Melissa Jill, Guest Author –
Over the nearly seven years I’ve been in the wedding photography business, I’ve picked up on a few things. One of which is the difference between a bride who hires a wedding planner and one who doesn’t. The difference is huge.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best wedding planners in the business and I believe so much in the work they do that I always encourage my couples in my initial meetings with them (before they’ve even hired ME) to hire one. I find myself going on and on about the merits of hiring a planner and then come to my senses and realize that I should probably get back to talking with them about their photography.
I decided one way to get the point across, without letting my sales pitch for hiring a planner take over the meeting, is to include a “top 10 list” of reasons to hire a planner in a new client kit (still in production). This goal ended up on my 101 in 1001 list and I’m excited to say that it’s the first one I get to check off!
Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner
10. Sounding Board – Wedding planners are a huge creative resource. They listen to your vision and dreams for your wedding and bring their creativity to the process to help your vision come alive.
9. Big Picture – When you pick a venue they often give you a “wedding coordinator” from the venue to help coordinate the day. This person is NOT the same as an independent planner. He or she is the venue’s catering manager and their job is to make sure that everything having to do with the facilities runs smoothly. While they are helpful, they do not cover the scope of what an independent planner does.
8. Budgeting – Wedding planners have been in the industry for some time. They know what things should cost and the difference in value. They can help you navigate the often confusing waters of wedding industry price tags and balance your budget around YOUR priorities.
7. Enjoyable Process – I’ve observed so many brides through the process of planning their wedding and when they do it without a professional planner, oftentimes by the time the wedding comes around, the process has been so stressful that they just can’t wait for it to be over. Planning your wedding is supposed to be an enjoyable process. A good wedding planner helps you enjoy the journey.
6. Mediator – A good planner serves as a buffer in tricky relational situations. It’s a known fact that it’s impossible to make everyone happy when planning a wedding. A planner is a safe neutral person to point to for direction. It’s easier to tell your future mother-in-law, “My planner thinks we need to…” instead of “I think we should…”
5. Time-line – Your wedding day will involve numerous vendors who need to work together to insure that the day goes smoothly. A planner understands how each vendor relies on the others and serves as the team captain who coordinates the complexities of the timeline with all its moving parts.
4. Knowledge Base – This is likely your first time planning a wedding. Planners have been in the industry for years and are experts in protocol, etiquette and everything it takes to pull off an event of such magnitude. They are a HUGE and readily accessible resource for education.
3. Background – In addition to possessing a wealth of knowledge, planners have been in the industry long enough to know who the players are — which vendors can be trusted and who has the best business practices. A referral from someone who has roots in the industry is GOLD when you’re having to place such a high level of trust in those you previously had no knowledge of.
2. Save $ – I have had the planners I’ve worked with tell me that they can actually help their clients save enough money on their wedding to cover the cost of hiring them! How unbelievable is that!?
And the #1 reason to hire a wedding planner is… (Drum roll, please!)
1. Stress – The difference in the stress level of a bride who has a professional planner and one who doesn’t is palpable. When it comes to the day of your wedding, the most important thing is that you are able to relax and enjoy it. You are the bride. You don’t want to end up being the point person for issues and questions that will inevitably arise. Hiring a planner frees you and everyone you love to live in the moment on your wedding day.
Copyright © 2010 – Melissa Jill. Melissa Jill is a wedding photographer based out of Gilbert, Arizona. She has been shooting weddings for 7 years and specializes in capturing emotions and moments in an artistic way. Visit her Website at: http://www.MelissaJill.com and her BLOG.
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