For organized Bees, did you still enlist in any planning services?

posted 8 months ago in Logistics
Post # 2
5046 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
@wildflower3:  We had a DOC, but not a planner.  My DOC was $1500 I believe, and that was four years ago; I’m guessing a planner would’ve been significantly more.  I personally didn’t find it difficult to plan everything ourselves.  I did that vast majority of the planning, and while I found it overwhelming in the beginning, there were many months that were quiet and stressfree.  If you’re already organized, I think it would be unnecessary, but it’s up to you.  

Post # 3
754 posts
Busy bee

It definitely doesn’t sound like you need a wedding planner to me! I didn’t even think about my wedding until we’d been engaged for 2 months and we got married in 10 lol. 

The main thing wedding planners do is sort out the logistics like choosing and booking vendors and make sure you don’t miss anything. It sounds like you’ve already done most of that AND have a good idea of your aesthetic, you just want help choosing final style details. I think your mum will be enough just to have someone to bounce ideas off of and look over your plan etc. 

Post # 4
7579 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

In my opinon everyone can benefit from, at the very least, a Day of Coordinator (DOC) regardless of how big/small or casual/fancy your wedding is. Even if you are someone who is uber organized and likes to research and book vendors yourself. As a wedding vendor I didn’t need full service planning but did hire a DOC, one that I work with quite a bit at weddings and love. 

First and foremost I never suggest relying on the venue provided wedding coordinator, because really they aren’t there for you. Their #1 job is to manage their staff and make sure they are getting things done. It’s important to have a seperate DOC/planner who is going to be an advocate for YOU and your day. A DOC is going to be helping you with the final logistics of the day, putting together the timeline, making contact with your vendors, confirming their services prior to the day, overseeing setup and arrival of vendors, and making sure your day runs smootly and sticks to the timeline. 

I’m such an advocate for a planner or DOC because as a wedding photographer, when a couple doesn’t have one, often many of those duties fall to my shoulders. By default we seem to become the point person for all the other vendors and I shouldn’t be worrying about making sure your bridal party is lined up for intros or that everyone knows where they should stand – I should be focused on my job. 

In my area usually $1300-$1500 is pretty common for an experienced DOC. I would actually rely on the suggestion from other vendors as opposed to facebook groups. I think it’s always great to get referrals from people who have been through the process, but when you can’t seem to find reviews or an online presence it makes me think it’s someone just starting out. Everyone must start somewhere but personally I feel like there’s just a level of service you get from someone with a lot of expereince. Plus, the point of a planner/DOC is not only to make your life easier on the wedding day, but also your vendors, because if things aren’t running smootly it has a domino effect. There are planners I refuse to do a wedding with, and will actually turn down an inquiry if they’ve been hired, because they aren’t good at their job and it makes for a hard wedding day. Likewise I know plenty of planner who have specific vendors they won’t work with because they are combative or overall unpleasant to work with. The best wedding days are when you have a team of vendors who are familiar with each other and can work great together! 

Post # 5
535 posts
Busy bee

We had a DOC as part of our package with the venue (no additional cost) and did not hire an additional coordinator. I relied heavily on Excel, and ended up with like a 30 tab workbook! I also purchased a wedding planning book to use as a template for some things, and created my own 3 ring binder with some things as well (think Monica Geller lol).

It was a bit stressful I am not going to lie, and my husband was a lot like yours. The ONLY things he cared about was the food and cake. Sometimes I toyed with the idea of a planner to take a load off me, but, I am a bit OCD and a Control Freak (work in research & project management so planning is my entire life) and I could never release the reigns to anyone else.

Only few mistakes / mishaps I made myself that I would fix if I had a chance to do over:

1. I didn’t include a map of the actual venue in the invite, and everyone was lost on where to park and where the ceremony & reception was. Venue told me there would be signs, which there were, but they were small and unclear so a venue / parking map would have helped. We had to start 30 minutes late because everyone was wandering around this massive Vineyard. 

2. I put colored dots on my place cards for meal choices, but the lighting was so dim in the ballroom the servers couldn’t see the colors! So they asked guests each what they ordered, and people decided to change their mind and at the last table they RAN OUT OF STEAK and had to serve chicken to people who clearly ordered steak. Luckily my mom complained (which I didn’t know about) and got comped mimosas for our farewell brunch the next morning! 

But, I am not sure if a hired coordinator would have really made much of a difference with those two issues.

Post # 6
5387 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
@wildflower3:  I like planning my wedding and comparing vendor reviews, prices based on what we need. Given that, I do not need a wedding planner. However, our venue requires we have a day of coordinator and I think that’s a good idea because it can get crazy busy the day of your wedding.

Post # 7
7978 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I had a relatively small wedding (65) and my DOC was still such a saving grace. She organized my decorator, dj, caterers, photographer, officiant, venue coordinator, bartenders, shuttle drivers and probably alot more. Any issues she took care of. Any questions she answered. I didnt need a wedding planner, but having someone take care of the day of details was worth it! 

Post # 8
835 posts
Busy bee

We had a full-scale planner. Her services included everything from setting up appointments to look at venues to being the last one out at the end of the night to make sure everything was cleaned up, and everything in between. However, when we brought her on I already had the venue, a general idea of decor, and I was enjoying all aspects of wedding planning with my mom, so there were a lot of things the planner and I worked on together and things that I still handled on my own or with my mom or husband.

That said, I was very glad to have her. We had numerous vendors (church, reception venue, linen vendor, chair rental vendor, bar rental vendor, a full band, etc.) and she dealt with the little details with them. She was very expensive and in some ways a month-of coordinator might have been better, but it was my first time involved with an event of this scale so we thought it was a good idea to have a professional on our team.

Even with a planner there is still stuff you will need to do. For example, we worked with her and her software to design the configuration of the room, but the seating chart obviously had to be handled by us and took a lot of time. I also coordinated with some of the vendors where she would have just been a middleman, such as our printer. She could have received the proofs and forwarded them to me, but I just dealt with them directly and gave sign-offs. She did assemble and send off all of our invitations, however, which was very helpful. She also did the programs and did a really unique spin on our place cards with the meal indicators.

Post # 10
7352 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

I consider myself pretty organized but after having a wedding, I think a DOC should be a minimum requirement if you can swing it. Brides should not have to have ANY organizational concerns on their wedding day. We were fortunate that we didn’t have to hire anyone because I’ve got a lovely friend who gifts her services and does DOC duty for weddings. Even as organized as I am, and given the number of events I’d put together, I’d never done a wedding before and it would have run MUCH less smoothly if she hadn’t been there – beforehand and on the day. My husband and I (mostly I) had done the bulk of the planning on the front end and then we had a walk through with her a couple weeks before the wedding and then another meeting (to go over the details that came up from the first meeting) and then she covered everything on the day.

About a year after our wedding, my husband and I attended a wedding for a couple where the bride was a professional event coordinator and had done her own wedding. It was a BEAUTIFUL event and it was clear that a lot of work had gone into it. The bride was gorgeous AND I also saw people asking her those annoying little questions that are fine when you are working an event and irritating as shit when the event is suspposed to be a day where you are focused on making a loving commitment to your Significant Other. In fact, at one point, she got annoyed at people coming up to her asking questions and she had a mini blow up.

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