Is the anxiety and pressure feeling a bit high at the beginning of your wedding planning journey? Can’t even wrap your mind around all the decisions you have to make?
Don’t fret, it’s time to seek expert guidance – a wedding planner! If the lengthy list of initial decisions to make feels overwhelming, a wedding planner can coach and guide you on the most important vendors to book first and help you think outside the “been there, done that trends of Pinterest” to make your day unforgettable. What is meant to be an exciting time can quickly become overwhelming. And we see it too often, the stress can seep into your closest relationships with the ones you love. And that’s no fun.
When starting the wedding planning period, details such as the location, date, guest list, and color scheme all need to be considered. Many engaged couples make the mistake of booking their wedding venue and other vendors before hiring a professional planner. Why is that a mistake you might be wondering?
There are a lot of factors and details that go into planning an event of this size, and it’s likely the first time you, as a couple, have ever navigated something like this. There are many choices and decisions to consider, and before you know it, you feel like you’re working TWO full-time jobs. This is where planners shine. We have the expertise on different venues and vendors that can best reflect your style, personality, and budget–while also meeting the logistical needs for your day.
The venue is often the most exciting piece of the planning puzzle for couples; however, it’s also where we, as planners, see the costliest and biggest missteps made by couples. There are so many variables to think about when selecting your ideal venue and couples do not always realize the additional fees and upgrades they may have to add on to have the wedding they want. If you have a planner on your side that knows what you are envisioning, we can provide guidance and expertise upfront on how to make each venue work for your style, as well as those associated costs. Some venues are all-inclusive, and some are not. Some have rentals included, while others do not. Some venues allow access for a limited number of hours and others give you access for the entire day. Planners break down the pros and cons of each venue to give you the full picture of the experience, including cost comparisons of all the venues you’re considering.
When you hire a wedding planner before selecting your venue, you’ll have an experienced professional to guide you through the entire process. A great planner will have a wealth of knowledge about different venues in your area and can help you narrow down your options based on your budget, style, and priorities. This can save you a lot of time and stress, as you won’t have to wade through countless options on your own. Having insight and feedback from working at venues before, we can ask prepared questions that you may not think to ask about. As planners, it’s our job to not only help you think through the smaller details but also look at the big picture of the entire wedding weekend to make sure it’s stress-free for you, your family and all your guests.
Guest count is a huge factor in where you end up hosting your wedding; however, in the beginning stages of planning, you may not know quite yet how many guests will show up. Having a planner there to help you think through the logistics and statistics of guest RSVPs, what it might realistically look like if you have 100, 150, 200+ guests at each venue, and what that means for layout, extra rentals, and more.
You may end up falling in love with a venue, but the location ends up being further away and requires more thought and money towards transportation and accommodations. Your planner will have a better idea and knowledge of the cost of transportation, the best hotel options, thinking about where your other weekend festivities will take place, and so much more. What does this experience look like for your guests? How will a further out venue affect your hair and makeup schedule – will you need to get ready offsite, add more time/arrive earlier to the venue?
When you choose your venue before your planner, you may find yourself having to sacrifice certain parts of your wedding vision around the limitations of the space. This can lead to compromises and a less cohesive overall look and feel. However, when you work with a planner from the beginning, they can help you select a venue that aligns with your vision and can help you bring your dream wedding to life.
If the design is of bigger importance to you for your wedding day, there are a lot of logistics that need to be considered starting with the venue. When you book your planner first, they will help you come up with a cohesive design and options to consider so that when touring different venues, you have a good vision of what it could look like. Understanding what the time constraints are for each design vendor is imperative to know when securing a venue. Most venues only allow access the morning of your event, so if you have an elaborate design production, you may need to have access to the venue the day before and even the day after for clean-up. Having a planner to help navigate these logistics and communicate with your venue and vendor team can be a huge relief and benefit to setting up your event for success from the beginning.
Working with a planner from the beginning can help you establish a budget that is both comfortable for you and realistic based on your vision. This is a crucial part of the planning process because the venue will likely be one of the first pieces to secure after hiring your planner (and one of the most expensive!). It’s important not to go “venue broke” right from the start by overlooking additional costs, such as additional or upgraded rental items, early arrival fees, late-night breakdown fees, and additional design production fees on top of any other “standard” costs associated with the wedding (outside catering, photography, music, florals, etc.).
A planner can help you navigate these potential pitfalls by breaking down the pricing of each venue and identifying any additional costs upfront. They can also help you prioritize your spending so that you focus on the elements of your wedding that are most important to you. This ensures that you get the most out of your budget without compromising your vision or overspending.
While there’s not just one “right” way to plan a wedding, hiring a planner before selecting your venue is a smart move. With an expert on your side from the beginning, you’ll be able to make informed decisions, stay within your budget, and plan a wedding that reflects your unique style and vision.