How to know what type of wedding planning service you need.
So, you are getting married.
Great! Amazing! Congratulations!
Here at Soiree 99, we get inquiries every day asking about our services and what exactly we do to help couples plan their dream wedding. So I thought a little explanation would help you decide what kind of wedding planning service you need!
Do You Need a Wedding Planner?
The first step is to decide whether or not you need a planner.
The answer: You do.
I mean, I realize that I am slightly biased but you really do need to consider having a planner. We are not only experts at designing and throwing epic parties but we take care of all of the little details that you easily overlook, taking the wedding planning stress off of you.
Would you rather spend the morning of your wedding stressfully finishing up last-minute planning or drinking mimosas with your girls?
I think the answer is pretty straight-forward.
Think of it this way; how many weddings have you planned? Is this day important to you? Which sounds better the day of your wedding – feeling stressed and overwhelmed or relaxed and present?
What Kind of Wedding Planning Service Do You Need?
Now that we have established that you need a wedding planner, the next step is to decide which level of planning you need. In the wedding planning world, there are basically 3 levels of coordination but, of course, all planners offer their own unique spin on what they offer.
The most important thing I can start with is – read the contract carefully. No matter what wedding planning service that you choose, read the contract. The information I am giving you here is mostly what I offer. Know that every planner can offer different things if they want. So read the contract and consider everything carefully!
Day of Coordination Month-of Coordination
Contrary to popular belief, “day-of coordination” does not mean we show up at your wedding the day of and make magic happen, which is how a lot of people think that it works.
If we did that, it would be a disaster. We would have no idea who anyone was, who was doing what and we’d have to be asking you questions all day long. It would be stressful for everyone and not enjoyable for you.
So, no. Day-of coordination is not taking place only on the day of the wedding. Because of this, I started calling this level of service, month-of coordination because, normally, you start working with your planner about a month before the wedding date.
With month-of coordination packages, you are responsible for all of the budgeting, the designing, the hiring of vendors, and making sure all of the little details are accounted for.
A month of coordinator comes in at the end of the process and asks what your vision is, who your vendors are (and what you have discussed so far), and makes sure your timeline is realistic and able to be executed. The most important thing that a day of coordinator looks at is the coordination of the vendors and their arrival/setup schedules. We have to look at everything and make sure everyone’s plan will work in unison.
Then, of course, a month-of coordinator is there the day of the wedding, making sure everything is executed properly, taking care of any last-minute issues, and coordinating vendors as necessary.
Another potential option for month-of coordination is to look for a month of coordinator that also offers design consultations. This is a great way to meet with the planner for an hour or two and make sure all of your design elements are cohesive and that you aren’t missing anything.
I prefer this above month-of coordination because it is a great combination of do-it-yourself with the help of an expert. You get a planner to help you with the design which means an elevated experience for everyone at your wedding and you will have the assistance of someone who has been intimately involved with the process from the beginning. I also help with allocating the oh-so intimidating budget.
Additionally, with my partial planning services, I create a mood board, am involved in the floral conversations, create the place settings, and help with vendor communication when it is needed.
But, with this package, you still retain a very hands-on approach to the planning process and are still responsible for a lot of the actual planning.
Think of it as a coach/player relationship. You do the most of the leg work but I am there to guide, keep things moving, and to create an atmosphere destined for greatness.
This type of package is great for brides who want to be involved but understand that they are not experts in wedding planning and want guidance in creating a really outstanding event.
Full Service Planning
First, find out exactly what this means because full service can vary greatly between planners.
With Soiree 99, full service is exactly that—full service. It is basically everything in partial planning but I do all of the leg work, gathering all of the design ideas, getting all of the information from prospective vendors to you, and even managing vendor contracts and payments. I execute everything, including the budget.
This isn’t to say that you don’t get a say. In fact, it is just the opposite. I want my couples to be involved and to give their input in what goes on. Instead of you having to come up with the ideas though, I bring them to you, making your life so much easier. I want my weddings to be about my couples, to be personal and unique. So having my couple’s involvement is of absolute importance to me.
Final Words of Advice
My parting words of wisdom are this: No matter what level of wedding planning service works best for you and your budget, make sure you get to know your planner before booking. This is the most important part of picking who you work with—not the price tag, not the recommended vendor list from the venue.
Your wedding day is really important and is a huge memory in your life. You want to enjoy every single second of it and you want to love every person who is a part of it. It only takes one bad apple or one bad experience to derail the wedding. This is why it is so important that you have a planner who is approachable, organized – and likable! You need to keep this in mind when booking your entire vendor team.
What type of wedding planning is best for you and your wedding? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Can’t wait for your next newsletter? You’re in luck—there is so much wedding planning goodness already on the blog. Check out this post about creating the perfect wedding timeline.