Post # 1
Hello everyone! I’m hoping some of you might have some insight for me –
I got married 2 months ago, and my wedding is going to be featured this
summer in 2 major publications (including Brides), and has been
featured on several blogs. It was the most wonderful day of my life for
all the big reasons – it was a joyous celebration, and I was surrounded
by friends and family. And on a design level – it really all came
together beautifully. The day itself ran so smoothly as well…
leads me to my point – I am a producer (events, productions) and
recently (May) got my masters from an Ivy League university in a producing/planning field …
I found that as I was planning my (destination) wedding that I really
was good at it – AND having a blast.
I’m thinking of starting
a wedding planning business and want to find a few clients or two. So,
here are my questions that I’d LOVE to get input on from you all …
– Are you using a wedding planner?
– Would you be using one if it weren’t cost prohibitive?
– What rates feel reasonable to you?
And lastly – does anyone know anyone who is trying to pull together a
wedding for this fall? I’d love to find my first couple and would do
top to bottom planning for a cut rate fee. (I’d like to assist with as
many aspects of the planning process as possible, so I’m looking for a
couple that doesn’t have too much planned yet but needs to get moving
ASAP) I am open to any/every kind of wedding anywhere in NYC! (Even those who don’t have a venue yet, dress, etc)
Thanks SO much you guys, I really appreciate any feedback you might be able to give me!
Post # 3
Hi Molly – I am currently looking for a DOC for my wedding in Oct. Let me know if we can work together to build up your business.
deedrit at gmail dot com
Post # 4
I think most people would choose a wedding planner if it was in their budget. I guess there are some people that want to do everything themselves and are afraid to give up control. Is there a website where I can view your wedding? Sounds amazing, and I’d love to see it.
Post # 5
Whether it is budgetary or "not wanting to give up control" as one reader put it, I think there is a niche for a wedding day director–Someone who would take over the calls and be the point of contact for the 2 weeks leading up to the wedding and also coordinate all that has been planned the day of the wedding. NO BRIDE can really do this herself! Someone did advertise for this, unfortunately my 2 calls were not returned! Good Luck!
Post # 6
I’m using a day of coordinator who will essentially manage my wait staff for my at home wedding. She wanted to really deal with my vendors and set up… but I don’t need her for that. I’m glad she is flexible, though.
If I could find someone in the banquet service industry to manage, I would use that person instead. My planner is very nice, but I’m not sure if she can manage a waitstaff. Personally, I didn’t feel I needed much help planning my wedding. My fiance’s aunt works in the event planning field and she has connections for vendors (rental, linen, caterers, etc..) if I did not have her- I would probably need a planner to suggest vendors.
For four hours of coordinating I’m paying 250- she gave me a deal. I would have been willing to pay much more, though.
Post # 7
To answer your questions:
– Are you using a wedding planner? No. We interviewed a few for full planning and DOC and decided against it. Like you I am in a job that requires a lot of coordination and planning so I am not worried about vendor selection and timelines. I do it on a much bigger scale at my job. Really all I wanted was someone to make sure the DIY projects that we worked on get set up the way I want them. However the catering manager assured me that she would do it following my instructions/pictures and added an extra waitperson to take care of it.
But to be honest with a couple of them I really disliked the attitude of "I am a professional and I know better than you" and how they referred to the weddings as "my" weddings. Erm what about the people who got married?
– Would you be using one if it weren’t cost prohibitive?
As I said above cost wasn’t really the problem, althought they were probably charging more than I was willing to pay for the limited tasks I wanted completed.
– What rates feel reasonable to you? $75/hr to be honest and I know that industry standard is higher or A LOT higher than that depending on geography.
Post # 8
We’re not using a wedding planner, and personally, I don’t see a need for one. I enjoy doing all the planning, vendor searches, etc., myself. However, I do recognize that on the day of the wedding, I can’t be the one hanging paper lanterns from the ceiling. Our caterer said her staff would be happy to do any decorating that takes place on the tables (linens, centerpieces, table setup, etc) and whatever else we need help with. I’m probably going to hire a friend of a friend to act as DOC to make sure all the DIY gets set up to my liking, but other than that, I personally don’t need any other planning help.
I didn’t even look at wedding planners, partly because I figured I could do it myself, but partly because I knew they were expensive. If it weren’t cost prohibitive, maybe I would have looked into it a little more and delegated, but maybe not.
For the friend of a friend I’m hiring to be DOC, I’m planning to pay her $100-200 for overseeing setup on the morning of, and hanging around in the background through the ceremony/reception, although I don’t know if I really need her there for that. We’ll see. She offered to do it purely as a favor, but I can’t allow that, so I’m going to pay her in the form of a nice gift.
Post # 9
Neither my sister or I used a wedding planner, but my best friend did. She just loved hers – but her reason for having a planner in the first place is a little nonstandard – she is a VP-level executive at a pretty large company, and not only just didn’t have time to deal with the details, she really didn’t care. She just wanted a nice party – but as far as kind of flowers, colors, favors… she just didn’t care. I don’t think you’re going to find very many brides like that on this site – by definition, they are here because they want to spend at least a little time obsessing over hand-tied bouquets and the details of bustling.
I actually would have been willing to pay someone to do a few things for me. It would have been really nice to have someone to do a lot of the research, so that I could just pick what I wanted. It also would have been nice to have someone to coordinate things not only on the day of the wedding, but in the week before. My girlfriends and family did a great job, but I think there would have been a lot less stress (for me, possibly for them as well) if we had some professional help.
However, I also am a little turned off by some of the attitudes I’ve heard about from wedding planners and coordinators. All of my vendors were fantastic about executing my vision of things – and providing their expertise without ever making it seem like I possibly didn’t know best what I wanted. I think that most modern brides are pretty capable women – we run projects, manage staff, and are responsible for million dollar budget items in our daily jobs – so we really don’t need someone to treat us as if we are somehow deficient just because we don’t plan parties for 200 people every month.
Anyway, I wish you the best of luck. It was a lot of fun planning a wedding – the idea of getting to do it every day is pretty tempting, although my experience is that doing almost anything as a job isn’t quite as much fun as doing it purely for the enjoyment of the thing. I hope you have wonderful clients, and make them very happy!
Post # 10
From what I have read wedding planner usually charge a certain percentage of the total cost. I had a DOC and she gave me a great deal since she just started out and had done only a few weddings. She was great and she asked for 400. We tipped her an additional 200.
Post # 11
I am planning on using a DOC i think, just because I don’t want to have to deal with the little details that I know that I want to be there. We’re renewing our vows, so we aren’t having a huge party, but there are lots of little details involved. We also have a four year old, my mom has MS and I don’t want any of my friends and family (beside my best friend who is officiating) to have to work during that weekend to deal with people. We’re already cooking the morning after brunch, so that’s enough. I just have to find one on the gulf coast of Florida. Anybody know any?
Post # 12
I hired a full wedding planner and it has been amazing so far (my wedding is next May). I hired her when I was living out of state, so she did vendor research for me, fine-tuned my budget, and gave me a realistic idea of how much I should expect to pay for things. I also knew that I would be very busy in the year leading up to my wedding, so she has been great as far as getting info from vendors for me, setting up meetings with vendors, etc. I am still relatively early in the planning process, but so far she has been a great asset. Also, she charged a flat fee rather than a percentage of my total wedding budget.