It might be that you’re short on time, lacking inspiration or hate the concept of event planning. Perhaps now that you’re engaged you just want to enjoy all the fun aspects of planning a wedding and side step the long list of administration tasks that inevitably accompanies it. If any of these reasons apply, hiring a wedding planner could well be the ideal choice for you.
The job specification for a wedding planner should be to support and simplify the event coordination process. This should allow you to revel in the more enjoyable aspects of your wedding preparation whilst remaining in complete control of the decision making throughout.
If I hire a wedding planner, what services can I expect to benefit from?
Wedding planners offer a range of services, from on the day wedding coordination (designed so that you can relax and not feel the need to project manage proceedings!) to a full wedding planning service.
A full coordination service generally comprises of the following aspects of wedding planning:
1. Venue Selection
Whether it’s a castle, barn, marquee or listed mansion, a planner can utilise their extensive venue database to help you select the perfect location for your nuptials. Saving you hours of research, they do all the groundwork and present you with a shortlist that easily enables you make one of the most important decisions in your wedding planning process.
2. Design of the Day
A planner will work with you to create a design scheme that perfectly defines your personalities and interests. They will source the finer details of your design, accessorizing it to perfectly complement your vision of the day. If required, they will oversee the venue set up and decoration on the morning of the wedding, ensuring that your special day is just as you envisaged it.
3. Supplier Sourcing
Whether you are looking for a cake maker or a caricaturist, a wedding planner can source a wealth of contacts from their extensive wedding supplier database. Shortlists, references and fees information will be offered for each category of supplier you require, enabling you ease of choice within the parameters of your budget.
4. All Administration
From supplier contracts to table plans & guest list RSVPs, your entire wedding administration can be handled by a wedding planner. A full wedding planning coordination service usually includes management of your wedding paperwork, phone calls and emails in the lead up to your big day, ensuring stress free, seamless coordination.
5. Wedding Day Coordination
You wedding planner will ensure that your wedding day runs seamlessly after months of planning. They will coordinate supplier activities and take care of any guest requirements throughout your wedding day, giving you complete peace of mind that the finer details are being taken care of.
6. In the UK, are wedding planners professionally regulated?
The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP) is the leading industry body for the UK wedding planning market. Membership is not compulsory; there are many wedding planners in the UK that are independent and therefore don’t have to adhere to a regulatory body of professional standards. The UKAWP can provide a good starting point if you’re looking to hire a wedding planner. They promote wedding planning excellence and all its members are thoroughly vetted prior to being accepted as members.
Hiring a wedding planner is often considered a luxury; coordination fees are a significant investment to consider on top of your wedding budget. Wedding planners usually command a flat fee or a percentage based on the anticipated total budget of your wedding. This might sound initially off-putting; you may fear that a planner will attempt to ‘push up’ a budget so that, in turn, their fee increases. In reality, clear contractual terms and a well-reputed planner will protect you from this. Arguably, your budget can be kept even more in check by hiring a professional wedding planner. They have their industry reputation to uphold and will want to ensure that your wedding meets all your ideals and falls safely within budget. The earlier a wedding planner comes on board in your wedding planning process, the better. An experienced wedding coordinator has the benefit of experience and a whole host of industry contacts; they can totally simplify and de-stress the process if involved right from the start and even save you money with their negotiating skills.