6 Reasons Why You Need To Hire A Wedding Planner

On average there are 6,200 weddings happening every day in the United States. And according to Google, only around 30% of those couples will hire a wedding planner. I can’t speak for all 70% of the couples who opted out, but I can say this: in my personal experience, one of the most common things I hear from couples who are reminiscing about their wedding is that they wish they’d hired a planner. So if you’re still on the fence, here are 6 reasons why you need to hire a wedding planner.

bride and groom celebrate after being pronounced husband and wife

1. It saves you money

You’ve heard the saying ‘you have to spend money to make money,’ but in this case, you have to spend money to save money. Hiring a wedding planner might be expensive up front, but more often that not, it will save you money in the long run. Here are some examples:

  • TIMELINE: If you’re making the wedding timeline on your own, one of two things could happen: 1. You’ll plan for more hours than needed and pay vendors to be there longer than necessary, or 2. You won’t allot enough time, and you’ll get hit with charges after the wedding because vendors end up having to stay longer than they were initially told. A planner will be able to determine exactly how many hours each vendor needs.
  • CATERING + ALCOHOL: If you don’t know how much food, dessert, and alcohol to purchase based on your guest count, you’ll probably spend way too much money and have leftovers galore.
  • CONTRACTS: Contracts are long, boring, and often confusing. While you might not understand the jargon contained in them, a wedding planner has ample experience in this area. A professional will help you understand the terms, conditions, and details of each of your vendor contracts to ensure you don’t get hit with hidden fees, late fees, or other unexpected costs after you’ve signed.
  • FORGOTTEN COSTS: Couples will often enter the home stretch of the planning process and start finding one thing after another they hadn’t thought of yet. And while a lot of these things might be small, they can really add up, and your budget will take a major hit. A wedding planner can help you think through all of these things from the very beginning, allowing you to budget more accurately and avoid last-minute expenses.

2. It allows your family and wedding party to enjoy the day

I’ve seen entirely too many weddings where the people closest to the wedding couple have had to pick up slack on the wedding day. They help decorate, they’re the go-between for people, and they even get stuck doing cleanup and breakdown after the reception is over. And while I’m sure they’re happy to do it, they certainly shouldn’t have to!

Do you want your wedding party to be setting up centerpieces and running to get lunch for people, or do you want them to be able to stay close and spend quality time with you throughout the day? Do you want your parents to be loading up cars and cleaning off tables at the end of the night, or do you want them to be able to go home, put their feet up, and relax? A wedding planner will take charge of all these things and more, allowing your friends and family to enjoy the day.

wedding ceremony in a large white building

3. It makes your engagement season more enjoyable

Wedding planning can be a notoriously stressful time in your relationship. And since most of you have never planned an event before—let alone an entire wedding—it can feel incredibly overwhelming when you start looking at all the different things that need to get done. If you’re shouldering this on your own, it can make it very difficult to enjoy your engagement season.

Being engaged should be exciting! Preparing for a future with your best friend should be exciting! Having people throw showers and brunches for you should be exciting! Hiring a wedding planner will make it easier to stay excited and focus on your love for each other, instead of having such a special season be tainted by stress and anxiety.

4. It allows your other vendors to do their job more effectively

Can I be totally honest with you? If you didn’t have a planner at your wedding, I guarantee at least one of your other vendors had to pick up someone else’s slack and/or solve a problem outside of their hired responsibilities without you knowing about it. How do I know this? From experience.

At every wedding I’ve ever photographed where the couple didn’t have a wedding planner, I’ve ended up doing something above and beyond what I was hired for. Sometimes it’s something simple like pinning boutonnieres on the groomsmen or grabbing plates to do the cake cutting. Other times it’s been something huge, and…honestly? Super stressful.

It’s not that I don’t want to help. I will always, always do everything in my power to make your day as easy and stress-free as possible. But if I’m having to corral drunk groomsmen or I’m searching for the missing bridesmaids bouquet…chances are I’m missing out on some photo-worthy moments.

If you decide to forego a wedding planner, you cannot expect everything to go perfectly without your other vendors missing something. If you want them to be able to focus solely on what they were hired to do (and the thing that they’re best at), you need to hire a wedding planner.

5. It ensures your guests will have a memorable experience (in a good way!)

Psychology says that the human brain has a natural tendency to give weight to negative experiences more than positive ones. Cynical though it may be, this means that your guests are far more likely to remember the things that go wrong at your wedding than the things that go right. The food may be delicious, but if dinner starts 45 minutes late, they’re going to remember how hungry they were. If the ceremony was beautiful but the weather turned bad and you didn’t have a rain plan, they’re going to remember having frizzy hair and wet clothes. Hiring a wedding planner helps keep these mishaps to a minimum.

6. It allows you to enjoy your wedding to the fullest

You can hire all the best wedding vendors your market has to offer, but if you’re too stressed out on your wedding day⁠ to even enjoy it…what’s the point? Hiring a wedding planner makes all the other money you spend on your wedding worth it, because you’ll be able to trust that everything has been taken care of. If you’re having to answer a hundred questions, or solve a dozen last-minute mishaps, or set up decor items because you’re the only person who knows where everything goes…does that really sound conducive to a joyful, relaxing, exciting wedding day? Sure, no wedding will ever go perfectly to plan. But hiring a wedding planner gets you that much closer.

a wedding ceremony in the deserts of moab, utah

Bonus: What real couples are saying about why you need to hire a wedding planner

Still not convinced? I asked some of my fellow industry professionals who’ve been married what their thoughts are on the subject. Here’s what a few of them had to say.

couples who did have a planner

  • “We hired a wedding planner and it was one of the best decisions we made. Despite the additional cost we still managed to break even as she received discounted rates from her group of suppliers. She was invaluable when it came to keeping the day stress-free and for us to relax without having to wonder if candles were lit and food was on time.” Christiaan
  • “I am a wedding photographer and, even with having my own wedding at a very reputable venue here in Detroit with their own on-site coordinator, still hired a wedding planner. I have seen too many weddings not go to plan and not have a “go-to” person to handle problems, double check things, and be one step ahead of the action. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to be stressed or deal with an issue. A wedding planner is some of the best money spent on your day.Brian

couples who didn’t have a planner

  • “We didn’t hire a planner and I felt like the whole 7 months leading up to my wedding was just stress. I had the best day of my life, but I wish I could have relaxed leading up to our wedding some. I developed long-term anxiety as a result.” Sara Anne
  • My wedding weekend was one of the most stressful weekends of my life because we didn’t hire a coordinator. I naively thought this would simply mean we would be responsible for the flow of the day, and as a young wedding photographer at the time, I thought this would be something I could handle. What I didn’t account for was that we had to also plan and execute the logistics of the entire weekend: who would decorate, who would clean up, who would pick up last-minute items like our cake? It all fell on us, and a weekend I’d waited excitedly for my whole life became a list of errands to run and places to set.” Katie
  • We did not hire a wedding planner, and it was one of our biggest regrets. A wedding planner could have helped us ensure the vendors we hired actually fit our vision. They also could have served as encouragement to plan the wedding we hoped for instead of people please others.” Destinie
  • “I hate that my nearest and dearest spent my wedding day a bit stressed by organizing, setting up, and taking down. It would have been more than worth it to have someone take that over so I could enjoy more time with them.” Milly
a nighttime wedding reception under a magical tent

Your day, your way

At the end of the day, this is YOUR wedding, and you need to do what feels right for you and your partner. Everyone’s different, and everyone has different needs, particularly when it comes to a wedding budget. I completely understand that hiring a wedding planner isn’t a realistic option for many couples. But even if it’s only to bring someone in the month-of to help you tie up loose ends and run the wedding weekend, I highly recommend moving some things around in your budget to accommodate the extra expense. The stress relief alone will make it so, so worth it.

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