"We've decided not to hire a wedding planner"

The beginning of each year is full of fielding inquiries from brides high on the excitement of their new holiday engagement. It is truly one of my favorite parts of this job.  I love, love, love initial consultations - meeting brides and getting to hear about their vision while plans are still being formed is such a treat.  Helping a bride dream up her details is incredibly fun and seeing her face at the finished product 8, 12, 16 months later makes me as happy as if it were my own wedding.

Along with all the excitement of adding brides to the Southern Savvy Events family comes the occasional "we've decided not to hire a wedding planner".  I would be lying if I didn't tell you it's a disappointment when they decide to go that route, but the strongest emotion I feel is nerves.  I feel nervous for couples who forgo a planner or coordinator.  To put it in perspective, you've invested thousands and thousands of dollars, as well as putting in hours upon hours of your precious time (time that you can't get back).  Y'all, I do this full time - I know how much time you're spending to make your wedding perfect.  Do you want to leave the finished product of all your time and efforts in the hands of your great Aunt or friend from college who happens to be in town for the wedding?  The answer - NO.  You want someone who knows your vendors, knows the venue and best of all has been involved in your planning, knows the details and can answer vendors' questions before they're even asked.  Over the past 6 months I have heard multiple people tell me how unhappy they were with the execution of their wedding day, either due to lack of a planner/coordinator or lack of an experienced planner/coordinator and honestly, it makes me so incredibly sad for them.  This is the biggest day of your life - the beginning of you and your husband's adventure, the last thing you want to do is look back with anything but positive, joyful thoughts.

A common restriction is budget.  If you are reading this in the beginning of your planning, build planning or coordination into your budget.  You will never regret it.  If you've booked vendors already and have a limited amount of budget left, talk to a planner about payment options.  As a planner we are here to make your day/planning experience nothing short of enjoyable and stress free, if working out a payment plan makes that a reality most of us are willing and happy to do that!

Another restriction is simply worry that a planner will take over and you will lose creative control.  This will NEVER happen.  We want to bring YOUR dream to life.  The only time you'll hear a suggestion that may not be exactly what you were thinking would be to make sure logistics are effective.  Again, we're here to make your day perfect you will never hear a suggestion that is not to serve that purpose.

Family members who offer to help mean well.  What often goes unrecognized until shortly before wedding day, is they are needed elsewhere getting ready or having photos taken and will not be available to deliver decor/make sure the venue is set up/etc.  These are the people who love you and your fiancé so much that they are willing to work on a day that they should be relaxing with you all and spending time with family they may not see often.  Since you don't want to hurt their feelings, telling them you don't need their help can be tough, but when you explain that you'd rather them spend this momentous day with you and ensure they are present for all photos, they often realize that there is nothing else in the world they should be doing on wedding day than celebrating and spending time with close family and friends.

Planning services vary and with a little research you will find the right fit for you.  If you still feel a pang of doubt, talk to your vendors!  Your vendors are your wedding dream team and they want nothing more than for you to have a successful event - they will give you thoughts, opinions and best of all, referrals.

Happy Planning!

Photo credit - Smitten & Hooked, Rachel Red Photography, Lauren Friday Photography