I recently received an email from a bride-to-be and that was her question. Let’s face it, not everyone keeps an excel spreadsheet or gigantic wedding binder with every detail of their event, magazine cutouts, vendor price quotes, and potential attendees included. Some of us would prefer to pay for the organization to be done for us.
“What are the pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner for the full event planning experience (Full Experience) vs. just for the big day (Day Of)?”
It’s a common enough question and is definitely worth a few minutes of description so I thought I’d share my response with all of you…
First, it is important to know that this decision really shouldn’t be based on only monetary factors as both options have many similarities for the planner. Both require…
- understanding the vision of the married couple-to-be
- managing the timeline of events on the big day (sometimes the wedding weekend)
- managing communication with vendors
- troubleshooting any unexpected details or challenges
- and taking responsibility for day of execution, regardless of who planned it
Day Of planners seem to be the most appealing option for most, as you get all of the above taken care of at a much smaller price point; however, Day Of planning has a few extra complications. Remember that through the eyes of attendees, they rarely notice every well-executed detail, but may notice when things go wrong/off plan. If your planner is on duty only for Day Of, luckily they’ll be the one responsible for execution, but should something they did not plan go awry (flowers don’t arrive, family feud, groomsman with the wrong shoes), guess who takes the wrap.
Full Experience planning, on the other hand, is often more expensive but eliminates the stress of many of these smaller details. As the full experience planner, one should know every inch of every detail for your big day PRIOR to day of. They’ve already processed the ‘what if something goes wrong’ stress and have likely created plan Bs for a solid handful of those scenarios. They’ve likely become aware of any troublesome relationships of those involved in your big day’s success. They should be in the know with any and all religious aspects of your day (or week, depending on your beliefs). They’re responsible for being sure you only hire reliable vendors and likely already have a solid list of them to kick off your planning process. Also, hiring a Full Experience planner includes someone to manage your planning process deadlines, manage the budget, saving you money with vendors whenever possible, keeping your goals realistic, and helping you find creative ways of achieving your wedding day dreams.
So I suppose what I’d recommend for most who’d choose to hire a planner is to hire a Full Experience planner for your entire planning process. Does this mean you shouldn’t even consider a day of planner? Absolutely not. BUT if you’re looking for a Day Of planner, be sure you’re hiring a reputable planner who’s been around the block a few times AND has specifically performed Day Of service for at least a handful of weddings.
Of course, happy to discuss further.