I have a lot of people pushing me for a wedding planner right now.
At first, I thought that I’d just use whatever coordinator the venue gave us but now, we have a venue that doesn’t provide any sort of planner/coordinator/person. So, I’m thinking it might be a good idea.
I think it depends on a lot of things. What is most important to you? Do you want to do a lot of these things yourself? It does take a lot of time and effort and money to track down vendors, meet with them and compare prices and such but it isn’t by any means, unmanagable.
Especially if you can be organized and have a good support system (mothers and moms of grooms are great like that).
I would, at the very least, highly recommend that you have a “day of” go-to person. Whether it’s a sister or a good friend or guest of honor that’s organized and can be trusted or whether it’s someone you would pay.
I’ve worked with a lot of wedding planners. Some are good, some are really good, some are really really good and then others….not so much. One woman I worked with had the day planned down to the minute (best man speech 6:15-6:17, Maid/Matron of Honor speech 6:17-6:19) and actually executed those deadlines almost to a tee.
That’s the great thing about people who do it professionally– they are skilled and adept at executing wedding days in a timely and efficient manner and help everyone breathe a little bit easier.These are also the people who know about things like legalities, necessary permits, insurance…stuff like that, that’s really where they come in handy.
I would definitely say they are worth it if you are planning a big wedding or complex wedding with lots of specific elements that you need.
But if you are planning a simple wedding at an all inclusive venue (a lot of venues include a coordinator!) or something like a backyard wedding for no more than 80-100 people. I don’t think you need a planner, just a few very organized friends and family members (and walkie talkies!) and a very specific itinerary.
As far as prices, it depends what you want. For an all inclusive planner in CA, it runs anywhere from $2000-$10,000 (I know!!! I wish!!). They will help with venues, caterers, wedding invitations, logistics, late night panicked calls about that dream you had where you walked down the aisle naked. They will handle everything.
Day of planners here usually run about $500-$1500. I think they’re a happy medium between the all out planner and the DIY route. They make sure that your vendors are in and out on time, that the cake is set up, the people get paid and handle any day-of emergencies (like that Thai restaurant you picked for your rehearsal dinner not setting well with you, or the bridal bouquet getting run over by the catering truck– I’ve seen it!).
In the mid-west, I’m sure it’s considerably less expensive (as most things are in the midwest). But I would still shop around, google planner prices in your area and figure out if there’s room in your budget for it.
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have one. Designate an honored guest to be your planner (I’d reccommend getting them a little somethin for their trouble but that’s up to)–someone not in the wedding party and not your parents.