To Hire or Not to Hire – A Wedding Planner

Plan yourself or hire a professional? Here’s what you need to know.

Congratulations, you’re engaged! You’ve most likely set up your Pinterest boards, and suddenly your excitement is twinged with a bit of concern over the amount of planning you will be facing in the coming months. “Not to worry,” you think, “I’m super organized, I’ll just download an app to take care of this.”

While there are many apps available that are certainly helpful in organizing your big day, here are a few key reasons you may want to consider hiring the right wedding planner.

Wedding planners and designers plan weddings for a living. They are versed and comfortable with all the details that, for you, are virgin territory! Hiring a wedding planner will ensure you have less stress leading up to and on your wedding day, so you can be present to actually enjoy the day. Professional wedding planners listen intently and work out all the details to make your wedding vision a reality. They also have relationships with vendors, and will advocate on your behalf to help you stay within your budget.

The most common first questions many wedding planners receive go something like this: “I’m getting married, what is the cost to have a wedding?” Or, “I want halibut, steak and a raw bar, how much is that?” and sometimes, “Here’s my three page list of pictures from Pinterest, can I have all of those and how much is it?” See a pattern?

It’s impossible to answer these questions without some key information, beginning with a question not often asked, “Can we have a conversation?” The most important question isn’t what it costs, but rather “Who are we, and how do we want to celebrate?”

The second most important question to ask is, “Can I trust that this person will have my back?” Not only are you going to be developing a close relationship with your wedding planner, you are relying on them to bring your vision to life without trying to push you to buy things that are outside your budget.  You don’t want to be pressured to purchase those “must haves” that simply don’t fit into your budget plan.

When interviewing a wedding planner, ask the hard questions:

  1. What services do you offer? Wedding planning comes in many different levels, from complete “soup to nuts” to week of “consultation.”
  2. Do you offer “day of services?” Wedding planning decisions and designs are usually completed long before the big day. Look for a planner that offers a “month of” service. That allows the planner to review all the details so that if anything is amiss, they can work to revise the issue.
  3. How do you keep in touch with your clients? In these days of social media, you should never have to chase your planner down. Tell them how you prefer to be reached. (Text, email, telephone?)
  4. Tell me about your experience in planning weddings? How long have they been in business, have they planned weddings like yours, have they worked at the venue where your wedding will be held?
  5. Do you work alone or with a team?
  6. Will you be with us on our big day?
  7. How do you help us stay on budget?
  8. How do you charge? Is there a flat rate, are there add ons?  This can be one of the most uncomfortable questions, but ask it upfront and be sure you’re given a clear detailed answer.

If you choose to plan your own wedding, there are many tools available to help you stay on budget and organized.

Some great apps are:

The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner

Wedding Planning Complete

Wedding Row

Wedding Deluxe Wedding Planner

One last note: even if you decide to plan your own wedding, consider hiring a wedding planner for a three hour consultation to run your ideas and planning past them. There is never a substitute for a real live person with experience who knows the local vendors, understands the flow and organization of a wedding, and can see if you’ve overlooked any important details.


Festivities is known for the finest in catered foods, sophisticated presentations and innovative event designs. For almost 30 years, this brother –sister team have kept their business on the cutting edge of food and event design. Multiple time winners of “Best of the Gold Coast”, Roe and Bill offer their clients a warm, customized experience when planning their most important celebrations.

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