(Closed) Wedding Planner? Can I justify the cost?

posted 9 years ago in Chicago
Post # 3
1156 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2005 - Westside Loft, New York

Can you maybe ask the venue coordinator for some referrals, and talk to past brides to see how involved they were on the wedding day to see if you need a planner?

Some venue coordinators are awesome.  Others not so much.  Talking to past brides may help you with your decision.  Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post # 4
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I agree with Mrs. Bee!

When I got married (to my x) at our church, we had a wedding coordinator already provided to us.  She was awesome!  She had everything set up just right, candles lit, and was a drill sergeant having everybody doing everything perfectly!

My florist at the reception kinda kicked everything into place before hand and rocked it!  He is awesome (if you live in Memphis, check out The English Garden in Germantown area..Ivy is the BEST florist!!!) He scoped out the site first, knew what would exactly go where and it was effortless for him.

I also am lucky to have several relatives who are designers who can quickly work a room in about 10 minutes flat and have everything tweaked just right.  No real need for a day-of for me, but if I am super busy, I might think of it.

If you opt out of a day-of, who in your entourage/family is good at design or being able to pull off putting centerpieces out, lighting candles, and telling florists just where things need to go?   

Post # 5
685 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Hiya.  We’re in the same boat as you.  Our venue co-ordinator is fabulous so I have no doubt the reception will go smoothly.  Where we start worrying is having someone there to make sure the church will be decorated and like you, to ensure the centerpieces etc are put out.  I have no cousins nor aunts/uncles to help out with the decorating and I definitely don’t want to burden our guests.

In the end, I think we’ll be better off to hire someone for the day.  One advice I got a from a former co-worker (she was the MOG a few years ago) was the price of a co-ordinator will be worth it!  Just knowing someone else will be there to make sure of the little things will surely give some piece of mind.

One thing I will say is, as mrsbee has said, is to get some referrals.  LOL the last thing you want is to have a co-ordinator you’ll have to stress about on the day of your wedding.

Post # 6
10218 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

You can also find a wedding planner who is looking for events to build her portfolio.  I personally have offered free DOC services to build mine. 

Post # 7
88 posts
Worker bee

I would recommend interviewing a couple to see what they bring to the table exactly.  If you need recommendations, send me a message.  I would highly recommend both wedding coordinators we interviewed in Chicago.  We went with the full planning package because it was what we needed.  The day of coordinators don’t just work the day of; they do so much work ahead of time with schedules and stuff.  I can’t imagine what our lives would be like.  I don’t need to worry about what time anyone is arriving or making sure everyone knows where they have to be or coordinating anything. 

Post # 8
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

i was beyond organized for our wedding, yet, i still feel as if my DOC was worth every penny.  i did not stress or worry about 1 single thing.  she was always ahead of me and took care of everything…my family and friends loved her too!

Post # 9
6 posts

Hi guys, I am a Chicago wedding photographer and I really recommend that you get a day-of person. Please know that in most cases it is worth the money. They handle all the headaches which can occur so you don’t have to. From the bouquets arriving with the wrong flowers to missing chair covers, your day of person will handle anything that isn’t going smoothly. You (and your mom) should enjoy your day, not be stressing the details. :))

Post # 11
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2007 - Hyatt Lodge, Oak Brook IL


Hi Miss Creme Brulee!

I am a Chicago wedding planner by trade who handles a lot of day-of coordination, so I’d like to toss in my $0.02 if you are still undecided! Hopefully you don’t mind the professional input ๐Ÿ™‚

A number of brides I have talked to say that all they want is someone to show up, set up, and direct people, and therefore cannot stomach the idea of paying for a reputable wedding planner/day-of coordinator. But there is actually a lot more involved on the back-end to ensure a seamless event! A good day-of coordinator does not just show up without doing her homework! From my perspective, I charge what I charge because I still need to maintain the integrity of my services and quality of work. And in order to do so, there are steps on my end that cannot be skipped, such as attending the final walkthrough at the venue, reviewing all of the contracts, reviewing and providing input on the timeline, confirming all vendors the week of the wedding, coordinating the rehearsal, etc. All this on top of the 8-12 hours of actual on-site work on the wedding day, and I always bring an assistant.

Also, you should feel comfortable asking your DOC for advice on things such as vendor referrals, etiquette and ESPECIALLY the itinerary. After all, they have much experience and many weddings under their belt and chances are, this is most likely your first and last wedding (or second in some cases! ๐Ÿ™‚

The other thing I hear from brides is that they want to ask their friends or relatives to assist with the setup. (also see Mrs.Penguin’s recent post!) In regards to that idea, I can certainly relate – I considered the same for my own wedding a few years ago! However in the end, I hired a pro because I did not want to burden my friends and family, or to have them miss out on the whole guest experience that I was working so hard to achieve! Hiring a professional coordinator is like getting insurance for your wedding. Because chances are, the amount you are investing for your wedding day probably COULD buy you a car of some sort… which you would never drive without insurance! And I’m guessing that the rest of the vendors you have hired are professionals – so shouldn’t the person entrusted to pull the whole event together also be an experienced professional? 

Ok, hopefully I have given you a different perspective, feel free to PM me if you have any further questions ๐Ÿ™‚


Mrs. Emerald 


Post # 12
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2008 - Oceanfront lawn and tent

I’ve said it so many times, but I’ll keep saying it- the money we spent on our DOC was by far the best money we spent on our wedding.  I would be kicking myself so hard right now if I (or my mom, best friends, aunt, whoever) had had to deal with any of the headaches we encountered on our seemingly well-planned day (we had a hailstorm and electricity outage at our outdoor wedding).  Also, I’ve stepped in to help at friends weddings where there was no DOC, and no matter what anyone wants to tell you, it TOTALLY takes away from the fun/experience your friend/family member should be having.  There is a reason why (most) wedding planners get paid well- it is a TON of work!

Post # 13
4 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

If you still need a DOC…I am offering my services for practically free of charge.  Although I am not YET a very well known coordinator, I do have experience, and references if you feel the need to check.  I am beginning a new business and am hoping to build up my portfolio.  Please e mail me at [email protected] if you are at all interested, I will let you know more information.

Post # 14
143 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

On the same line as crebre80: One of our potential coordinators is new to the industry, so her prices are way low. I would suggest doing some research and finding students or fresh wedding faces to be a DOC. You’ll get all the benefits for cheaper, and they get a chance to build up their portfolios.

Post # 15
12 posts
  • Wedding: December 1969

Having had a wedding without a coordinator, I can speak from experience and say the little money you will spend on someone will be well worth it.  We’ve experienced coordinators and currently in the process of building our portfolio so we’d love to help you out.  Our prices are negotiable and we’re flexible in order to meet your needs.  We’d love to hear from you!

You’ve spent hours planning & dreaming about this day, and it’s finally here.  It’s time to let someone else handle all the details so that you can truly enjoy your big day.  We bring a level of experience, organization, and creativity to your wedding, to help turn your vision into a reality.  We will execute every detail, pull together last minute projects, mange your vendors, and ensure your wedding day is a stress-free and blissful experience for the both of you.  We provide on-site services to make sure everything runs smoothly on the day of which includes and is not limited to: wardrobe assistance, breakfast delivery, vendor payment/distribution, assistance with program/place cards/favor/center piece set up,  emergency kit, and any other specific needs you may have (i.e. the safekeeping of your grandmothers heirloom cake knife).  

Day-of-coordinator package includes rehearsal coordination (2 hours), unlimited phone and email correspondence, an in-person meeting, and day of services (8-10 hours).  In addition, a bridal party wish list, wedding timeline, vendor checklist, and wedding checklist will be tailored around your wedding day specifics.  Day-of-coordinator package starts at $750, prices are negotiable depending on size of event, upgrades can be added for an additional fee.  Email us at [email protected] for more information.  Your wedding day is meant to be the happiest day of your life, let us pull together the details, so that you can focus on becoming Mr.&Mrs.

Post # 16
4 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

Hello, I know a planner that has a great special right now.  Its $400 for day of planning. The company is called Madeline Veil & Co.  They are located in Chicago.  I used them and they were wonderful!

Here is the like for the promo


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