Many of us get married every year in the UK, most use their own time, pool their resources and get help from the bridal party or friends and family to plan, organise and implement their wedding arrangements stressful though it may be. But for those of us who don’t have the time to arrange and oversee the festivities and can afford it there is another option, a wedding planner.
A wedding planner is a person employed by the couple to take responsibility for some or all of the general organisation involved in the wedding day itself and the run up to the big day. Exactly what is covered within the remit of the planner varies between the individual and the preferences of the client but whatever their contract specifics their job it to ensure the smooth running of the planning and implementation of the day.
Any wedding planner worth their salt will start the process with an initial consultation, this is where the client lays out their vision and an agreement is reached between the two parties regarding the responsibilities of the wedding planner. The early consultation period will general in its nature, the planner will explain the packages available and the client will detail the kind of wedding they are planning. Wedding planners usually offer full planning or day coordination service so it is important to know what is included in your package.
A full service usually includes everything you could want including venues, catering, entertainment and managing budgets, they will deal with the nuts and bolts of the day which includes as day service leaving you to enjoy the occasion. If you prefer to do more of the planning yourself but don’t want to have any worries on the day you could go for day coordination only where the planner will take control of the flow of the day itself ensuring everyone is where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there basically ensuring the day goes off without a hitch.
A wedding planner will normally have a printed list of what is included in each of their packages but the needs of each client can vary widely depending on the theme, venue, budget, vendors and client preferences.
We’ll start with the simpler of the two, day of coordinator, though many brides do not like the idea of giving up the planning of their wedding to others, they may be more inclined to have someone to help with the running of the day itself which can allow the bride and groom to do enjoy the day rather than run the day.
In this situation the bride and groom will have taken care of the preparations and will just have assistance on the day itself. The wedding planner will likely contact the companies providing services to introduce themselves and get familiarised with their requirements etc, they will create a timeline which should be approved by the bride and groom with copies given to the wedding party. If you decide to have a wedding day rehearsal then the wedding planner will take control and gets a great opportunity to have a test run and get the details locked down.
On the day of the wedding the planner will arrive early to supervise the set up and direct the various service providers and deal with any questions they may have or any issues that may arise. The planner will work hard to ensure the best running possible of the day itself, acting as a liaison between the service providers and the bride and groom keeping everyone informed of what is upcoming, where they need to be and what needs doing making sure the clients vision is implemented.
Full Wedding Planner Service
A full service wedding planner works exactly as it sounds, they will take total control of everything from inviting guests, right through the planning stage and all the way to and including the day itself. Many brides have too much going on with careers or family commitments to give the planning of a wedding the time it needs so those who can afford it choose to offload most of the responsibility to a wedding planner.
The first thing that must be decided between the client and the planner is budget, even if you end up going slightly under or over it is worth having a realistic budget to aim for so you know what venues are realistic to look at.
You may have a specific venue or venue type in mind or you may be open to suggestions the planner will aim to get you the most possible value from your venue. The venue is the biggest outlay for the big wedding day so make sure you visit a good number to ensure you make the right decision. A full service wedding planner will help you select vendors such as photographers, florists caterers etc as well as liaise with them up to and including the day.
Your planner can be involved in as much or as little of the planning and/or the day as you wish and will endeavour to give you the best day of your life but wedding planning can be a very lucrative career so don’t expect one to come cheap.