Planning a wedding can be an extremely stressful undertaking, and many brides turn to wed planners to help them organise what could be the biggest day of their lives. A wedding planner helps the bride plan all aspects of the wedding, from the bigger pieces like the church and reception hall to smaller details, such as table favours and bridesmaids dresses. Good wedding planners have certain qualities that help them to fulfil their duties.
Being engaged is an exciting time! For most couples, the lead up to the big day is filled with anticipation and joy. However, whether you’ve been dreaming of your wedding day since you were a child or if you have no clue where to start, all of us could do with a little helping hand. Enlist a wedding planner for some expert assistance.
Remember your wedding day is a celebration, and the wedding planning itself should be an enjoyable process. With that being said, it’s difficult to know where to start! Unless you’ve had any events management experience, the whole process can seem a little overwhelming.
Most couples tend to put a considerable amount of pressure on themselves. Of course, you want your wedding day to be a wonderful experience and one that would be nostalgically reminisced for years to come. You want your guests to wow at the fabulous venue and magical floral arrangements. However, juggling life and planning such an occasion is tough. That’s where wedding planners come in.
Professionals, when it comes to planning the most lavish celebrations, they have seen all types of weddings. Whether you don’t know where to begin with budgeting, are having trouble sourcing suppliers, or if you have no idea what stationery you need, they can swoop in and help.
Need help planning your wedding? Check out our list of Wedding Event Planners here.
Table of Contents
- 1 Creativity combined with patience
- 2 Finance and budget
- 3 Vows, speeches and acknowledgements
- 4 Organisation and options
- 5 Empathy and universal communication
- 6 Business-Savvy
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding Planner
- 8 How much do wedding planners cost on average?
- 9 Is it worth getting a wedding planner?
- 10 What do you pay a wedding planner for?
- 11 Why I dont need a wedding planner?
- 12 Do you pay a wedding planner upfront?
Creativity combined with patience
Creativity and patience are the foremost qualities that a wedding planner should possess. Each is insufficient without the other. Creativity is needed to match the ideals of the marrying couple.
Perhaps you’re dreaming of a vintage wedding complete with fairground rides or a Las Vegas themed wedding featuring genuine roulette tables. A wedding planner needs to be able to understand your vision in order to pull it off.
Wedding planners should have a passion for weddings and be knowledgeable in all of their aspects, from the engagement party to the honeymoon, and everything between. Many couples want budget weddings, so wedding planners should know how to get the best deals in their area and cost shortcuts that can save the couple money. The wedding planner should know a little about all the vendors in the area to able to match up couples with the vendors that best suit their needs. A good wedding planner also understands the faith and other traditions for weddings, such as Jewish, Muslim, Christian, military.
They also must be highly flexible and innovative in providing alternative options to you. You may have no idea what kind of wedding you would like. The only thing you might be sure of is your favourite colour. In that case, a good wedding planner would be able to show you a vast portfolio of weddings they have coordinated. They may also offer mood boards tailored to your style. As a result, brides and grooms can gain inspiration and ideas!
Patience also is an irreplaceable virtue that will enhance the overall performance of the wedding planner. It’s your wedding day, and you want it to be perfect. Rightly so! This may mean you change your mind, alter your budget, or go with an entirely different theme altogether.
A great wedding planner is patient and understanding. Being adaptable and empathetic to your needs is first and foremost.
Planning a wedding is one of the most stressful and emotional events in life. Having a planner who has empathy and understanding for what you are going through is key to a stress-free and happy engagement. A good wedding planner will also understand how important the wedding is for the parents of the bride and groom and may be able to help those family members through the engagement by truly listening and understanding their concerns and desires for the wedding.
Good wedding planners possess excellent interpersonal skills that aid them when interacting with all parties involved. They should be friendly, outgoing and willing to work under pressure. Weddings bring out the best and the worst in people, and a wedding planner calms stressed-out brides, assures jittery grooms and placates emotional parents. Additionally, wedding planners must have excellent communication skills to negotiate with vendors and merchants.
Check out our post on 15 of the best Wedding Stylists & Planners in Melbourne.
Finance and budget
A good wedding planner must effectively offer sound financial advice to the couple. Weddings are expensive, after all!
Most wedding planners are highly efficient when it comes to organising a budget and sticking to it. Setting up and presenting workable financial options to the bride and groom is so important. Their ability to allocate your budget effectively will enable you to have the wedding of your dreams without sacrificing anything. This means that blowing the entire budget on the entertainment and not being able to afford a wedding cake will never happen!
Managing to pull off your wedding vision within your financial capacities is a skill you should look out for in a wedding planner.
They should also offer wedding insurance from a reputable company that would undertake to indemnify all parties against loss, damage or liability. This is an unlikely situation, but one that might arise from an unforeseen or contingent event during the wedding celebration.
Vows, speeches and acknowledgements
A wedding planner who can, where necessary, provide effective guidance in speech preparation, personal vow composition and acknowledgement messages may be of significant help to brides and grooms.
If you’re someone who feels dread at the prospect of having to write vows or speeches, find a wedding planner who is experienced in that area. Having worked countless weddings, they’ll know what works and what doesn’t. Some gentle guidance in this area is sure to give you the confidence you need!
Building a rapport with your chosen wedding planner is helpful in more ways than one. They are more able to provide personal advice if they know you both as individuals rather than clients. As a result, they will be able to coach you in writing the vows or speeches thoroughly. This little helping hand goes a long way.
We have compiled an ultimate list of Wedding Stylists & Planners in Melbourne to make your searching easy.
Organisation and options
Organisational skills are highly important for a successful wedding planner. A planner should alleviate your stresses. So, ensure you choose a wedding planner that can confidently take over and leave you to relax in the knowledge that it will all be fine.
Particularly if you’re planning a lavish occasion, discovering a wedding planner who has organised events on such a scale is important. This will reassure you that your big day is in the most capable of hands.
Some couples may be concerned that their wedding planner will take over. This is a natural concern and something that an experienced wedding planner will understand and be respectful of. Ultimately they want to create your dream day. Therefore no good planner would take over from you and make decisions without your consent.
For this reason, some wedding planners offer different options depending on your preferences. Their packages may come in existing bundles, or they can offer bespoke options. For example, you may just want a wedding planner to help with the design of your special day, including venue décor. Or simply a helping hand with coordination on-the-day.
Going beyond this, you might be after full wedding planning services. Consequently, a planner would organise the budget, plan a timeline, send out invitations, source suppliers and even source a venue for you, along with much much more. However, even with full planning services, you should remain in the loop and control of every aspect.
Finding a wedding planner who gives you these comprehensive options is extremely important. You’ll get the most out of the experience if you’ve found an option to suit you.
Above everything else, a good wedding planner is organised and has excellent time-management and multi-tasking skills. Wedding planners must be able to work on several different weddings at once, keeping the details of each separate to avoid confusion. She must stay physically organised as well, keeping track of important documents, paperwork and contracts for each of the weddings she works on. Most of the time, wedding planners have several months to plan a wedding, but occasionally that time frame may be only a few weeks, and a good wedding planner must be able to work under pressure and on deadlines.
A great wedding planner will mediate issues that arise with your venue and vendors and come up with a win-win solution for everyone. She will also offer guidance and advice to help you deal with family dynamics that may need mediation while you are planning the wedding. Keep in mind that your planner is not a counsellor, but she can usually give ideas and recommendations that will help.
At times when you have many wedding to think about, get some sort of organisational system with which you can prioritise the closest event without neglecting the others. One of the easiest ways to do that is to have a specially-made calendar filled with all your responsibilities. If that is too old-fashioned, use event management software on your computer.
Let us not forget that you can store your data in the cloud, making it easily accessible anywhere. In case it is still too cumbersome, you can download even planning software or apps compatible with your smartphone. There are many of them available; some are free, and others are not. The full-featured app may also include registration functions. Even when you can’t find one with such a function, there is plenty of stand-alone event registration software to choose.
Empathy and universal communication
A wedding planner must be versatile and non-discriminatory. Gone are the days when only the bride (and maybe her mother) would sit down with the planner to attend to the details of the wedding. Now, with the legal recognition of civil partnerships for same-sex couples, a wedding planner is also expected to keep up with the changing times and the wishes and aspirations of these couples.
As a Wedding Planner, you’ll spend a large proportion of your time communicating with your clients and vendors. A good Wedding Planner becomes like a personal assistant to her couple, and this is who you’ll spend the majority of your time communicating with. You need to be able to get your message across clearly, explain to your clients what you can create for them and advise on things like budget, trends and etiquette.
Your client will demand a lot of you, so your ability to communicate effectively (oral and written) will help you to deliver on their expectations and get it right the first time. Your relationships with vendors are just as important, and strong relationships help you to deliver great vendors and pricing to your clients. Being able to communicate effectively will help you to negotiate with vendors and make your instructions to them clear so that on the day of the wedding, everyone involved has a positive experience.
Wedding planners need to tell you about what we offer and our experience, but we should also be listening and asking questions about you. A great wedding planner wants to make your wedding all about YOU and to do that, and she must get to know you on a deeper level and listen to your spoken and unspoken feelings.
One invaluable characteristic of a good wedding planner is the ability to communicate with everyone from all walks of life, irrespective of the potential barriers of economic status, gender bias and educational attainment. The ability to perceive and identify what others need will enable the wedding planner to realise what they can offer them in return.
In addition to wedding planning skills, a wedding planner should have business savvy. Most wedding planners work independently, operating their small businesses. Along with wedding planning, they must be knowledgeable in running a business. Business skills needed to work as a wedding planner include finance, which keeps a wedding on a budget and knowing how much to charge clients, and marketing, to bring in new clients and expand the business. Wedding planners should also have some knowledge of human resources for hiring additional help if needed. They also must handle contracts, as wedding planners sign a number of contracts between themselves and the client and with various wedding vendors on behalf of the clients.
After all, is said and done, your wedding day should not revolve around worldly status, sexuality or knowledge. It celebrates the moment of saying goodbye to your erstwhile freedoms and joining one with another to drive your lives in a whole new direction. It is all about the culmination of dreams for two people wishing to achieve these dreams together.
There are, of course, many wonderful wedding planners out there who exceed these criteria and so much more. Your planner is a critical component to your happiness throughout the planning process. Take the extra time to get to know him or her before making a decision. A good wedding planner will be the best investment you make for your wedding.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding Planner
A full wedding planner helps to plan your wedding from start to finish and is usually hired early on in the planning process—at least 10 months in advance. The average starting rate for a full-service wedding planner is about $3,000 with top-tier planners averaging $4,500 to $12,000.
When it comes to making the most of your budget, a wedding planner can actually help you save more on your bottom line. The value of hiring an experienced event planner for your wedding or special event cannot be overemphasized.
A good rule of thumb for budgeting is to only spend 15% of your total wedding fund on a wedding planner. And that's for full-service coordination. Other types of wedding planners (outlined below) will cost less.
If you're not hiring a wedding planner for your big day, you're better off getting on your vendor's schedule well ahead of your wedding day. Booking early will help ensure you get the vendors you want and reduce stress in the months and weeks leading up to your wedding once you know your vendors are locked in.
Paying your wedding vendors will largely depend on your individual contracts with each vendor. Some require the full amount upfront; some allow for monthly payments. Pay final invoices for a planner, venue, photographer/videographer, DJ/band and florist.