One advantage to hiring a wedding planner is gaining their insight on how to do things in a manner that will make your wedding planning process go smoothly. There are some insider secrets that all wedding planners know, which DIY brides and grooms would definitely benefit from knowing, too.
While every wedding has its own challenges, and every wedding planner has their own advice, the following three things are all suggestions that, in my professional experience, will help you and your fiancé have a better wedding planning experience.
1. The wedding vendor grapevine is very active.
Wedding vendors usually know each other, work together frequently, and have long-term business relationships that far surpass your wedding day. You may think you and your photographer are besties, but she's worked with all the other people long before you hired her, and she'll be working with them again after you're married. One of them may have referred her. So, essentially, don't confide in one vendor about another vendor — there's no confidentiality clause in weddings. Don't bash one vendor to another vendor; you never know how close the two may be. No matter how much you dislike a vendor, or how unpleasant your think they are, you did hire them to provide services on your wedding day. It's not a good idea to say snarky things that could get back to them before they’ve brought their A-game for your wedding.
2. Choose your wedding party well.
If there are friends you'd like to include who have previously demonstrated less-than-sound judgement at other important events, you might consider not asking them to be bridesmaids or groomsmen. Otherwise, you're going to worry about what's going to happen from the time you ask them, until the wedding is over. You could give these friends some other honorary role that doesn't put them up in front of your guests, and photographers, for the entire event. That way, they know you love them and that they are important to you, but you don't have to worry about them embarrassing you on your big day.
3. Read your vendor contracts carefully and make sure they don't allow for last-minute substitutions without your knowledge.
If you want a specific DJ that you heard play at somebody else's wedding, make sure that person is named in the contract with the music company. Advise your florist that you want to know of any necessary flower substitutions if blooms arrive dead. It happens, and fixes have to be made, but you shouldn't be surprised by them when you're walking down the aisle.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.