras and work harder for your wedding. A planner should also be able to save you from costly mistakes on top of making sure that everything runs smoothly on the day of your wedding. This peace of mind can really ease the stress for you and your family on your wedding day because your planner will be running the show. 

Vendors may have an inside track on good planners. Don’t hesitate to seek recommendations from any vendor you know or whose work you’ve admired at other events. Choosing a wedding planner has a lot to do with compatibility. You’re entrusting a lot to this person, so you should go with your gut when you are with them. You’ll be involved with this person a lot over the course of your planning, so you should definitely like her as well as like her style. Can you see yourself and your wedding in her previous work or when you’re speaking with her about your day, or is she envisioning a wedding that is simply not you?

Though most every bride can benefit from the help of a planner, these situations call for one more than others:

  • Destination weddings: It’s no coincidence that 25% of those embarking on destination weddings hire a planner.
  • Weddings at an off-site location: A.k.a. any location where you’re dealing with tents and all manner of rentals. This includes a home wedding since you’ll have to adapt the home and grounds to accommodate a crowd.
  • Large weddings (more than two hundred guests). More people simply equal more work.
  • Difficult family dynamics: The planner can serve as a neutral point person, negotiator, and mediator.
  • Inflexible work schedule: If you can’t devote ten hours a week to wedding planning for the first two months, five hours a week for the next few months, and ten to twenty hours a week for the last ten weeks before the wedding, a planner could be a lifesaver.
  • Organizational phobia: If organization isn’t your strong suit, a planner can be a godsend.

Fredericksburg VA Wedding Photographer Wolfcrest Photography

A significant number of planners base their fees on a percentage of the entire cost of your wedding (typically 15 to 20%), but its best to find a planner who bases her charges on the job rather than the budget — that way you won’t book a planner whose incentive is to sell up at every turn. Before you hire a wedding planner, be sure to discuss what her responsibilities are and that they are part of her contract. For example, some brides expect the wedding planner to be the one to review all of the contracts with other vendors. She’s not an attorney, so you shouldn’t depend on every planner to review a contract. After all, it’s your name that’s being signed at the bottom, not hers. But also don’t be afraid of asking for help in specific areas if you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed — a good planner can point you in the right direction! If you are starting to plan your wedding and haven’t begun the process yet, a planner is typically the best place to start and the first person you should book because she can recommend vendors directly and help get you started off in the right direction. Happy Wedding Planning!

Source: The Wedding Book: The Big Book For Your Big Day



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  • Jennifer ParsonsAugust 6, 2013 - 9:38 pm

    I love that you linked to that clip, hahaha! I couldn’t agree more with this post! Having a planner means your family can enjoy the wedding day rather than working and coordinating everything! Great tip and the pricing being based on work rather than percent! I never thought about it that way.ReplyCancel

    • SaraAugust 6, 2013 - 10:32 pm

      Jennifer, you are definitely right about that! The families involved in a wedding should be able to relax and enjoy the big day — especially since it all goes by so fast 🙂ReplyCancel

  • charityAugust 6, 2013 - 10:12 pm

    Those are very useful ideas! I’ll definitely pass some of them along to the brides I work with!ReplyCancel

    • SaraAugust 6, 2013 - 10:34 pm

      Awesome, Charity! So glad to hear 🙂ReplyCancel

  • waniAugust 7, 2013 - 10:07 pm

    what great tips – thanks for sharing Sara 🙂ReplyCancel

  • sarahAugust 8, 2013 - 11:22 pm

    so true! especially about the coordinator as family mediator! this part can be so very important!!!ReplyCancel

  • LarianneAugust 13, 2013 - 1:25 pm

    I’ve never thought of it that way. Not gonna lie, I definitely thought wedding planners were for the rich haha. And I’m in the wedding field! Shame on me. Thanks for this insight 🙂ReplyCancel

Sara and Adam are are a husband and wife photography and cinematography team based out of Fredericksburg, VA. Our primary work consists of weddings, engagements, portraits, and pets. We are available for travel within Northern Virginia, DC, Charlottesville, and Richmond and would love to speak with you. Please contact us to find out more information about our services!