I am in the event business, and while I am in the business of making money, I am also in the business of ensuring a quality and great event. As a caterer, my focus is food including the presentation and the serving at events. However, over the last few years, I have developed the event planning component of my company to a great extent because I realized, people needed event help; especially brides. So as I write this wedding series and mention to one of the best event planners I work with, Fabienne Blanchard about the various tips and ideas I was offering the HT readers, we both realize simultaneously, first we needed to tell the soon to be married couple to hire a wedding planner. I love planning events, but when it comes to wedding planning, I leave that to Fabienne. So I consulted her on why all bride and grooms should consider the services of a wedding planner or coordinator in the planning of their special day.
WHEN YOU PAY SOMEONE, YOU HAVE SOMEONE TO YELL AT!
Ok. Perhaps I am being a bit sarcastic in the way I am framing Fabienne’s words, but you get my dress. It’s important to have someone to hold accountable. That person will take their job that much more seriously. With wedding planning come details of space, cost, vendors, invitations, honeymoon, dresses, photographers, space layout, decorations, etc. All of this can and is quite overwhelming. It is good to have someone who is trained and knowledgeable to ensure all these details are taken care of.
YOU SAVE MONEY
While it may cost to have a wedding planner- and yes, it does cost- what you spend on a planner, you save at least 2 to 3 times over with your other vendors. Planners benefit you because they have something most individual brides/grooms don’t. They have relationships. Because they work with these vendors on a regular basis, vendors offer them discounts with no hesitation. While you are viewed as a one time customer, your planner will be viewed as a long term partner. Even if they are using a vendor for the first time the vendor will automatically see dollar signs when they hear they are a wedding planner, because they will view them as long term business.
I can’t stress the ways a planner can save you money. They can help you make informed decisions such as your invitation procedures, best space for your event and menu choices that can end up saving you tons of money.
YOU SAVE TIME
The average wedding can take more than two hundred fifty hours just to plan. With today’s hectic lifestyles, you may not have time to compare all the options, making sure you get the best deal and all the details are in place, says Sasha Souza of the Whole Shebang. This is the time that an individual may not have but a wedding planner will be dedicated to.
THEY SAVE YOU AGGRAVATION
Wedding planners serve as contract negotiators between you and your vendors. They serve as advisors to help you make informed and logical decisions, and often time they serve as therapists between you and your crazy parents. Often time your wedding planner may become part of your family as you are planning your special day.
HIRE THE RIGHT PLANNER
While it’s important to understand the reasons why a planner is needed, it is also important to ensure you are hiring the right planner. Since this is someone you will be spending quite a bit of time with, ensure that you get along and that your personalities match. While you may not necessarily agree on everything, it is important you go with a planner who understands your vision for your day and will help you to effectively bring that into reality, not change your mind. Wedding planners guide, not take charge.
I know the question that’s about to come? Just how much do planners cost? Well some planners charge differently, but expect to either pay a percentage of the wedding cost (10%-15%) or a flat rate, anywhere from $2500-$5000 or higher depending on the type of planner. Some charge per hour, but I say avoid this. Hourly rate range anywhere from $30-$50 per hour.
If budget is a major issue and you have the time to plan and negotiate, definitely go ahead and do the work yourself or find a trusted friend or person to handle the details. One more alternative is to bring in a day of coordinator. This is a person that you bring in about a week or two before your wedding to help you coordinate the day of wedding events. This is usually a per hour rate of $30-$50 per hour.
Nadege Fleurimond is the owner & business manager of Fleurimond Catering, Inc., an off-premise catering firm serving the NY/NJ/CT/MA areas. She is also the author of a Taste of Life: A Culinary Memoir, a humorous and heart warming compilation of recipes and funny anecdotes. (http://www.nadegefleurimond.com)
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