Lately, wedding planners have gotten a "bad rap." This is due to an increasing number of well-meaning former brides who see their past "experience" as a jumping off point for starting their own planning business.
I call to mind a past bride (interior designer) who hired us to carry out her design ideas. During her actual wedding and reception, she turned into an inflexible, demanding "Bride-zilla." While being organized and creative prior to a wedding is great, it's actually more important for a planner to be calm and able to handle the imperfections seemlessly the day of the wedding.
Special Events Magazine recently addressed the wedding planner "craze." The down-turn in the econony has prompted even more people to seek extra money in this still lucrative event market. The results can be devastating if the bride and groom put all of their trust in someone who cannot perform well under pressure.
Some planners promote a "day of " coordinating fee. According to Jenne Hohn, a planner in Napa, CA: “Day of” terminology has taught today’s bride to equate wedding planning with 'cheap' and/or 'what’s the least amount I can pay if I want a wedding planner?' Many brides no longer take the skills of a professional wedding planner seriously."
Ms. Hohn further stressed that education for wedding planners is the key, and that prospective brides should seek out those associated with affiliations with reputable wedding planning organizations.
Paying a fee, reading articles on line, taking an exam, and attending seminars is no substitute for experience - CONSISTENT experience in dealing with a variety of wedding aspects. Photographers, florists, and other specialized wedding vendors who now tout themselves as planners are to be questioned also.
Tight wedding budgets also have many couples re-evaluating the cost of hiring a coordinator/planner when they can hire and maintain communication with their vendors themselves. Again, this is very possible if planning time allows.
As a full service catering company, we learned a long time ago that we needed to take a more pro-active approach to helping wedding clients plan and coordinate. The end result is that a reception can look beautiful, service be outstanding, and the food delicious . . . BUT if a dj gets out of control or the wedding cake tips over, the overall event will be considered a flop.
Thus, we include planning and coordinating services in all of our packages. Not only do we recommend vendors we trust (with no kick-backs . . . any savings passed on to clients), we also provide an Event Designer and Reception Coordinator to make certain the client's day is as perfect as it can be.
In my opinion, there's nothing more aggravating than a wedding planner showing up the day of an event and telling my staff or vendors what to do when they never were involved in planning meetings with the client.
Catering By Robert DOES provides an optional "day of ceremony" coordinator who works side-by-side with our reception staff to make certain there's a smooth transition between the two events. This cost is $275.
If you do decide you need to hire an event planner, make certain you are willing to spend the money to have them involved in all major planning meetings so they can truly work on your behalf.