If you’ve been engaged for a few weeks, you’ve certainly noticed that planning a wedding is such an animal of an event! It’s important for your day to go smoothly and flawlessly. Wedding guests tend to remember when things go badly! They’re pleased when they have an amazing experience at a wedding, and usually kind of disappointed if it doesn’t meet their expectations. No pressure, right!? Hiring a wedding planner can easily take away some stress. Planners also have the expertise of knowing many details that you may not even have thought about. Marrily can be used to help you and your planner coordinate information, vendors, and guest lists. For the clueless bride who may not know anything about the industry upon getting engaged, a wedding planner and a subscription to Marrily will probably be well worth the investment!
Hopefully you will interview several wedding planners. Ask them if they’re familiar with Marrily. Let them know that this is a wonderful tool for communication. It’s even readily available on an iPhone (and soon, other smart phones!) You’re going to want to find a professional who you believe can take charge, be pleasant to work with, and relieve some stress so you can enjoy you day! Some wedding planners have different levels of service, which is great because you may not need a full service planner. Full service planners handle everything and they are also extremely expensive, sometimes even upwards of ten thousand dollars! You may be looking for a day of coordinator or maybe you have an idea of what vendors you’d like to use, but you’re clueless about the logistics. A mix between full service and day of coordinating could be a great way to keep your mind and your wallet happy!
A full service planner will most likely book all of your vendors based on your style as a couple and based on your budget. They may take charge of your projects, your contracts, and your vendors. They may research vendors for you and come back to you with two options for you to select from. Most full service planners will alleviate a ton of stress from the bride who may not be very involved. Perhaps she’s too busy with her career or even just not very interested! That’s OK!
For the bride who may need a little guidance from a planner, but who has her own ideas and vision, a customized package may be something to look for in a planner. This is the route that I took. My planner gave me time lines, worked on my budget, and gave me vendor options. Some vendors I found myself (like my photographer) but my planner was able to help with negotiating packages and also took some stress off my back because she had great experiences with said vendors. Because she had worked with my florist, DJ, and my rental company prior to my own wedding, I trusted things would go smoothly. She definitely helped with that! We met monthly and she was available for questions all the time. We had questions constantly, especially when it came to etiquette and details. She handled the entire day of coordination, including the rehearsal so everything ran smoothly. My family and I took care of DIY projects, the guest list managing, and several other things that are involved. I planned out the vision and details, but my planner and my florist were in charge of making it happen on the big day. The time lines, guest lists, and budget frustrated me, but my mom was amazingly helpful in picking up where I was unsure. My planner gave us many pointers.
For the bride who may have bridesmaids or family members who have recently planned a wedding, or the savvy bride who wants to take on figuring out everything herself through researching books and blogs, a day of coordinator may be just the ticket. Be prepared to take on the planning as you would take on a part time job! Leading up to the big day can be handled by a bride and her family or bridesmaids, but trust me, on the day of your wedding, you should relax. It’s going to be a long day and it should be best enjoyed with your bridesmaids, getting ready and celebrating, rather than tying 100 ribbons to wands or setting up tables. A day of coordinator will work with you several weeks before the wedding day to get your vendor information. From there, your coordinator will contact all of your vendors and they will probably create a day of timeline so everyone is in union for the set up of your event. She’ll hopefully give you a packing list and give you a distribution list for your wedding party to ensure everyone is on time and in the place where they need to be! During the actual wedding, they’ll direct seating, musicians will know what to do, and the photographer will know when to be where.
Once you get to the reception, the DJ will know when to play what and guests will follow suit for dancing, dining, the cake cutting, and anything else you’ll specify. Your day of coordinator will take care of getting your event set up as well. There is so much that goes into making your space beautiful and sometimes your venue or florist will provide some assistance with this, but for the finishing details and the pom poms or the signs and the extras, this is where your coordinator and their staff may come in. This is definitely something to ask prior to hiring a day of coordinator. They may not work on the decor. They may just be focused on the logistics. I ran into this issue when I got married. I was expecting some amazing “DIY” projects to be up and decorated and they weren’t there. Had I known, I would have happily made them prior to give to my florist, but he didn’t deliver the way we communicated. I was slightly bummed, but I got over it. My florist ran out of time and my wedding planner was dealing with logistics. The food was amazing, the music was perfect, and everyone had a blast. As far as timing goes, we were all on time and the flow of the event was wonderful. No one but me noticed that those silly ribbons were not correct! It certainly didn’t take away from the happiness of the day!
This is where an event stylist could have saved the day! Event stylists take floral arranging, DIY’s, and decor to a whole new level in your wedding. They’ll actually DO all those cute projects for you or with you and they’ll work with your coordinator and florist on the big day to set up to make things special. Most likely, you’ll work with your stylist early on so you can get everything matched up from your invitations, to your linens, to your floral arrangements, and to all your projects. This area makes me giddy because styling is so interesting to me, as you can mix fabrics, prints, and colors in so many ways to make your wedding different and unique! This is also where many personal touches may come into play, so your personality comes through. If styling is your thing, you will probably love making boards like I did in the three photos above! All the images were found through Style Me Pretty and various wedding blogs. I took these to all my vendors to help communicate!
You may take on the role of being your own event stylist (I like to think that that was my role in my planning process, with the help of my family!), but just make sure you cover your bases. Give yourself plenty of time to accomplish the projects and know where you can run if you run out of time. Etsy is an awesome source to buy some of the different things you may want to use. Start early! It helps with costs and with time. Did you know that you can account for all these little costs on your Marrily budget planner? Yep! Just keep in mind that things add up!
Hope and I are giving insight here over each step of the planning process timeline. Feel free to leave us your questions. Are you hiring a planner?