The danger of hiring non-professionals
This is one I get all the time: “We’re trying to save money so my Maid of Honor is going to be my wedding planner.” Sure, I get it, weddings can be incredibly expensive. There’s absolutely no shame in wanting to save money on certain things but the truth of the matter is by not hiring a professional planner, you might end up spending a lot more on your wedding than necessary in the long run.
Take for instance, and this one is easily forgotten, the big day itself. If you have your best friend, and for our purposes lets call her “Jenny”. If Jenny is both your Maid of Honor and your coordinator I can tell you right away that Jenny can’t possibly be in two places at once. One moment she’s going to be at your side posing for a picture and the next she has to run into the back to check on the caterer’s. Best-case she only spills something on herself once and her hair makes it through her speech during dinner. Worst case...well, I’m sure you can imagine a stressed out Jenny on the verge of tears trying to explain that centerpieces that you got don’t match and that she got into an argument with that new guy she’s with and he stormed out. YIKES.
Am I being slightly dramatic? Maybe, even though I’m sure we all can all have nightmares about how horrible that would be. So why risk it? Why try and put that much on Jenny, and by extension, yourself the day of?
Instead of worrying about sending your bestie to assist several hours beforehand, leave it to a planner. She’s held your hand through thick and thin so doesn’t she deserve to be there at your side the entire night?
Next, unless you are Pippa Middleton you probably have a budget in mind for your wedding and as much as Jenny tells you that accounting class really didn’t go “that badly” chances are it’s going to be tough to stay in budget with your friends planning things for you. If your Jenny is anything like mine you know that budgeting “one glass of wine” usually leads to “at what point did I get tree leaves in my hair and where is my other heel?”.
Also, if you try to plan it with your other spouse well, let’s just say, for myself, we usually get solid day into our calorie budget before we are four spoonfuls into a tube of cookie dough.
As much as you tell yourself that you can stay in budget with your friends, you and I both know that probably won’t happen. Trust me when I say handing it over to a professional planner and telling them what your budget is will be so much easier, after all, I’ve yet to meet a wedding planner who suggests “Let’s dress up as Leia and Han, babe, that would be soooo cute.”
Now, for the sake of argument, let’s say we let Jenny do the planning and Jenny’s younger brother is super good at DJing parties. He does so at his college parties, around little local venues, and only plays stuff that all the kids are dancing too these days. Also, your second cousin, who did a year at culinary school and now has a food truck will give you a really good deal if you let her cater for you. While these may sound like funky-cool options and good ways to save money do us both a favor and politely turn them down. Maybe Jenny’s brother can play at the bachelorette party and maybe your second cousin can cater the bridal shower, those would be good options.
When Jenny’s brother, in true 20-something fashion comes to the big day completely hungover and with half of his equipment and your second cousin decides to make lemongrass-goat-cheese aioli on a buckwheat crostini, half of which are burnt because the oven is a different setup than her foodcart it’s going to cost a ton more to try and find someone on short notice, and even if you can find someone, it won’t be pretty. There is a time and place to allow your friends talents to shine, but please, for your own sake, don’t let your wedding day be their testing grounds.
A professional planner, if they are any good, will have a lot of connections. They will know some of the top vendors in the business and chances are, since they spend their lives at weddings they are going to know just who is the best, whether that be musicians, DJ’s, caterer’s or bakers. They are going to know who will do those floral arrangements with that extra bit of care and they are going to know if a DJ has a dubious penchant for busting out Skrillex as the night goes on. Beyond that, chances are a professional planner is also going to know who is the cheapest. You’re not the first couple looking to save money and a professional planner will know which corners can be smoothed over and which vendors will give you the best experience for even a modest price.
Let’s get back to Jenny after that guy stormed off. Wouldn’t you rather have a professional worry about all the rest of the background stuff while you offer her another glass (or three) of champagne?
It’s your wedding day, drama or no drama, be there for every moment and let a professional planner worry about the rest.