Things a Wedding Planner can't (or won't) do
There tend be a whole lot of misconceptions about working with a planner. Not having a hand in planning your wedding, saving money by having your planner do other jobs and the thought that you can only have a wedding planner if you’re having a fairytale million dollar wedding are a few of the most popular ones that we hear....
But one of the things about wedding planners that some don’t understand is this:
A WEDDING PLANNER IS NOT YOUR PERSONAL ASSISTANT AND CAN’T DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU.
That’s right friends- there are some things that YOU will still need to do, regardless of whether you’ve hired a planner or not. These things typically have to do with personal relationships, making decisions, and having knowledge of history and relationships.
As a Wedding Planner, while we wish we could do it all for you, there are some things that fall outside of our duties. Regardless of the level of service you have hired a Wedding Planner for, here are some things you will usually need to do for your Wedding Planner (aka what a wedding planner can’t/won't do):
CREATE A GUEST LIST AND OBTAIN GUEST ADDRESSES
Creating a guest list and obtaining guest addresses is the first thing to do after getting engaged- after celebrating, of course! This guest list will dictate where your ceremony and reception will be held, as well as how your wedding budget will be spent. Typically, weddings can expect to see 80% of the total guests who are invited actually attend the event. And don’t forget- the more guests that attend, the higher your budget needs to be!
DECIDE ON WEDDING BUDGET
The budget conversation needs to occur between the Couple, Parents and any other parties that might be paying for the celebration. Prior to hiring a Wedding Planner, it is a good idea to have clear budget expectations and conversations to ensure that hiring particular vendors is the best investment for your wedding day.
SIGN CONTRACTS AND PAY VENDORS
Unless your services through your planner are all inclusive, don't expect your planner to handle your vendor contracts or payments for you. While a Wedding Planner can direct couples to book the best vendors and review contracts prior to a contract signing, ultimately, the services provided are between the clients and the service provider. Legally, it is best that the client signs all contracts and pays vendors directly.
MAKE DECISIONS: LIKES AND DISLIKES
As a Wedding Planner, we want your wedding day to be a reflection of you and your love story. Our job is to help navigate you through the planning process, while making suggestions along the way. Your job is to make decisions, and make the decisions about what you like and dislike so your wedding day can be completely yours. Unfortunately, wedding planners can't read minds, so the decision making tasks must be yours
Registering is such a fun activity for a newly engaged couple to do together! Make it fun, bring snacks and ask a friend (or mom) to tag along if it gets too overwhelming. Everyone has their own taste and what works for some people’s registry will not always work for the next person’s. Heck, you can even register online in multiple places which is super easy and fun too! Just remember to stick to what works for YOU and your life together!
BREAK VENUE RULES
Venue rules are there for a reason! Do not ask your Wedding Planner to break rules on your behalf. If the venue says no sparklers, do not have sparklers! If you are in a Catholic Church, do not request that the Wedding Planner move the altar- it is there for a reason. Often times, Wedding Planners work at the same venues time and time again, so breaking rules at a venue could lead to consequences long after your wedding day is over.
DO JOBS OUTSIDE OF PLANNING & COORDINATION
Our job is to plan and coordinate your wedding and manage the vendors involved. Planners often go above the call of duty to make things happen for your wedding day but don't expect your planner to do the job of other vendors. Tables and chairs need to be set up? Contract your venue or rental company to set up and tear down. Self serve bar needs to be iced and restocked during your reception? Hire a bartending service to manage your bar. Cake needs to be cut and served? Your caterer holds the food handling permit, make this service part of your contract. Venue needs to be decorated? Hire a decorator or ask your planner about design and decorating add-on services they may offer. Centerpieces arrangements need to be made? Book this as part of your service with your florist. Tables need busing or the venue needs to be cleaned after your event? Enlist friends and family, hire a cleaning crew or talk to your planner because they likely offer clean up as an add on service to your planning package. When you expect to have your planner doing the tasks of other vendors or tasks outside of actual planning to help you save money...remember that their time and labor is their money so you don't want to be that person that tries to take advantage.
GUEST TABLE ASSIGNMENTS
Who knows your family and friends dynamic best? You do! We will create your floor plan, but when it comes to sitting Uncle Sal next to Aunt June- that is for you and your family to decide on. Make sure you submit these details to your planner two to three weeks prior to your wedding date so they can distribute these details to the caterer, bar service, venue and stationer.
MEET WITH VENDORS FOR YOU
Meeting with vendors is an important part of the planning process and it is crucial for making decisions on vendors and discussing your details with them. Again, unless your planning services are all-inclusive this is something that should be handled by you. Who knows what you like and don't like better than you do? While your planners are happy to attend some meetings with you, depending on their availability, there is no real purpose for your planner to be there other than to keep you company. Your planners time would be better utilized serving you elsewhere.
OBTAIN MARRIAGE LICENSE
Get familiar in advance with the state marriage license requirements, fees and where to go to get yours. But this is definitely something that you will need to be present for!
MEDIATE BETWEEN FAMILY MEMBERS AND BRIDAL PARTY
Often times Wedding Planners become one of your closest allies in the planning process. With that said, please do not rely on your Wedding Planner to diffuse drama between family members or bridal party members. Our purpose is to bring together a beautiful wedding day with the finest of vendors and be a sounding board for etiquette and advice along the way. Will we do everything in our power to make sure it’s the best day for you? You bet. But it is not your wedding planners job nor their place to get involved in family drama!