Was your wedding planner worth it?

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 17
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Our partial planner is $1800 because our photographer and she have a deal where if they work together you get a discount otherwise it would’ve been $2250. She is worth it already and we are only planning. During our venue walkthrough she washed away all my doubts, came up with wonderful ideas and has been so supportive and helpful throughout the process when I have anxiety and concerns that no one but a true seasoned professional could provide. Like a PP, I know what I want so I did not need her help with most vendors (although she provided a preferred vendor list) or decor choices as some planners may help with design but I’ve found that usually costs extra. Our total budget is 30k USD

Post # 18
634 posts
Busy bee

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ebbee :  My total budget was around $25k CAD, my planner was around $2200. We got the ‘partial’ package though. So she was technically a part time planner for us, we had a set amount of hours and set tasks included in the package as well as full day of coordinating. I believe her full planning package was $3500. So I still had to do alot of my own research and planning but she was always there to help me. She thought of so many little things that I hadn’t thought of and like I said she actually ended up saving us money

Post # 19
808 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

We are using a wedding planner.  Our wedding is a destination wedding but is at a venue where we’re bringing nearly everything in ourselves.  I also have a busy job and don’t like planning so I don’t feel confident I could have done all this on my own. I think the biggest benefits with her have been contacts and negotiations.  We’re finding that not all the vendors in the area we’re getting married in have a web presence so she’s found us people we couldn’t have found on our own who do good work but also fit our budget.  There also is a language barrier at play so she’s been a helpful translator when necessary (though in theory Future Mother-In-Law could do that as well).  

We’ve still definitely had to do our share of leg work on our own.  But from what we’re told her greatest strength is taking care of things day of and removing any stress.

I think the one thing I will say (since you also mention being busy) is that I think my expectations may not have been correct going in.  I was kind of hoping for someone who would stay on top of things without my involvement and be the one to let me know when we’d reached the point in the timeline when we had to deal with X, Y, Z.  I still definitely have to watch timelines like a hawk and be on top of things and initiate.  At times it’s still felt like I’ve to put a lot of time and energy into planning.   But its also hard ot know how much she’s doing behind the scenes that I’m not even aware of.

Post # 20
2904 posts
Sugar bee

We got a planner for all the reasons megm1099 mentioned and paid 7K+.  She was full service and totally worth it.

Post # 21
4725 posts
Honey bee

If everything has to be brought in, then I would go for partial planning. I had a similar venue and would have had a lot of difficulty coordinating and being present for all the deliveries, setups, and pick ups. And I am a type A planner with experience with events. 

My partial planner also helped me make sure I was getting the best deal with each vendor and not hiring some flake.

Lastly, they were on me like a hawk to make sure we finalized things timely and did not miss any deadlines.

Post # 22
358 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

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ebbee :  I 100% think it’s worth it. 

I believe she has saved us money with finding the best vendors at the right prices. I feel like it was also worth it because she gives me such piece of mind that everything is handled and that it’s all under control. There has been zero wedding stress (outside of hot headed in laws 🤣) because she has it all together without me having to worry at all. If you have the budget for it, do it. 

Post # 23
1814 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

We had 350 people at our wedding and we didn’t have a wedding planner. We really enjoyed planning our wedding ourselves. Our day of coordinator was amazing.

Post # 24
2363 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

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ebbee :  That was exactly how our space was. We rented a ballroom, it literally only came with the tables and chairs. We also had one venue, so she was in charge of overseeing the catering team flipping the room. We were able to set up some decor friday night, and then she finished up everything on saturday morning. 

Post # 25
6303 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

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ebbee :  I’m a wedding photographer and I tell my couples that a wedding planner or DOC (Day of Coordinator) is the best gift you can give yourself – and your vendors!

Obviously if you are someone who is on an extreamly tight budget it might just not be in the cards and that’s understandable – but if there is any way to make it work, I would suggest doing it. Even if, at the very least, you’re justing hiring a DOC.

The common misconception people make about who will oversee how your day goes is thinking a friend or the “venue coordinator” can do it. I hear it all the time : “I don’t need a planner, my aunt is going to be the mistress of ceremonies she’s done it several times.” OR “My venue includes a coordinator so I don’t need to hire anyone else.”

The Friend – Bless their hearts, their intenions are good but 99% of the time their follow through isn’t. They aren’t professionals and attending several weddings (or even being a bride themselves) doesn’t give you the knowledge to anticpate and put out the fires that pop up. A hired coordinator has talked with you about the wedding day – your wishes, your “Plan B”, they generally have a relationship with the vendors, etc. When a crisis comes up they handle it and move on. That’s not the case withe friends/family and I see it time and again…when a crisis pops up they run to the bride/groom instead of handling (because they’re worried they’ll make the wrong decision) and all that does is stress the wedding couple out which is the exact opposite of the point in having a coordinator. 

The Venue Coordinator – Listen closely…. A wedding coordinator is YOUR advocate, the venue coordinator is always going to look out for the venue first. If an issues arises (especially if it’s something provided in-house by the venue) you have no one in your corner. The venue coordinator is responsible for setup of the venue and make sure the events that take place there keep running. They are not contacting all of your vendors in the weeks leading up to discuss timeline or confirm details. They aren’t calling the florist to double check they are delivering flowers to decorate the cake with. They aren’t finding you a replacement DJ if yours gets into an accident on the way your wedding. I’m not saying that having a VC is bad, it’s not. I’m simply saying that they are not a replacement for an actual coordinator. 

The hardest thing for vendors is when there isn’t a coordinator. Do we still get our job done? Of course, we’re used it. But almost every wedding I do with a coordinator runs far more smoothly than those without. Frankly I prefer it because when there is no coordinator a lot of those things get dumped onto me as the photographer (especially things like starting the ceremony and the key events throughout the reception), and that takes away from me doing the job I was hired for. Why? Because aside from a coordinator I’m the one vendor that is with the couple the entire day. 

Post # 26
159 posts
Blushing bee

I’m not getting married until March 2020, but we have already hired someone. The package we got is somewhere in between partial planning/month of coordination. I have no issues planning most details up front myself, but it’s nice to get a second opinion on things and knowing myself I knew I needed to have someone there that day that I trusted to manage everything. Ours was not cheap, but I have no regrets so far!

Post # 28
799 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

We had a day of coordinator and she was worth her weight in gold. I can’t imagine my wedding running smoothly without her. 

Post # 29
730 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

We have a planner & she is around $2600. She is a godsend. She was able to get us vendor discounts and has kept everything flowing. It’s also nice because we are not super familiar with the area and she could direct us to actual good vendors and not just well marketed ones.

When I’m stuck on a detail or getting lost in my “vision” she is there to guide me through it. I am so very thankful for her!

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