Ask the Expert: What Level of Wedding Planning Service Do You Need?

by Ryan Conner | October 12, 2016

A wedding planned by POP Parties.

Thanks to Molly Rasmussen, owner of Pop Parties, for answering this week’s reader question:

What level of service do you need from a wedding planner?

Planning your wedding can be one of the most exciting–and potentially stressful–times in your life. Between managing the details, juggling your own personal career, and hearing your future mother-in-law’s opinion on basically everything, it can start to feel like a full-time job. Wedding planners are here to offer support in your planning process, so you can focus on the love and friendships which got you to this big day.

My advice to you is this: Be honest with yourself by knowing your needs and limitations. Some brides are detail-oriented and have every aspect already planned. Others of you have demanding careers or personal lives which leaves little time to plan your own party. Regardless of which category you fall into, every bride has a need for some level of planning service to put your mind at ease for the big day.

Brides-to-be may not realize that there are a range of options available when it comes to bringing in some much-needed reinforcement. Here’s a breakdown of potential options to aid you in selecting the best package for your needs and planning preferences.

Full Service Planning: This turn-key service is best for the bride who wants a professional with her every step of the way and a full time “wedding manager” on her team. This package will likely include:

  • Custom event design to make your event one-of-a-kind
  • Contract negotiations with all vendors
  • Budget development and management throughout the entire process
  • Stuffing/sending of invitations and possible RSVP tracking

How to Know if it’s Right for You: Full service planning is ideal for the bride who is overwhelmed with all of the options, wants the highest level of service, or doesn’t have the time to devote to planning the event. Full service planning adds value to your event. A professional wedding planner will help to save you money through their contacts and negotiations with other professionals. They also have access to sources and vendors which you do not, and will likely pass on industry discounts that are available on certain services.

Partial Planning: A partial service package may be the right choice if you can keep track of the details and have a vision for your big day, but need some guidance to ensure you plan a perfect event. A partial planning package will likely include:

  • An easy to follow wedding planning timeline and checklist
  • A custom tailored list of reputable vendors which caters to your budget and needs
  • A limited number of face to face meetings

Month-Of Planning: This service is ideal for the bride who has contracted all vendors, found the perfect dress, and needs a planner to execute the details so that you aren’t fielding phone calls on your big day. A month-of planner will likely:

  • Review all contracts to ensure your bases are covered
  • Prepare the wedding day itinerary
  • Confirm all timing and details with your vendors
  • Facilitate the rehearsal and wedding day plans

Whatever package is best for you, make sure that you hire a professional wedding planner. A professional planner is involved in the wedding industry and has multiple contacts to quickly handle emergencies that may arise on your special day. Each planner has a different style and personality, as well as different packages to reflect their services. Do your homework by reading reviews and asking about the experience level of your desired planner to ensure you set yourself up for success. Happy planning!