Hiring a Wedding Planner – All you need to know

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Hiring a Wedding Planner – All you need to know
Photo by Maxeen Kim Photography | Planning by EventsbyKeenda

You’ve dreamt of your magical wedding day for what seems like forever so how can you ensure everything is just as perfect as you imagine?

Our Guide to Wedding Planners

We spoke to two leading industry wedding planners to hear their words on creating your dream a reality. Whether you are establishing if you need a wedding planner or trying to understand the type of planner or wedding coordinator you want our insight will leave you feeling clued up on everything related.

What is the role of a wedding planner?

Clearly organisation is the key role for any wedding planner but there’s more to the role then you might expect. Keenda from Events by Keenda, a passionate wedding events planner specialising in understated luxe intimate weddings for stylish couples around the world kindly explained to us what is involved.

“An expert wedding planner will deal with everything from creative design ideas, budgeting, invitations, sourcing of suppliers and of course on the day coordination.

The wedding planner acts as the point of contact liaising with all the suppliers and the bride/groom prior to and on the day of the wedding. It is the planner’s responsibility to bring all the suppliers together dealing with contracts, payments and scheduling all set up and set down times to ensure smooth running on the day.

Most planners will track spend and the planning timeline meeting all deadlines to give you a stress free wedding day.” – Keenda

What are the benefits of using a wedding planner?

If you are allocating part of your sacred wedding budget for a wedding planner you justifiably want to know what the main benefits are. Whilst they will differ from person to person key points include; the reduction of stress on the build up and on the big day, a knowledgeable insight into recommended key suppliers and the potential to save money on your planning journey.

Susannah Dale of Revelry Events, an award winning London-based wedding planners who love rulebook-free weddings expanded on the benefits a planner can bring.

“We like to think a big part of our role is doing the legwork so our couples can make decisions more easily which means they save time and headaches. We also have a little black book of contacts so we can suggest trusted suppliers which reduces the worry of picking a rogue trader and we love to create fun and unique weddings so our styling is always bespoke.” – Susannah

Financial rewards for hiring a wedding planner are a major benefit and finding the right planner will make this a real opportunity.

“They can offer you valuable expert advice on which suppliers to use and negotiate the best rates; potentially saving you money. They have built rapport with trusted suppliers and are familiar with venues that they have worked with before. Booking a planner eliminates all the research time as they already have a go to list of reputable suppliers they work with.” – Keenda

Quick fire reasons to hire a wedding planner?

  • They can negotiate deals with your suppliers saving you money
  • They can use their book of contacts that they know and trust
  • They can keep you on budget
  • They can organise and liaise with every supplier, saving you time
  • They can bring your Pinterest board to life, pull the dream together
  • They can take the stress out of wedding planning for you

What to Consider when Hiring a Wedding Planner?

When looking for a wedding planner it is paramount you get along to ensure communication runs smoothly. Making sure both parties understand what needs to be achieved has to be discussed prior to choosing your planner. Susannah explains to us how important this relationship is.

“The main things to ask yourself is do you get on with them and do you think you’ll work well together? Inevitably you will develop a more personal relationship with your wedding planner than a plumber just coming round to fix your pipes! You’re going to be in regular contact with them for up to 18 months before your wedding so you want to feel like they are the right fit for you.” – Susannah

Once you have established you could have a good working relationship you also need to consider if their style matches your requirements.

“Couples should ask to see examples of the planner’s work via a portfolio and also ask for reviews from previous clients. It’s also good to see if they come highly recommended from other wedding suppliers.

Always have a consultation to establish if you are the right fit and that the planner understands your vision and has given you an idea of how they can deliver it.” – Keenda

How do you extract ideas from your Couples?

Many brides-to-be will admit to saying, I know what I want in my head but how can I effectively transfer this across to a planner?

“Communication, Pinterest and Instagram are the key tools. We talk to our couples to find out what they’re looking for, we ask for visuals and if they’re really stuck we start sharing our own ideas to help streamline their thoughts and get a sense of what they like. Often people don’t know what that they want until they see it!” – Susannah

What are the Costs for a Wedding Planner?

The benefits sound amazing and you are searching for your perfect wedding planner, so what can you expect to pay?

“Costs vary per wedding planner, typically a full plan wedding with Revelry starts at £4500 depending on scope, scale and location but we also offer smaller packages to help couples on a budget. We find our Pay as You Plan option which charges an hourly rate is really popular for venue search just to get people started on their wedding planning journey.” – Susannah

The cost will differ depending on how much of a role you would like your wedding planner to take. For example some couples just don’t have the time to put into planning themselves and require someone to fully take the reigns whereas other couples would like the planner to be present just on the big day itself to take away those little stresses. Keenda elaborated on this point for us.

“The most common packages from a wedding planner are as follows:

Full planning – This entails planning everything from start to finish including on the day coordination and can cost anything from £4,000 plus depending on the planner. Some will charge between 12-15% of the couple’s budget.

Partial planning – This is a mixture of the couple planning their wedding and then they hire a planner to bring it all together to complete any outstanding tasks. On the day coordination is also a part of this package too and can cost anything from £2,000 plus depending on the planner.

On the day planning – This is when the couple have planned everything themselves but wants a planner to come in and oversee the day. The planner will meet with the couple up to 6 weeks prior to the wedding to discuss all the suppliers on board and devise a schedule to ensure smooth running of the day. Depending on the planner this can cost anything between £500 – £1000.

For those who are on a budget I have a package called Inspire and Style which allows couples’ to still be able to work with me but at a lower price. It’s what I call kick start planning helping couples to get started. I mood board some concepts and ideas to style their wedding and I also source three main suppliers: the venue, photographer and a third optional supplier of their choice. I also provide checklists and templates to guide them through their own wedding planning.

Investment is £750 with the option to upgrade to add on the day coordination with up to 10 hours on site at £950.” – Keenda

What are your Wedding Planning Tips?

Passionate wedding planner Keenda left us with some tips for couples in the midst of their wedding planning.

“Breathe! The wedding is only one day and they need to enjoy it no matter what. Don’t get lost in the stress of planning (let the planner do that!) and remember that the wedding is a celebration of your love and the beginning of your marriage together.

Practical tips:

  • Always keep a list and spreadsheets to track your planning. There are some fantastic resources available online for free you can use.
  • Stick to a timeline, making note of deadlines to meet in your calendar.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Family or friends who have recently got married and remember there is always the option of a planner still if it has become too overwhelming.
  • Remember why you are getting married and what’s important to you about the big day.
  • Get inspiration from Pinterest, wedding blogs and magazines or wedding planners Instagram accounts” – Keenda

Hiring the right wedding planner sounds incredible. By doing your homework on finding the perfect planner for you, stress can be reduced allowing you to focus on what your wedding day is really about- marrying the love of your life!

Thank you to both Keenda of Events by Keenda and Susannah Dale of Revelry events for your insight into wedding planners.

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