Why I Sort Of Hired a Wedding Planner

Why I Sort Of Hired a Wedding PlannerEven though I’m only working four hours a day, I’ve still been spending a lot of my free time planning for our wedding next summer.  Since my fiancee is busy with school, I’ve become the ‘unofficial’ wedding planner and let me tell you, it’s a lot of work.  We ended up picking a venue that requires you to bring in all your own vendors so there’s even more to do than normal.  It’s our responsibility to coordinate everything from tables and chairs to a full kitchen and flooring for the catering staff.

It’s definitely a lot more planning than a normal wedding but one of the nice benefits is that we get to customize nearly everything.  The price will be about the same as  amore traditional venue though since we’ll save on things like alcohol by bringing in our own bar.  My day job hiatus came at the perfect time since it allowed me to start planning the wedding and get a lot of the initial steps out of the way.

Where to Start

After we booked our venue, I was pretty content for a while.  I kind of slacked off in the planning department after we put our deposit down and it was my fiancee who got me going again on the planning.  I soon realized that planning a wedding is a lot of work!  It’s one thing to talk about it but it’s another thing to actually go out and do it.  Just figuring out which vendors to book first was a huge task in itself, eventually I figured it out though.

Booking a Photographer

I started my search for a photographer like I would with any other vendor I use in my daily life, I went straight to Yelp.  I use Yelp mainly for food reviews but I figured they would also help me out a ton for some of the bigger wedding vendors.  I ended up contacting about 5 vendors from Yelp and 10 from a Facebook status update I made asking for wedding photographer referrals(I never realized I had so many friends who knew great photographers!).

One of the first things I noticed was that I was spending inordinate amounts of time just filtering through photographers.  We already had a rough idea of our budget but since not one photographer lists their prices online I had to individually contact all of them just to see if they were within our budget and available on our wedding date.  I have no idea why there isn’t a huge wedding site out there that allows you to filter vendors by different characteristics but there should be.

Ok I Need Some Help

One of the reasons why we ended up hiring a month of wedding coordinator was because I was spending a lot of time sorting through vendors who didn’t even come close to what we were looking for.  I was doing a ton of e-mailing back and forth with various photographers about the same stuff over and over and it kind of seemed like a waste of time.  That’s exactly where a wedding planner comes in handy.

Let’s be honest, you don’t have to be a genius to plan a wedding.  It’s not that hard to coordinate vendors, make up a schedule, etc.  But what is extremely valuable is the experience that a wedding planner can bring.  Especially with big events like weddings, little problems and hiccups will show up when you least expect it.  By hiring someone who’s familiar with these situations, you reduce the chances of something going wrong.

When I first started planning my wedding, I thought it would be manageable to do it by myself.  I quickly realized though that it wasn’t and I didn’t mind asking for a little help.  Even though I’m a big do it yourself-er, there’s not a whole lot of value added to my knowledge base by planning a wedding.  If I spend hours and hours researching vendors, I’m going to have a kick ass wedding but what am I going to do with all that information afterwards?  I guess I would know exactly who to hire if someone needed to cater an event for 150 people.

But since I don’t tend to hire photographers to take pictures of me or cater parties very often, all of my wedding planning knowledge would go to waste.  In a way, I’m outsourcing this task to someone more knowledgeable and more experienced so that I can focus on other aspects of the wedding.

Readers, did you hire a wedding planner for your wedding?  What do you think about all the research that goes into planning a wedding if you do it yourself?  Do you think it’s a waste of time or is there some value added?

-Harry @ PF Pro

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On a related topic, Pauline talks about how you can make extra money in the wedding industry on Make Money Your Way

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Hi, I'm Harry, the owner and head writer for Your PF Pro. I started this site back in 2011 in order to create a place where young professionals could come and get all of their financial questions answered. On the site, you'll find articles on everything from asset allocation for retirement to saving money at Chipotle! So enjoy..

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  1. says

    I didn’t have a wedding planner but if it was in our budget absolutely would have. It is a lot of work and coordination pulling off a big event (and ours only had 100ppl) but I would have loved to hire a professional to deal with everything I had friends and family do. It’s definitly doable without but will make your life easier for sure. I hope it works out for you!
    catherine recently posted…I Miss Financial SpontaneityMy Profile

    • says

      Yea I think you’re right on, definitely possible to do it yourself but if your budget allows for it, it’s a nice benefit. I’m going to be working full time and my fiancee will be in school full time so our time is going to be a bit limited for planning purposes.

    • says

      Oh wow that’s cool. I feel like being a wedding planner would actually be a really awesome job. It seems like it’s tough to get into the biz but once you’re in and you’ve made some good contacts you can make some decent money doing a really fun job.

  2. says

    I mostly did everything myself (though I have some friends that are planners that I bounced ideas off of), but I think it’s money well spent. I do plan on having a day-of coordinator (well, two weeks and day of) to help me with scheduling, though, since I want to really enjoy the day. The few times my friends had one, they said the planner paid for him/herself due to the discounts they were able to give them.
    anna recently posted…Weekend RetreatMy Profile

    • says

      Oh nice! Yea our wedding planner is more of a day of type planner(or month of like yours) but I think it is money well spent too. Especially on your special day, you don’t want to have to worry about any of that type of stuff.

  3. says

    It just goes to show how awesome my wife is. She was working full time as a mechanical engineer, as was I. She planned everything. We decided that we wanted an outdoor wedding and I suggested a nice spot in the mountains in a local country park. I showed my then fiance the spot I had in mind, and she took it from there. She reserved the location in the park, bought her wedding gown at an outlet store, rented tuxedos for me and the best man, found the photographer, got food and cake from Costco, worked with friends to do flower arrangements, arranged for folding chair rental, bought a metal arch that she and her friends flowered up, took care of the invitations, and other things I am probably forgetting. You can read about our wedding and the costs at Our Wonderful, Frugal Wedding.
    Bryce @ Save and Conquer recently posted…Comparing College Costs and Graduation RatesMy Profile

    • says

      Oh wow nice, she sounds like a keeper haha! That’s awesome though and it looks like you guys got a really great wedding for a really great price too. Ours isn’t going to be super cheap but it should be awesome nonetheless.

  4. says

    I won’t be hiring a planner, mainly because I am excited to plan everything. However, I do think we will hire a day-of planner to help arrange centerpieces and other things because I obviously won’t have time to do that on the wedding day.
    Michelle recently posted…How Much Was Your Wedding?My Profile

    • says

      Yea my venue actually requires a day of planner because they don’t want you to have to deal with on the big day. It’s a lot of work to plan a whole wedding, so kudos to you!

  5. says

    My friend’s wedding used a wedding planner as she lived in DC but was married in her home town of San Antonio so having someone there helped. She was a great wedding planner, but my friend must have spent a ton on the wedding planner, the videographer, and the photographer and as a result, I think she had a lot less money to spend on her reception. But in the end, it was her wedding so whatever she did was her choice and everything came out beautiful.

    If a wedding planner really relieves stress and ensures everything goes well, I really recommend it to people who can budget for one. I didn’t use one for mine but my husband was a HUGE help in the process so one wasn’t needed.
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted…Shared Finances in MarriageMy Profile

    • says

      My fiancee literally has no time to plan the wedding right now so I’ve been doing as much as I can. I think the wedding planner is going to help a lot more with the final details than the vendors but I think it was a good investment.

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