Planning, organizing and designing every little detail of your unique wedding vision will take tremendous amount of time and talent.
No matter how skilled you are, or how good your friends can be, you will need a team of professionals to help you execute your big day. I think I have said this many times before, but the key to a successful and stress-free wedding is hiring the right key players.
The right time to look for hiring a wedding planner is about a year prior to your event date, so that she/he can help you bring to life your vision. Now, since there is always a bit of confusion between a the role of a coordinator, a wedding planner, a wedding designer, etc.. let's take a look at the type of services that you could choose between.
You have many choices, so first you need to think about what you're looking for before meeting with any candidates. You need to make sure to clarify what each planner does. Not all planners have the same skills, some are great organizers but they don't style your wedding, some can handle logistic like you wouldn't believe but don't have a vision, other are very production oriented instead, etc..
-FULL SERVICE PLANNERS
A full service planner handles both design and coordination, from start to finish (from designing the overall vision and hiring and meeting with vendors to arranging weekend activities for your guests). This type of planner is great for couples who are having a complex event or simply want a professional to guide them every step of the way and to handle all the details of executing their vision.
An event designer focuses on pulling together the verall look of the day rather than organizing all the logistic details (timeline, budget, etc..). This figure is like an interior designer for your event, often working with other vendors, from invitation designers to florists to bring your vision to life, but do not expect them to handle the organization or the logistic.
It is kind of a deluxe figure, that often busy brides turn to when they want to take some pressure off of themselves and create a stunning beautiful event.
-A LA CARTE PLANNERS
This part-time pro helps you shape the event by giving you suggestions, vendor recommendations, or assisting you with some specific matters. Basically you will look for someone who offer this service, if you need some assistance making achieving a certain goal, but then you are actually going to do it yourself.
-DAY OF COORDINATORS
A day of coordinator is a pro that makes sure that everything runs smoothly throughout the event day, but isn't really involved in any of the planning process beforehand. They'll handle all your vendors and setup on the day of your wedding, as well as any type of cleanup or post wedding duties. A day of coordinator is a perfect match for those couples who are going to be very hands-on during the planning process and can handle the organization of the event themselves, but they want someone to take care of all the final details on the day of.
All these services offered by wedding planners have different costs and they can go from $5.000 to $40.000 (and more of course), fees for wedding coordination vary widely but even if it can seem like a big investment, between private discounts, budget control, and creative solutions, hiring a wedding planner will help you make the absolute most of your wedding budget.