Girl, trust me. you should hire a planner
Are you having mixed feelings about hiring a wedding planner? Unsure if it’s worth the expense? Well, great! You’re in the right place.
Don't worry! I'm not going to drown you in all the reasons why you need to hire me. While I 100% agree that you should (or any reputable planner), I really only want to give honest information to a bride in need. Information I wish I understood when I planned my own wedding. Not long ago I was where you are at this very moment. I was a little intimidated at the thought of putting on such a production, but excited because I had the "perfect Pinterest board". I'd been secretly planning my wedding for the past 8 years, so the day after we actually got engaged, I was ready! I'd also had planned a few family events previously, so I knew I was a "naturally great planner", and I thought I could figure out what I needed.
THE WHOLE TRUTH
The best planners are constantly evolving and searching for opportunities to perfect their crafts. Now that I'm a part of this industry, I love immersing myself in the specifics of wedding planning, researching new ideas, and learning how to better my business for my clients. While I may be overly organized and smile at the thought of making lists, I truly wasn't prepared for what was involved with actually planning my own wedding. The bride experience is something you spend time enjoying! I had an amazing journey, but I sometimes wish I was able to sit back and really take it in. In the beginning, I wasn't aware of the current trends no did I know anything about venue flips. Instead I was focused on prowling Pinterest for the PERFECT wedding dress and googling destinations for my bachelorette party. Initially I also didn't give my budget much thought because I knew how much I would spend; realistically I knew nothing. I also already had my dream venue picked out, despite ever truly visiting, so in my head I was 100% ready! - Spoiler alert, didn't happen
Although I had our venue deposit on hand, there was so much for me to learn. After our actual visit, I quickly realized my dream venue may not work. The price listed online was to only reserve one room, they also didn't provide any assistance so I would need to hire someone to flip my ceremony into a reception. The ultimate reality check was when I learned the venue only provided banquet chairs, and not the chiavari chairs I saw in the photos online. I started to get nervous, but knew renting chairs was an option and decided I could always ask my cousin for help along the way.
Well, six months into planning and two caterer tastings later, I had enough! I realized I could only invite 100 of the 200 people on my guest list and that we not only had to rent chairs, but flatware, and plates too; Initially, I assumed the caterer included these as a courtesy. I was officially dealing with wedding woes, but still had to work, take classes, please our parents, meal prep, and be a great fiancé. I was exhausted! I wanted the perfect wedding but increasing our budget was no longer an option and I couldn't fathom the idea of reducing our guest list or changing venues. My dream of a "The Coordinated Bride" feature was vanishing before my eyes and for some strange reason, I decided to buy my wedding dress a size too small. - Sound Familiar?
"Maybe we should just elope." We've all had or may have this thought at some point during our planning process. Eventually, I gave in to my parent’s desire for a closer venue and decided on the beautiful Estate at Independence Golf Club. (No regrets there!) I also met with an amazing wedding planner, who made me feel great and excited, until I received her quote for services. "Whoa!" Similar to many, I too was shocked. I knew it would cost but I didn't know exactly how much. I ultimately decided to pass, figuring I was creative enough to come up with my own decor options. At the time, I didn't understand the actual role of a wedding planner and how much she would actually do. I only saw that her services didn't fit into my ideal budget, not considering the amount of money she would've ultimately saved me in the end.
I had so much to do, and what seemed like two days to do it. I couldn't find the perfect shoes, two of my bridesmaids had yet to order their dresses, one of my friends could no longer be in the wedding, and my relationship with my best friend was on the rocks. I'd lost two bridesmaids in a week, and still had to pick out wedding invitations!
We were finally down to the 30 day countdown. My venue planner finally began getting involved, but only to finalize my tasting and schedule my walk through. For those who may not know, venue coordinators work for the VENUE, very few have time to help you along the way with planning. It's common for venue coordinators to provide vendor suggestions, but other than that involvement is limited. It's a myth that you don't need a planner if your venue has a coordinator!
The countdown was real, like 14 days, 3 hours, 36 minutes, and 45 seconds real. I realized my perfectly planned day would probably be rained out and I was now officially losing it. I only semi-developed an alternative plan because I just "knew" everything would be fine. On top of this all, I was terrified my wedding dress wouldn't arrive on time. I was receiving the run around from the bridal salon, and later found out they were suddenly closing. Thankfully I was able to get my dress a few days before my wedding, just in time to receive minor alterations.
It was finally wedding day and I could finally breathe. Fresh faced with no sleep from the night before, I woke up to get ready for my busy day. We were getting closer and everything was going perfect! Vendors were on time and my photographer had just arrived. I picked over my lunch that I planned out two months before, I was too nervous to eat. I also couldn't stop checking the weather. I thought "it's too cold for my guests", "the grass may still be wet". With just two hours before my ceremony I decided to go with my rain plan, my venue obliged and thirty minutes after that with tears falling from my eyes, I changed my mind. #Girlboss was having a breakdown. My maid of honor, with tissue in hand, came to comfort me. My grandmother, cousin, and venue coordinator came as well. I was full blown bawling on the beautiful balcony of an estate because of wet grass! It was official, I was a #bridezilla.
Ultimately, my day turned out beautiful! Other than my meltdown, I kept my cool. I was able to pull off my wedding but I definitely wouldn't recommend embarking on the planning journey unless your 100% confident you can handle it. I was knowledgeable of schedules and timelines, but If I hired a planner I would've had time to practice my dances, remember to write thank you speeches, order bridesmaid gifts on time, get my eyebrows done, get my bra out of the dryer, and know that my DJ would be sure to use a black tablecloth! Not to mention, focus on the fact that I was actually getting married! Your wedding is a once in a lifetime experience, you and your guests deserve to enjoy and celebrate this momentous occasion completely.
Personally, If I had to do it any other way, I would make the investment and hire a wedding planner. The stress-free experience is worth every single penny. Are you planning your own wedding? If so, feel free to comment about your experience below!