So many couples ask the question after getting engaged: “Should we plan our own wedding or should we hire a professional wedding planner?” After all, it’s a very important, if not THE most
important event of their lives. There are both advantages and disadvantages to hiring a wedding planner, wedding consultant, event planner or wedding coordinator. They are out there to assist you in planning your wedding, whether it’s months away or just around the corner. The big advantage to hiring a professional certified wedding planner is the experience, knowledge
and industry contacts they have. Alternatively, a wedding planner with no experience or contacts may be worse than hiring no one at all. In my 22 plus years as a photographer and 5 years as a wedding officiant, I have worked with many wedding planners. Some are very on top of things and contact me days or weeks in
advance to go over the wedding logistics. Regrettably, there have been others that I met for the first time the day of the wedding. An inexperienced, disorganized wedding planner can create a potential wedding disaster.
If the vendors are not contacted before the day of the event to go over the timeline, chaos occurs and stresses out not just the brides, but the family, the guests and everyone involved. A professional, experienced planner, however, can ensure your wedding runs smoothly, while also meeting your budgetary needs. The planners that I recommend and work with, do most or all of the leg work and allow the brides more time to sit back and relax prior to and during the wedding. The wedding planner ensures that everything is organized and executed according to the couple’s vision and works with vendors to make sure all their special requests are met. This includes making sure the photographer gets certain requested photos, the DJ plays songs that have special meaning to the couple, video interviews of specified loved ones and more.
Timing is key. A wedding can easily go into overtime if it is not planned out properly. We suggest an hour prior to the ceremony for photos of the bride preparing for her special day and the family portraits right after the ceremony. I have a choice word or two for coordinators that allow the receiving line to last 40 minutes… A good planner will keep things moving and not let that happen. Having someone there to take care of all the little unexpected events that can – and do – happen during a wedding, can ensure the couple enjoy themselves during their special day and take the stress out of every aspect of the planning process. Fees for a professional wedding planner vary and should include reading over contracts and obtaining necessary insurance. Some charge by the hour, others by packaged fees and yet others charge by percentages of every service or vendor. However, most do offer free consultations. Trust me, the price of a wedding is worth the time and effort to check on reviews from past clients or business referrals before you make the mistake of hiring an uncoordinated coordinator!
When all is said and done, one of the most important concerns of most couples (besides having a fantastic party) is sticking to the budget. The discounts and great wedding deals gained from having a certified professional planner will even out the cost in the end. But it is a decision that every couple should make together. Congratulations to all who are engaged to be married!!! For more information, please visit www.lamarweddingcenter.com or call Rita Lamar at 201-563-3058.