Since moving back to Washington, DC, I've found that this town LOVES the idea of month-of planning. It's amazing to me! From my point of view, planning a wedding takes a TON OF TIME. Who has the time to dedicate to successfully planning an event unless it's your full time job?
When meeting with potential clients, I often get asked what the benefits of full or partial planning are because they are thinking they'll probably go with a more basic package once the time comes. So, if you've just gotten engaged and are wondering if you should invest in full service wedding planning, here are some of the benefits of hiring a wedding planner early on:
1 - BUDGET
To put it plainly, we know what things cost. We are able to put together a comprehensive budget that will show how each cost adds up.
Want to splurge on that amazing photographer but don't know if you can afford it? We'll tell you if you can. Better yet, if that photographer is over your budget but have your heart set on them, we will make recommendations on places to cut/save money so you can get those amazing photos you so desire.
2 - Contracts
There are lots of contracts to sign when you are planning a wedding. Don't know what "force majeure" means? Don't know the first thing about liability insurance? Want to negotiate different terms for your wedding band's contract?
For the most part, wedding planners are not lawyers. (Although here in DC there are a few!) However, that doesn't mean we can't explain the basics of wedding contracts to you. I always look over all of my client's contracts before they sign to ensure the basics are all covered, cancellation policies are in line with industry standard, load-in/load-out and event times are listed correctly, etc. This is invaluable expertise in and of itself -- you don't want to have a contractual issue as you get closer to your wedding date.
3 - Cohesion
A wedding planner can envision the entire wedding and celebration from the beginning. This vision is critical as it will help create a cohesive environment and experience for your guests.
If you don't have vision, or just want your event to truly be an experience for your guests, hire a full service wedding planner. Not only can we perfect the timing so that the evening flows smoothly, but we can also ensure all of the elements of the wedding are reflective of the desired vision.
4 - Vendor Relationships
We know people. It's our job to know people.
I love when a client suggests something and I have a vendor that can easily fulfill that request.
Need a branded coconut? I know a company that will do that. (Side note: how cool are these?!?!)
Wedding and event vendors are generally great people that make magic happen every week. It's great to know the good ones, the great ones, and the ones that will make the impossible a reality. It's also good to know who may not come through in the clutch and who likes to arrive late for their events. We'll hone in and focus on the right vendors for you because we know who to go to for what.
5 - Troubleshooting
Murphy's Law says that "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong". Well, that is certainly true of events. I won't go into a long detailed list of every possible thing that can go wrong, or mishaps beyond my control that have occurred to me, but I will say this:
If you have an experienced professional at the helm, those problems will be solved much more easily and often without you knowing.
6 - Save Time
Studies say it takes 200 hours to plan a wedding. At LIG Events, we spend more than that on each of our "full planning" weddings. Do you have that kind of time?
7 - Professional Advice
If you hire a wedding planner from the beginning of your planning process, you have a professional you can go to with any questions or problems. And boy, do lots of questions come up. From the proper etiquette for invitations, to how to limit children at your reception, to when you should cut the cake...the questions are endless. A good wedding planner will be your go-to resource for all of your questions and concerns and
(We're also really good at managing tricky situations. Have some family tensions and need an outsider to diffuse them? Blame the wedding planner.)
If you're already planning your wedding and only have a month or two to go, then I fully encourage you to hire a month-of wedding planner. But if you have more time than that, I wholeheartedly encourage you to reach out and see what your planning options are. As you can see, having a planner "on your side" can make a big difference!
If you'd like to talk to an expert and get some handy advice, don't hesitate to contact us for a complimentary consultation.