Thursday, August 28, 2008

Congratulations You're Engaged, Now What?

Soooo glad you asked.

Knowing what to do next can mean the difference between your dream or drama. A very crucial first step in planning your wedding, after setting the date, is to hire a professional wedding planner.

Many times this step is overlooked or thought of at a point where you have become so overwhelmed that planning your wedding is no longer fun, but frustrating. And still for many, hiring a wedding planner is not even on their "wedding planning radar"...this can be a costly mistake!

Hiring a wedding planner is not a luxury, it is an absolute necessity.

A good piece of advice I always offer my couples is to enjoy the process, and have fun with the planning. The way this can be achieved is by allowing a professional wedding planner to handle the details.

Although this is an exciting time for you and your loved ones, it can also be a highly stressful time with all the details, scheduling, decisions to be made, etc., but it doesn’t have to be.

The average wedding cost is $28,000 and involves over 700 hours of planning time. With this investment of time and money, why would you trust the most intricate details of your wedding to Aunt Susie, who thinks it would be "fun" to "try" her hand at planning it? Nothing against Aunt Susie, but she has been known to get bored easily, and what's to say that something else won't distract her during the planning process...I'm just sayin'....

So...why should you hire a Wedding Planner? So glad you asked.

A planner knows exactly where to start.

Planning a wedding or any event is a process. The anxiety of not knowing what to do next can be stressful and costly. Because a planner has done many events s/he knows exactly where and how to begin, and at what pace to proceed. S/he knows the exact questions to ask a vendor, what loopholes to look for in a contract, how to direct all those involved in the wedding. S/he can negotiate prices and services so that you get more bang for your buck, and in some cases, pay less buck for the bang. S/he knows how to communicate with vendors to ensure quality service. Communication is the name of the game in planning any type of event. It is imperative that everyone is on the same page. Asking questions is a must, and knowing the right kinds of questions to ask comes with experience and the skill of knowing how to get and give clarity to all who are involved in your big day.

A planner knows how to cut costs without cutting quality.

S/he sees the big picture and can protect your day from being a disaster because s/he knows that if you stay in a hotel located clear across town you could run the risk of delaying the start time of your wedding by an hour and a half. This is an exaggerated example of course, but being on time is critical for many reasons: food quality, ability of vendors to deliver contracted services, avoidance of over time charges, etc.

A planner serves as a buffer.

S/he acts as a go-between when it comes to handling those sticky situations between you and your family. S/he protects you, on the big day, from having to deal with problems that will inevitably pop up.

A planner provides an objective shoulder to cry on.

No one else in this industry can boast this claim. Your wedding planner is with you longer than any other vendor. S/he takes on the role of acting as your best friend and confidant. S/he listens to you vent about the ugly table linens your mother-in-law to be insists that you order for the reception. S/he smoothes things over when you and your fiance' have a spat about where to seat his favorite cousin, who has a tendency to have uncontrollable outbursts. S/he's the first one you call when you can't make up your mind about pink or blush nail polish, and through it all, s/he smiles, calms your spirits, and guarantees that everything will be alright--and of course, at the end of the day...s/he's absolutely right!

S/he is seen as, and is respected in the industry as the go to person, the one who will pull all of the pieces together

S/he will see to it that all those you hired to provide a service will do so to your specifications and bring your dream to fruition.

S/he is skilled in keeping things on track so that the celebration you have planned is not ruined because of a schedule that has been delayed or altered. S/he'll work it out and you'll never realize that s/he pushed back the time to cut the cake so your photographer could have 30 more minutes to get the must have photos of your family and friends.

The bottom line is that you can't afford not to hire a wedding planner because it's her/his job, and absolute pleasure to work on your behalf to pull all of the intricate details together to produce an Affair To Remember.