I guess I'm a little confused on what having a wedding planner entails. I know they are supposed to help you plan your wedding, but I'm unsure of what the heck they ACTUALLY do. As far as I feel now, the only reason I might need one is the fact that my future family-in-law has a huge vineyard/ranch and I have NO idea how to lay out the wedding at the location.
How many of you used or are using them? What was the cost? What did they do for you? Did you decide in the end you probably could have done everything yourself?
We had a wedding planner that came with our venue. It was nice to have someone who ran the show and kept things on track the day of. For the most part, aside from my MIL, no one asked me when things were happening so I could just enjoy myself.
If you are unsure about your layout, etc I'm sure a wedding planner could help - you are probably going to need a caterer and that will also involve table, linen, chair and plates/utensil rentals and it might be nice to have someone else for those people to go to FIRST to head off the mundane questions.
I also understand that wedding planners can help in the preparations leading up to the wedding as well, we have some planners on here who give advice, maybe they pop on here and give you a better idea.
As was previously mentioned, a wedding planner/coordinator can provide many different services at various levels of involvment. Each and every planner prices their services differently. What one planner might offer in a standard package would be an add-on in another planner's package. What planners can do is provide you with reputable vendors. After all, the vendors reflect on the planner. In addition, a vendor is more likely to take just a bit better notice of you when you are working with a planner than if you are not. You will only be planning one wedding but a planner is repeat business! Some vendors, like me, will provide a discount to any client a planner brings to me. After all, that is one less bride who I had to spend advertsing dollars to attact. That savings is passes along to the brides. Unfortuately, these days anybody can go out, get a business license and call themselves a wedding planner. In order to make sure your planner is ethical and knows what they are doing, you should look for a planner who is a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants.
Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer
I have a wedding planner. I was sure I could do this with my Maid and Matron of Honors, but with me being in school and working, my FMIL hired a wedding planner for me. And when I say she is AWESOME...I am so grateful. She has a time line from now until August of everything that she and I need to accomplish. I think If you can afford a wedding planner it will make your life so much easier. So many things I thought I would have to do, she is handling everything. I can honestly just show up. Anything I tell her I want, she pulls it up or shows me something she has done in the past, and its exactly what I want. And she told me She will always look like the bad guy not me...I like that...LOL LOL..
She will handle my RSVP lists, they will all be mailed back to her, she will contact those who haven't RSVP'd, so many things that I think about now, would have been a lot for me to do. A wedding planner/coordinator is a LIFE SAVER.....