10 Ways We Can Help You

Here are some valuable ways a wedding planner make your wedding the day you’ve always dreamed of. Anyone who has planned a wedding recently knows that there are many other aspects not covered here. But this should give you a good idea of how important it is to have a wedding planner and how that planner can help make your wedding wonderful.

1. Coordinate Your Wedding Planning.
Your wedding planner can advise you about all the details, from what your invitations should say to where to have the reception to who pays for what. The planner should be able to guide you to good resources and suppliers. And your wedding planner should have an extensive check-off list for you, that includes a schedule for getting everything done.

2. Make Your Life Easier.
Sometimes, it is frustrating for the wedding planner to be left out of some major decisions and then at the last minute be expected to put out a fire because someone never followed up. Some couples think they’re saving money by not having their planner take care of some minor issues, but in the end this could be ‘Penny Wise, Pound Foolish.’ Your planner can do some of the legwork, help keep track of the hundreds of details, and help with the all-important following up.

3. Negotiate Contracts and Manage Vendors.
Most couples make the arrangements with their own photographer, florist, bakery, reception venue, and other vendors. But if they do, they should either bring their wedding planner to the meetings, or ask for the planner to supply a list of reliable, professional vendors. Sometimes having the planner sit in on the meetings protects the couple from unnecessary charges or pitfalls. If the couple wants to negotiate the contracts themselves, they should at least give the planner a copy of each contract, so the planner can follow up with all vendors at least a week before the wedding. But remember, your wedding planner is not an attorney and should not be asked to review contracts for legal aspects.

4. Care for Your Guests.
You can prepare and mail your invitations, or your wedding planner can do it for you. Either way, the wedding planner needs to have a list of everyone coming to the wedding, including nicknames, so the planner will know that, for example, Lou & Chip on your seating plan are the same as Mr. & Mrs. John Jones on your formal invitation list. Be sure to tell your wedding planner as much information as possible about your guests, especially if someone needs special consideration (such as handicap accessibility) or is bringing small children (who might need a babysitter).

5. Keep Track of Who’s Who and What’s What.
For a wedding to run smoothly, the right people have to be in the right places, the vendors must take care of all of their responsibilities, and the schedule has to be followed. Your wedding planner can manage these details. Who solves any problems that arise on the day of the wedding? Are your plans being carried out correctly? Your wedding planner can keep track of the important people, handle emergencies (or contact the person who should handle the emergencies), and keep on top of the flow of your wedding events.

6. Manage the Ceremony Venue.
Some couples have their wedding planner at the church, temple, or other venue to oversee the ceremony from start to finish. The planner needs a sketch of the venue, which shows special setups of floral arrangements, bows on the pews, candles, a stage for the ceremony, or any other decorations or features; and a copy of the contracts setting out all arrangements. I once worked a wedding at a catering hall, involving a stage on which the ceremony would be performed. The catering hall build a stage that took up the full 12-foot width of the room, but the contract stated that the stage was suppose to be only seven feet wide. There was no room for the ceremony musicians and other features. I had to have the catering hall break down and recreate the stage before any guests arrived. And the bride and groom never knew!

7. Manage your Seating Plan and Reception Venue.
One of the most important tasks your wedding planner can do for you on your wedding day is to make sure that each table has the correct number of place settings and that the place cards are on the right tables. The wedding planner should be provided with a diagram showing the location of all the tables, the table numbers, and the number of guests at each table. It is also important to check each dish, glass, and coffee cup for lipstick stains, water stains, and grime. No matter how expensive or sophisticated the reception venue is a dirty dish always seems to find its way onto a table. I once had to have a restaurant manager rewash 900 glasses and cups that were covered in soap residue! The planner also needs to check for broken chairs, clean mirrors, and clean restrooms.

8. Make Sure Your Vendors Do What They’re Supposed To.
Your wedding planner needs to know how many centerpieces and boutonnieres your florist should be bringing; when the band members, photographers, and videographers are expected to show up; who is creating your cake and where is it going to be set up in the reception venue; and what services will be provided by the caterer and the venue. You do have contracts with all your vendors, right? At one wedding I worked, the bride and caterer had a verbal agreement, and the caterer misunderstood the date. If I hadn’t been overseeing the arrangements at the reception venue, the bride and groom and their 125 guests would have walked into an empty and foodless room!

9. Help with Gifts and Cards.
Managing gifts and cards can be very tricky. Your wedding planner can make sure the venue will have a gift receiving area in a safe and easily found place. They can also help you gather all of your gifts at the end of the evening. In any case, the planner needs to know how you want your gifts, envelopes, and any other special items (such as a silver cake knife) handled. A planner can also work with you after the ceremony to make sure thank you notes reach your guests on time.

10. Solve Your Problems for You.
Is your cute flower girl having a tantrum, because she’s overwhelmed by all the strange faces? Is one of your guests drinking too much and becoming obnoxious? Is your aunt rearranging your place cards? You can give your wedding planner the authority to manage all of these problems – and many of the other problems that arise during a wedding and reception.