Your one-and-only popped the question and you said “Yes!” You might have already said yes to a certain dress, but there’s still one thing you might be wondering about nodding your head to – a wedding planner.
Should you hire a wedding planner or should you do it yourself? According to The Association of Bridal Consultants, the average total cost for a wedding consultant is $3,636 in the northeast and $2,635 in the south. The national average is $3,262.
Like with most things, there are pros and cons to each, so you have to think about what it is you really want and weigh it out.
If you need a little guidance, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out whether you should make some room in your budget for a wedding planner or take the planning journey on your own.
Do You Have Time to Wedding Plan?
First thing’s first – wedding planning is time consuming; it could almost be called another full time job. Hence, the wedding planning profession. Do you have enough time to dedicate to all the moving parts? And there are many! Wedding planning is not just about picking out linens and cake frosting. It’s not all fun stuff.
If you do it yourself, you’ll be responsible for getting prices, calling vendors, putting together a timeline, overseeing set up, receiving deliveries, clean up, and so much more. If you’re up for that and have a decent amount of free time (or are a time management warrior), more power to you. But if you feel like you’ll have to squeeze wedding planning into your already hectic everyday life, hiring a professional planner might be a better option.
If you hire a wedding planner, you can still help with the planning process and even get others involved. Friends and family can help you with your DIY projects, overall design, linen shopping, and the like. Essentially, hiring a professional will free you up to plan the fun stuff!
Do You (or family/friends) Have Planning Experience?
And speaking of getting others involved – some brides like to hand over some or all of the wedding planning to close friends or family members who have planned other weddings. If you’ve heard yourself say something like, “My cousin Katy planned her sister’s wedding and it was so dreamy. She says she’d love to plan mine. Should I give her that opportunity?”
First of all, how much did Katy really plan? And was it a wedding similar to yours in size/budget/etc.?
Before you hand over the reins, have a deep conversation with your family member or friend to find out exactly what it is she knows about the planning process and how she can help you achieve your wedding day goals.
Also keep in mind that, if she takes on the planning duties, it’s likely that she won’t be able to be involved in other wedding day aspects, like being a bridesmaid, for example. If it’s important that your loved one enjoy the wedding day as much as you will, you should think twice about giving her the opportunity to plan your big day.
On the flip side, wedding planners are experienced at putting together events, so they know the who, what, where, when, and how of planning a wedding. Unlike cousin Katy, who has only “planned” a family member’s wedding, a professional wedding planner knows where to look, who to go to, and how to get the best bang for your buck.
Professional planners have contacts and resources you or a loved one might not have. If scouting out venues and vendors isn’t something you feel up to, turning to a wedding planner can save you loads of time.
What’s Your Wedding Planning Budget?
If money is a concern and you feel like hiring a wedding planner would break the bank, do a little research before you make a firm decision to plan on your own. There are many planners out there, so finding one that fits your budget is doable.
Plus, wedding planners can help you save money by telling you what you need and don’t need (with the help of years of experience), and they may be able to pull some strings since they have contacts.
Ultimately, they can help you stay on budget. Once you’ve given your planner an idea of the kind of day you want and your budget numbers, she can do the heavy lifting and turn your dreams into a reality. If you decide to plan your wedding on your own, you might be tempted to go over budget for “just this one thing,” which might turn into a repeating occurrence.
A wedding planner can help you stay on track, stay organized, and most importantly, stay realistic.
What’s The Best Choice For You?
All of this is not to say that hiring a professional planner is the best choice. Although most are flexible and happy to do everything they can to make your big day exactly as you’d like it, if you want 100% control, you’ll probably want to do it yourself.
If you find joy in the planning process and have a support system to help you out when you need it most, then by all means, plan away!
Otherwise, a professional wedding planner can handle the behind-the-scenes stuff, making the planning process and actual wedding day a whole lot easier for you. The less stress, the better!
Whatever you choose to do, remember to take it easy on your wedding day and enjoy every moment because it will pass by so fast. The last thing you want is to have to worry about this or that detail when you’re trying to say “I do” or listen to your maid of honor’s heartwarming toast. If you plan on your own, don’t be afraid to hand over some of the wedding day duties to your bridal party. That’s what they’re there for, after all.
Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, enjoy the journey.