Post # 1
So bees, I am barely starting to plan (unless you call pintrest planning lol), I have my dress and have gotten quotes from a venues but that is about it, nothing concrete. I want to plan sooner than later for a couple of reasons:
I took this semester off to review what I have covered so far in grad school and do a specialized course with this in mind, so I have more free time.
I usually stress about things, and being in my last year of med school is not going to help with wedding planning or the stress of it.
I am very decided, if I love/pick something there is almost no chance I will change my mind, I research options thoroughly and make, in my opinion, well founded decisions.
Now, should I hire a planner? Did you have one? Why did you go down this route and are you happy with it? Or did you not have one? Are you happy with the decision? Ugh, in my mind I know it would save me stress but I hate diverting part of my budget to that!
Post # 3
At the very least I would hire a DOC. I did a lot of the planning myself and enjoyed it but it was important to me to make sure someone understood my vision and executed accordingly the day of. Initially, Darling Husband thought it would be a waste (the ones in our area are $1+k for DOC services) but at the end of the day, he was very happy to have hired her.
She essentially was like our babysitter, making sure we were fed and watered and where we were supposed to be. She chased off looky-loos from our venue (we had some people peeking in on the prep and taking photos!). She organized the timing of everything with all of our vendors and made sure everything ran smoothly. It was great for the vendors to have a point person to contact and bug, rather than bugging us with everything. She also helped carry some of my things, like my lipstick. She also stayed late to make sure all the vendors got packed up okay (so we don’t get dinged on our deposit!) and that everyone was tipped accordingly.
Post # 4
I got engaged last May, am defending my dissertation (PhD in neuroscience) in June, moving across the country 3 days later to start a new job, and getting married back on the opposite side of the country (not even in the same state I live now) in September. So, I hired a wedding planner. I didn’t get the 100% full service deal but it was 9 months of planning plus all of the day-of coordination ($3,000). I’m really good at planning and being organized, which I assume you are too if you’re in medical school, but I didn’t want to get overwhelmed and make my mom do everything. I hired an extremely reputable wedding planner in a very popular wedding city, so I know she is the best, but she kind of sucks at communication so that’s been a little stressful. I’ve done a lot of things myself, but she has been helpful in planning the decor and answering questions. I think most of what she does will be when the time gets nearer, but I can’t really say whether it’s been worth it yet. Her “day of” service is really 2 weeks and it’s $1,500 so it seemed worth the extra $1,500 for the 9 months of planning. I would definitely at least hire a day-of planner who will make your timeline and run the show, but whether you need something longer is debatable. If you want to just say “here’s a picture of flowers I like, hire a florist,” then a wedding planner is great. One issue with mine is that a lot of the things she recommeds are too expensive, so I end up finding my own lower cost solutions (ie I found invitations on Wedding Paper Divas but she is helping with wording). Sorry, I’m not sure if that’s helpful but it’s been my experience. I’d be happy to answer more specific questions! How involved is your mother and bridal party going to be?
Post # 5
I hired two ladies for DOC that offered more planning services. They sent us vendor referrals and I met with them. It made the process so much easier by not having to just pick vendors at random and find out they were out of budget or not what I was looking for. The ladies were sent each contract once it was finalized and they did all the confirming in the few days leading up to the wedding. I dropped off all the stuff I had for the wedding at the rehearsal and they set it up the next day.
They were each worth their weight in gold on the wedding day. I had no worries and my mom sand Mother-In-Law were able to enjoy the day without dealing with vendors. If you have the budget, I highly recommend at least a DOC.
Post # 6
@lilbluebird: I am definitely having a DOC, if not I would completely lose it on the day of. I want to focus on gettin married and ONLY getting married and I dont want my bridal party or mom to stress either, so its kind of a must! So happy you had such a good experience 😉
@RunnerBride13: It is helpful! Thank you 😉 I am an only child, so my mother is jumping through the roof lol and my bridal party is amazing, but they are in med school as well, so I dont want to place unnecesary stress on them, because well, it’s my wedding, no need for them to freak out over it as well! I am very organized, but I don’t want to get overwhelmed and my mom has the potential of being a momzilla, so it is kind of pushing it in the yes hire one direction. My situation is not as complicated as yours is (seriously talk about changes! congrats on everything btw sounds super exciting!), but I really appreciate your input! I’m worried abiut what you just said, I know planners have prefered vendors but it might not always be the best option, did you have any problem with the planner when you disagreed with her?
Post # 7
@MrsPaulsBabyBallerina: That sounds perfect!!! Its exactly what I want, I could plan as much as possible now and give them the contract and have them deal with the vendors a couple of weeks before the actual date. I just have to find someone to do this!
Post # 8
I definitely recommend a DOC at least! My wedding isn’t until October but she has already done duo much for us! Vendor discounts, freebies and free design services! She’s worth her weight in gold!
Post # 9
FH works around the clock, I couldn’t really count on his input. We decided to go with a full service planner. It’s made my experience so much easier thus far. I don’t really have to worry about anything. I know my planner will look out for our best interest with all the vendors and negotiate for us. You can still plan and research, but having someone to understand and execute your vision helps take the edge off. I agree with the other bees here that you should at least get a DOC. Your planner or coordinator is getting paid to make you both happy on your special day. Think of them of as the Groomsmen of your event. Everyone else will answer to them and they answer to you. You don’t need a reason to be pulled in different directions during this exciting time.
Post # 10
I am early in the whole process as well (3 months engaged now), but as an intern in residency right now (woohoo to your fourth year, minipenguin!) I have no control over my hours (life?) and certainly have limited normal daytime hours available to call and interview vendors etc. I have hired a full service wedding planner, and though it’s expensive I am already so happy with the fact that this far in I have all my vendors booked and can trust they are well vetted folks because the planner has worked with them literally dozens of times. I really think her opinions – and easy access to them with a quick email sent any time of day or night and always a response received by latest the next morning – makes the dollars SO worth it. I am new to weddings in general being the first of my close friends to get married, and I have lots of little questions about things that aren’t really planning related, such as which suit she thinks is more appropriate for the time of day the ceremony is being held or how to properly address a complicated invitation. She also knows my venue inside out, and I have hired her for both coordination as well as design, and I’m confident with the fact that she has decorated this place a million different beautiful ways before and certainly will be able to do it again for my special day. I would agree with an earlier poster that it’s important to be very clear with a planner about your budget if it’s strict (as mine is) because it’s easy to get carried away with big ideas when you have someone who knows all the best in the industry working with you! Best of luck to you!
Post # 11
@minipenguin: Not at all! For example with invitations, since I didn’t want to us a fancy local invitation place she just said to look online. She didn’t help a lot with it, but she had no problem with us going a cheaper route. Same with cakes, she knew of a cheap place but had me call and book it since she’d never worked with them before and couldn’t get a discount. She’s been very understanding and has worked with the budget, like she designed small floral and candle centerpieces for half of our tables instead of doing tall (expensive!) ones on all of the tables to save several hundred dollars. You can interview a few coordinators and ask if they think they can work in your budget and see if they’ll make you a custom package if you’re wiling to do some of the work yourself. I saved $1,000 by booking some stuff on my own.
Post # 12
I am in my second year of medical school and living in Israel, but getting married in the States. Everyone said I was crazy not to hire a planner, but I only got a DOC. I can email/call her with questions any time, and she’s been great, but in terms of planning everything and picking vendors, I wanted full control. My wedding is in about 2 months and I am pretty much done planning it. I did spend A LOT of time on the research, but somehow managed to stay afloat in my studies. Not to say it hasn’t been hard. Overall, I don’t regret my choice. I figured communicating with vendors from 7000 miles away was hard enough, I didn’t really need a middle(wo)man, but again, I was very picky with vendors. I used weddingwire and weddingbee for recommendations and so far am very please with everyone. I actually preferred initially emailing everyone instead of calling, because that way I had a written record of all quotes/questions/exchanges and it was nice to refer back to. I was able to meet with some of the vendors over winter break with I was home and they all seemed as great in person as over email/phone. Of course we’ll see how the wedding turns out, but I enjoyed having ultimate control and being able to directly communicate with all vendors and express every little concern. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone, especially someone very busy or living far away, but it seems to be working for me so far. good luck! Are you by any chance getting married in SoCal? I could recommend some vendors, perhaps.
Post # 13
I’m hiring a DOC just because on my wedding day I want to be able to relax and not be running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, as my dad would say.
Post # 14
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
A DOC will ease your mind the day of!!! But if you’re not too overwhelmed with work and life (med school sounds pretty crazy busy!!), I bet you can tackle a lot of the planning on your own and with Fiance. Just break down the to-do list month by month.