Do you really need a wedding planner??

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One of my favorite movies of all time growing up was Father of the Bride.  I felt a strong connection to Annie, the curly-haired awkward little girl who wanted so desperately to stay a tomboy to please her Dad.  I loved the scene where Steve Martin hallucinated Annie as a little girl and she tells him the big news that she found “t h e  o n e”.

“Daddy, I met a man in Rome!  And he’s handsome, and brilliant, and we’re getting married!”

I could just see my Dad reacting the same way and finding it hard to let go of his little girl.

When I first thought of a wedding planner my mind immediately went to Franc{ Martin Short } from FOTB.  The little flamboyant man who loved swans and talked in frivolous french gibberish.  Steve Martin almost flips out when he see’s a “câke” { cake } costs $1,200!!!  I think my Dad is starting to relate.

 Not all wedding planners are this demanding and pushy, or strangely foreign.  I actually found most of the ones I corresponded with to be very sweet, informative, and just honest girls I could go have a cocktail with.

Here’s a couple of ways on how to start your search:

-Locate your venue first.  Most venues have a wedding planner on site that they recommend.  If they do not have an in house coordinator they usually have a list of references they recommend and like to work with.  It’s good to pick a planner that knows the venue and planned a party of similar taste and size that you are having.

-Interview multiple people.  Finding your perfect planner is kind of like online dating.  You look through their website and check out their portfolio, then you start to stalk them on Facebook to see what they look like in real life, and if all that pans out you send an email selling yourself hoping they feel a connection on the same level.

-What is their service fee.  Be upfront about your budget and what fee’s they charge.  I ran into so many problems with this and got discouraged very quickly.  Most of the coordinators I spoke with were very honest regarding my budget being too “conservative”.  They informed me that my savvy budget didn’t allow them to create at the level they prefer.   This may sound harsh, but at least they tell you up front.  

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-What kind of planner are you looking for?

Consultant:  If you are needing answers to broad questions regarding your wedding and just how to get started you may want to hire a wedding consultant.  They charge by the hour {$40 -$60 average } and will help you start with the basic details like venue location and even what guests to invite.  

Coordinator:  If you’re a girl who wants to take the lead on planning your event but need an extra hand to organize your day, a wedding coordinator is for you.  They usually get involved 1-2 weeks prior to your wedding date.  Charges begin at $1,000 for 100+ weddings.

Full Service:  Most well established planners you find online will only offer a full wedding planning service.  This way they can be involved from day one on every little detail.  They will be your closest confidant for the next several months.  She will be at your beck and call for every wedding breakdown and breakthrough.  These charges are costly although.  I was finding them to be around $5,000 in Southern California.

They do make all your dreams come true!

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Learn from my mistake!!!

I went with the first wedding planner that was recommended to me through a hotel.  She was so sweet and engaging through email and seemed to have all the right answers to my questions.  When we first talked I told her my budget and she was the first planner to jump on board and make it work!!  She even told me she would charge only $2,500 for a full service!!  I bombarded her with emails on the daily and she would respond, almost immediately.  I felt we were the perfect match { unfortunately, it turned out only through the cyberworld }.  

My fiancé and I planned a trip to Cabo to meet her and scope out a venue.  On immediate first impression we knew this wasn’t going to work.  From her unprofessional appearance to her lack of agenda on the day of our arrival.  It all went south, real fast.  She seemed very organized and prepared through email correspondence, but in reality she was a “hot mess”.  She even told me that I SHOULD BE A WEDDING PLANNER!!  

I don’t want this to happen to you.  CHECK THEIR REFERENCES!  And I mean really do your homework.  Call people, email people, make contact.  If you have a venue or even photographer pre-booked ask them their opinion.  The wedding world is a very small circle.  Don’t rely only on online reviews.  

I have to give her credit where it’s due.  She really got my creative juices flowing and motivated me to start planning my day.  She helped introduce me to some great contacts through email and helped me understand what would work for my budget.  I was looking through rose-colored glasses and sometimes if something is too good to be true it usually is.

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At the end of the day I realized  I  C A N  do this on my own!  My friends always tell me I need to be a party/event planner, so why not try it out on my own wedding.  It was a huge learning experience and I wouldn’t be as far in my planning process without making this mistake.  

Here are some great wedding planners I had the privilege to correspond with in Cabo San Lucas.  I highly recommend any of their beautiful services.

For you, I Do  with B e t h  D a l t o n { wedding coordination in Cabo San Lucas }

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Amy Abbott events and wedding  { full service coordination in Cabo San Lucas }

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 Good luck with your decision and make the right choice for you!

 Enjoy Today. xo

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Do you really need a wedding planner??

  1. Great post Jenny. Your “bride to bride” experience and advice is truly valuable to those planning in the future. That you for the compliment of including me in your recommendations to others. I will continue to follow your posts and look forward to seeing pictures of the big day. Best wishes always to you and Adam.

    • Beth you are the ultimate sweetest! Thank you so much for your support and following my blog. I’m trying to keep it as real as possible. I wish so badly we could have made it work, but I’m glad we connected. Good luck with all your beautiful weddings and hope to see you in Cabo throughout the year.

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