Updated Oct. 25th, 2021
I wanted to do a short series of posts called “For Brides” to help people during the wedding planning process. During the planning of your wedding, I’m sure you will have questions and want some advice. I have been there and I know it can be the most exciting season of your life, as well as the most overwhelming! Enjoy and feel free to ask me questions. 🙂
Other Posts from the “For Brides” series:
While planning our wedding, I thought that I could do it myself. I am a detail-oriented person and was even an event planner for the admissions office at my university in college, so I could handle it, right? Wrong.
My Aunt Beth was so helpful in planning the details. She is a type-A personality, but also plans and organizes large corporate events for her work, so she has a lot of experience. She is also a wonderful hostess and is one of the most hospitable people I know.
She has experience in planning weddings: for her oldest son & daughter-in-law, for some of her nieces (my cousins), and for my sister and her husband, plus for other random people, too. She is an expert decorator and planner. My Aunt Sandy is also a get-it-done lady and she was super helpful in the execution of all the months of planning!
This is a question a lot of brides ask. There is a lot of confusion about what a wedding planner does, what’s the difference between a planner and a coordinator, how much they cost, and so much more.
The reason a lot of couples don’t hire a wedding planner is that they don’t know how they can help or what they are paying for. Here is a list of common duties from Brides.com that wedding planners can help with (and so much more):
As you can probably see, wedding planners wear a lot of hats before the wedding. While we aren’t wedding planners, we are comfortable saying the goal of a wedding planner is to keep the stress off of the couple.
Miscellaneous things before the wedding: hotel-block for wedding guests (I literally had no clue this was even a “thing”), how many tables and chairs you need in the reception venue & how said tables and chairs should be arranged, appointing someone to light the candles at the reception, planning the pre-wedding food for bridal party, etc.
A few weeks before the wedding: she met me at the reception venue to plan out the layout of things, to talk about decorations and flowers
Wedding Rehearsal: setting up and coordinating/telling people where to stand, how to enter & exit the venue, where the grandparents and mothers sit, etc.
Day-of decorating/setting up because we couldn’t get into the venue the day before. Yall. My mother and my Aunts HANDLED the wedding day set-up. I mean, Aunt Beth literally broke into the reception venue because the key was missing and we could not get in contact with the staff person who had the key. We were on a timeline and she made things happen!
Without Aunt Beth’s planning and preparation (coupled with my mother’s list-making, vendor phone calls, and answering my daily, panicked phone calls from 150 miles away during the wedding planning experience), my wedding would have been a sad event. I feel so lucky to have had them both on my side!
You need someone who knows the ins-and-outs of wedding ceremonies and receptions, and every minute detail involved with a wedding day.
My mom and Aunt coordinated and handled so many little details together, which freed me up and allowed me to have one less thing to stress about.
Even if you don’t want or can’t afford to have a full-service wedding coordinator who is with you from the start (which is totally okay), we at least recommend hiring a coordinator to be there on the day of your wedding.
These day of wedding coordinators are a little different than full-service planners. Their duties are focused more on the short-term and not from day one. Each coordinator is different in their services and the packages they office, but typically they will start working with you about a month before the wedding day.
They will play a large role in the ceremony day, making sure all of the vendors have what they need, everyone is staying on the timeline, and will answer questions instead of everyone going to the bride.
* There were several others who made our special day happen. Aunt Beth was the go-to person who knew my vision and helped execute and make it happen!