Engagement season has kicked off and that means you are most likely in wedding planning mode (CONGRATS!) looking for some guidance. I mean if you’ve never planned a wedding or been a part of someone’s wedding planning, it’s hard to know where to start! We totally get it.
Throughout our wedding planning blog series, The Eloise will be guiding you through each step of your wedding planning journey, getting you to your “I Do’s” with a little less stress! Each month we are focusing on educational, practical tips, and wedding resources to help you plan your wedding with questions to ask your vendors and wedding planning advice! First vendor up on the list? Your wedding planner.
Many couples who tour The Eloise ask if we require a wedding planner or day-of coordinator. The answer is no, not yet, but we highly recommended having one. Before we get into the pros of hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator and what questions you should be asking them when you hire one, let’s break down what the difference is between them.
Whether you hire your wedding planner first then your venue or vice versa, this is a step you’re going to want to take early on in your wedding planning process. We recommend hiring your wedding planner or coordinator 12 months in advance of your wedding date. There are a few variations of services when it comes to wedding planners and day-of coordinators, so let’s break down some of the basic differences between them, so you know typically what’s included in each service!
DAY-OF & MONTH-OF COORDINATION
This is also sometimes referred to as wedding day coordination or wedding management. A wedding coordinator, whether “month-of” or “day-of”, doesn’t really come into play until the final few weeks or days before your wedding day. Be sure to check when your coordinator services start as some “day-of” coordinators start planning with you a month or two before your wedding day like a “month-of” coordinator, while others truly only become part of the process until a few days before your big day. They are typically responsible for helping you craft your wedding day timeline, setting up and tearing down decor, being a point person for your other vendors, and in general, keep things moving and handled throughout your day so you (or your mom) doesn’t have to!
Besides managing the day-of tasks when your wedding day rolls around, your wedding planner will be with you throughout the entire wedding planning process helping you, guiding you, and being a resource to you. From giving you vendor recommendations, managing communication, budget management, helping you make decisions and so much more, a wedding planner is someone who is deeply involved in the preparation and logistics of your wedding day. You may find options such as “partial planning” or “full-service planning,” in which case, it would be best to evaluate the specific services included in each, and determine what would be the best fit for you and your love.
A wedding designer is someone who is deeply involved in the look, feel, and style of your wedding day, working with things like rental decor items, florals, and more to create a cohesive and personalized wedding scene and setup. Unlike wedding planners and coordinators, a wedding designer is not involved in running many logistics of your wedding day like timeline, etc.
We could go on all day about the benefits of having a wedding planner or coordinator, but here are just a few reasons in case you’re still on the fence:
Reason #1: They’ve done this before and are the experts at planning weddings. More than likely, this is your first time planning a wedding, and believe us, there are way more moving parts than you think or than what you will want to/be able to keep track of, and that’s OKAY!
Reason #2: Your friends and family will do anything to help you on your big day, but they can’t do it all. Yes, your mom who has incredible organization skills could be the one running the show and telling people where to be, but should she really have to? You’re going to want her right next to your side soaking in each precious moment of your special day.
Reason #3: You will be relieved of a ton of unnecessary stress. There is a lot going on leading up to your big day, and you and your honey will feel a breath of fresh air being able to hand certain logistics and details over to another person. Focus on each other and preparing for your marriage while your wedding planner focuses on the little details of your wedding day.
So you’ve been looking at some potential wedding planning vendors, and the time has come for you and your honey to to sit down with them, meet them, and talk about their services! What should you be asking them during your consultation, you’re wondering? We’ve got you covered. Here are a few questions that are valuable to ask right off the bat:
#1: Can you walk us through what it would be like to work with you depending on your different packages?
#2: How frequently will you be in touch? What are your communication expectations?
#3: How will planning decisions be made? Will you run everything by us first?
#4: Will you help coordinate setup and clean up at our venue? Is this included in your fee?
#5: Do you offer any other services that may be helpful? (floral design, decor, etc.)
Below we’ve provided you with a FREE DOWNLOAD to our planning full of questions for you to bring to your vendor meeting with your potential wedding planner and space to write in your notes and thoughts as well!
SNAG YOURS HERE:
Stay tuned for more helpful resources in our wedding planning series here on The Eloise blog in the upcoming months!
Photography + Coordination: The Midwest Photo Co
Venue: The Eloise
Design: Cherry Blossom Events
Florals: Briar Loft
Bridal Gown: Darke Winter Rentals
Bridal Shoes: BHLDN
Tux: The Black Tux
Hair + Makeup: B. Beauty Bar
Rentals: Event Essentials + A La Crate Rentals
Stationery: Niki Press Designs
Cake + Desserts: The Baked Lab