There is a lot to plan for your wedding.  Often it can feel like you've got a million things to do.  Would a wedding planner help?

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You've got a caterer, a DJ or a band, a florist, an officiant, a limo driver, plus all the wedding guests...who is going to make sure that they're all in the right place at the right time?

Most people say, "I'm just going to get a wedding planner and let them deal with it all."

It seems like a good idea at first.  But it's not always as easy as that.  Here are some things to keep in mind if you plan on hiring a wedding planner.

Always Be Consistent

As a DJ, I've seen this go both ways. I've seen really good wedding planners that keep the night moving smoothly.  But then I've seen wedding planners who create more problems than they solve.  The important part is that everyone is on the same page.  What happens often is that every vendor has separate meetings with the bride and groom.  They all have their own agenda.  The photographer has to capture memories.  The DJ has to give you your best chance to party.  The caterer has to deliver incredible food.

Unfortunately, because those meetings happen at different times, sometimes details get conveyed differently to different vendors.  If a DJ is told that they're going to need to announce the cutting of the cake before dinner, but the wedding planner has it written down for after dinner, then they end up having to bug you on your big day to get the right answer anyway.

It's a huge pain in the neck and it gets worse when that happens for multiple details for different vendors.

Someone Has To Be The Lead

If you're going to have your wedding planner take care of all the decisions, make sure all of your vendors are aware of that.  I can't tell you how many times we've worked out an agenda with a bride as a DJ that never got conveyed to a planner.  They'll put down 25 minutes for intros, speeches, and a blessing that will only take about 15 minutes to do.  Then people are waiting 10 minutes before dinner can be served.  Or what's worse, they'll only account for 10 minutes for all of that and the DJ knows that the best man is long-winded and dinner is late by 20 minutes.

If your wedding planner is going to be the lead, you need to make sure that they've got all of their i's dotted and their t's crossed.  They need to be included in all of the information.

So do you need one?

I still say it depends.  In most cases, I feel like you do NOT need a wedding planner here in Western New York. Many brides have done their research and know who they want to hire for their big day.  Most of the venues have a room captain or a banquet manager that is there to kind of keep things on track.  You definitely need that person.  They will be taking care of the room decorations, directing the bar, taking care of dinner, and things like that so timing will all be controlled by them anyway. Good DJs will be able to keep things on time too.  As long as those two work together to make sure things move along, you probably don't need to hire a wedding planner.

However...

This is not to say they are never useful.  THEY KNOW THEIR STUFF.  A DJ can manage a timeline on the night of the reception but they aren't going to make sure that your flowers are delivered to the right address on time.  The room captain can make sure that your dinner is exactly what you ordered but they aren't going to suggest a really good limo service.

If your neighbor's son who is just starting to learn to DJ is going to be playing your music, you might need a planner. If you are having a backyard wedding, a Firehall wedding, or a barn wedding without someone to step up and take charge, it might be a good idea to have a planner.  Someone with an actual timeline that you've approved to make sure that they're all working together could be helpful.  They can take pressure off of you so that you can just go enjoy your day.  It gives the other vendors someone who knows what they're doing to go to so they don't have to bug you with "wedding business."

If you feel like you're naturally an unorganized person, a wedding planner could be good for you, If you want someone to suggest vendors, a wedding planner could be good for you.

It's always good to have SOMEONE who is experienced with weddings helping you.  If that's your venue's room captain, your DJ, or a wedding planner, it's always good to have someone who is experienced in the way a wedding goes.

Do you need a wedding planner?  It is entirely up to you, but some of the things above might help you decide.

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