Medusa, the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, Jennifer Lopez as The Wedding Planner . . . What do these things have in common? They’re all MYTHS!
While being a myth doesn’t keep people from seeking some of these out (well, maybe not Medusa . . . ) they often prevent couples from seeking out the assistance of a professional wedding planner.
To help clarify and debunk some of these, here is a list of some of the more common misconceptions of professional wedding planners (PWPs), aka wedding consultants, wedding coordinators, and bridal consultants.
1. Consultants are expensive and only for the rich and famous.
Like most people, much of what you know about a PWP is what you see on TV, the movies, and in magazines. Lavish celebrity weddings sell ratings and more copies – but they are not the stuff of everyday real-life weddings. And the people who produce these weddings (Colin Cowie, Preston Bailey . . .) provide a very different service than your local PWP. The local PWP understands what’s in their region — current trends, and all the great local vendors and resources.
Also, most PWP’s offer different levels of service, from a basic hour-long session to full-service coordination and design, so you should be able to find something in your price range quite easily.
2. My caterer also does wedding planning. Why not just use them to plan mine?
A caterer’s (or florist’s, or dj’s, etc.) main job is to provide the service they are specifically trained and experienced in. While they are busy providing their service on a wedding day, how are they going to take care of any the other behind-the-scenes things? They just can’t be in two places at once.
3. I’ve just booked my reception venue and they have a list of “preferred vendors.” Why should I pay someone for the same information?
Because a PWP doesn’t give the same information. The “preferred vendor” list provided by venues, caterers, etc. are often vendors who have paid to be on that list, and is not an indication of their style, pricing, availability, nor reputation. This very same list is given to all of the venue’s clients.
On the other hand, the list of vendors provided by a PWP is tailored specifically for each bride & groom. You have your own specific style and desires, as well as budget, that you want for your wedding day.
Wouldn’t you rather have a list of available vendors that you know specialize in your desired style, and fit your budget?
4. But I don’t want someone to plan my wedding they way they think it should be.
A PWP will take the time to find out exactly what you and your fiancé want out of your wedding, how you envision your wedding day, how much you have and want to spend, and what your priorities are for your wedding.
She will also take the time to get to know YOU. By doing so, then she can make referrals and suggestions based on your unique desires and dreams for your wedding day, and NOT some preconceived notion of what a wedding “should” be.
She will help you plan your wedding the way YOU want it to be, not the way she thinks it should be, or (worse yet!) “the way it’s always been done.”
5. Don’t consultants take ‘kickbacks’ from the vendors they refer?
Absolutely not! It is unethical to accept kickbacks, finders fees, or whatever you want to call them. A Professional Wedding Planner’s main focus is on you, the bride and groom. The PWPs are looking out for the bride & groom’s best interest, not their own, nor any other vendor’s. The ONLY exception is if the consultant’s fees will be paid by the vendors and not by the client.
6. Won’t a consultant want to run the whole show?
A PWP will work with you, handling as much or as little of your wedding as you want. After all, it is your wedding. The PWP is there to help you and your family make the day perfect. If you want her to, the PWP will run the whole show, but it is your show that she is running.
7. Our church has a wedding coordinator. Why do I need someone else?
The person at the church is usually only familiar with his/her aspect of the wedding — getting the bride down the aisle on time — not the complete planning process, and is primarily concerned with making sure the rules of their church are followed. Don’t assume the church coordinator will help with any set-up, assist you and your bridal party while you’re getting dressed, pass out and pin on boutonnieres and corsages, make sure everything and everyone is in place, or be able to fix any behind-the-scenes problems that may arise.
8. I can find vendors off the internet. Why pay someone to do this for me?
You can pick names from the internet yourself. However, this is no indication of their style, price ranges, availability, or if the vendor is even reputable. Referrals provided by a PWP are not pulled off of the internet or out of the yellow pages, but from a data base of pre-qualified, reputable vendors who match a specific set of criteria that fits your wedding vision and budget.
9. My friend (or sister) just got married, and her wedding was great. Why can’t I use the same vendors?
Of course you can use the same vendors, but do you really want to have your wedding just like someone else’s?
10. My mom is helping me. Why hire someone when we can do it all?
Using the services of a PWP does not prevent you and/or your mom from “doing it all.” Instead, with her training, experience and expertise, the PWP is on hand to assist and guide you through the entire wedding process, offering suitable suggestions and quickly remedying any problems, so no one ends up too stressed and too tired to enjoy the big day when it finally arrives.
Wouldn’t you rather look forward to and enjoy your wedding day with anticipation than get so stressed out that you can’t wait for it to be over with?
11. I’m organized so I don’t need a wedding planner.
Planning a wedding takes more than just organization. You also need time.
On the average, it takes a bride at least 200-250 hours to plan her wedding. So you need to ask yourself, with everything else going on in your busy life, is there enough time? Having a PWP does not exclude you from planning your wedding. In fact, it will make the process easier. So why not let someone else do the leg work and leave the fun parts to you?
12. My venue has a wedding coordinator
While the venue coordinator can offer wonderful help and advice, their role does not cover the full range of wedding coordinator duties. In truth, the role of the venue event coordinator is to manage the venue, make sure its contractual obligations to you are met, and that any venue “rules” are followed. They are not in contact with any of your other vendors prior to your wedding day,
They may not even be there on the day of your wedding (or only be there for part of the day). It’s even possible the by the time your wedding day is here, they are no longer with the venue, leaving you to have to bring the new person “up to speed.”
A PWP will be there with you throughout the whole process, offer suggestions and advice based on what will best suit you and YOUR wedding instead of just how things are done at a particular venue, and have at her fingertips all of the information from all of your selected vendors pertaining to your wedding.
13. My vendors are all professionals, I don’t need a planner
The use of a PWP in no way implies that the vendors aren’t professional or have to be watched over in order to get the job done right.
Most weddings utilize anywhere from 10 – 20 different types of vendors. All of the communication necessary during the planning process – questions asked, changes made, questions answered, things added . . . will take a lot of time. How much extra time do you really have to make additional phone calls, often getting voice mail, leaving messages, then waiting for those return calls? Part of a PWPs role is to take care of this communication for you.
Not to mention that 10-15 of these vendors will have an active role on your wedding day itself. It’s so important that everyone is working together as a team, and is working off of the same time schedule. So your PWP is the team leader. We pull everyone and everything together to make sure that your wedding day meets the vision that you had during the planning.
See how Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way YOU want it to be. Contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or firstname.lastname@example.org and schedule your free, initial appointment!
I look forward to hearing from you and seeing how Weddings From The Heart can help.
Hearts, Joy, Love!