One of the most important things to think about when planning a wedding is whether or not you should hire a professional wedding planner to make your dream wedding of sunset beaches and heart-shaped sparklers come true. Your decision will likely come down to a combination of several factors:
Why should I hire a wedding planner?
How much time do you want to spend?
· How much effort do you want to exert?
· How much stress do you want to accumulate?
· How much money are you willing to spend?
If the answer to that last question is also “very little” or, in fact, “none,” then you’re probably being unrealistic if you want to hire a wedding planner. But if you’re leaning towards yes on the why hire a wedding planner debate and you're willing to spend some money, then you've got something to consider. When planning a wedding, getting a pro involved can make all the difference in the world.
Are Wedding Planners Worth the Money?
Whether or not wedding planners are worth the money is the sixty-four-thousand-dollar-question. Sometimes, literally. For more expensive weddings, with lots of moving parts like wedding reception food stations, professional wedding planner advice can mean the difference between spectacular success and terrible failure. For more modest weddings, professional planners can ensure they go off without a hitch.
So, are wedding planners are worth the money? Let’s revisit our earlier questions.
How much time do you want to spend?
Let’s face it, planning a wedding is incredibly time consuming. Just ask someone who’s planned their own and they’ll talk your ear off. However many hours you think it will take, it’s going to end up taking a lot more. Take it from us, even if you sit down and make a thoughtful and comprehensive to-do list, you’re going to end up adding to it.
Unless you or your fiance have a lot of spare time and don’t mind giving up a month or two worth of weekends, make hiring a pro something to think about when planning your wedding.
How much effort do you want to exert?
Some folks like being really involved in their own wedding plans while others are willing to hand the reins off to a professional and let them take over completely. However, most people who hire wedding planners fall somewhere in the middle. Just keep in mind that there are a ton of details to consider, unless you simply want to get hitched at the local JP and call it a day.
In other words, if you don’t want or have time to make much of an effort, you’ll need to be okay with just an okay wedding. Or you can hire a wedding planner. At the very least it should be something to think about when planning a wedding.
For example, lots of people want sparklers at their weddings, but sparklers can be considered fireworks and sometimes venues that allow them are limited or hard to find if you try on your own. But a seasoned wedding planner has the know-how to make sure you get a venue where you can light up your night with those 20-inch sparklers you want so bad.
How much stress do you want to accumulate?
Are wedding planners worth the money? Simply put, if you don’t want to get stressed over all the details and schedules and collaboration and timing that goes into pulling together a bunch of people and vendors in one place at one time, then the answer is yes.
Otherwise, overseeing everything, and making sure everyone else — venue, florist, caterer, photographer, DJ, and others — is doing what they’re supposed to be doing when they’re supposed to be doing it, will fall on your shoulders.
If you have the funds, consider letting a wedding planner take a lot of that stress off your shoulders.
How Much Do Wedding Planners Cost, and How Can I Choose One?
This is a tough one. Seasoned wedding planners can charge a lot. Others, who may not have as much experience but who can be just as good, may cost less. According to this guide, which cites The Association of Bridal Consultants:
…the average total cost for a wedding consultant is $3,636 in the northeast and $2,635 in the south. The national average is $3,262.
Our advice when it comes to whether a wedding planner is worth the money: do your research. First ask people you know and trust:
· Did they use a wedding planner?
· What was their experience with them?
· What the planner did for them?
· How much did they cost?
· Would they recommend them?
Consider something like Angie’s List, which is a paid peer-review service, for some background and user testimonials for local wedding planners. You can also build your long list by researching individual wedding planners on Google and asking venues if they can recommend a wedding planner.
You should also take the time to schedule a meeting with wedding planners you end up putting on your short list, which you need to treat like an interview; that is, you’re interviewing them.
We hope this helps you make a decision about whether to hire a wedding coordinator to plan your wedding. If you've got some advice from your own experience, please share it with us in the comments.