advocate

Why This Planner Wishes She Had a Planner

It’s my big day! I said “Yes” and now I can throw all my creative juices and energy into planning and designing the exact wedding I want.  I know who to call on to execute the vision, and I don’t need a planner… right? 

Wedding design and planning had always been a passion of mine.  I mean, I loved scrolling through Pinterest and pinning inspiration on my board.  I loved the logistics of moving parts and timelines and critical path resolution, you know the nerdy stuff.  I come from a creative circle, so I was excited to solicit products and services to support friends and family businesses.  It was a no brainer.  I totally had it all under control.  This is the attitude of most DIY brides and trust me I wore it proudly.  My husband went along for the ride figuring that going “planner-less” would save money, so he just added his input on the things he cared about, and I took care of the rest.  We made it 12 months, 6 months, 1 week and then the wedding weekend was here.  Family came in from across the country, college friends met our local friends, and we kicked of a magical weekend filled with love and appreciation for those that supported us.  Done!

About a month later we met with the wedding photographer to check out all the beautiful moments that were captured from our wedding day.  As we clicked through our gallery I just couldn’t help myself.  It’s like the more I clicked the more my eyes were opened.  I noticed everything.  I mean EVERYTHING!  I missed so much.  “When did they take that picture?”  “Who put that there?”  “Where did that go?” I noticed everything that did not go as planned.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved each photo and every memory captured, but in looking back I realized that a lot of things just didn’t get done.

My favorite examples to set the scene would probably be the groomsmen’s tuxedos.  My husband chose a mix of friends that were military and non-military to be by his side.  We wanted them all to have the same type of look, so the Airmen were asked to wear their blue mess dress (formal military uniform) and the search began to find a place to rent or purchase blue tuxedos.  The navy tux had just hit the market and we selected the only vendor in town that carried this option.  Perfect! We get to support local business and keep with our style concept.  Groomsmen sent in their measurements, paid deposits and were good to go.  Well, because we were so ahead of the trend about two weeks from the wedding we get a call from the vendor saying that our specific pick of tuxedo, that new navy color, wouldn’t be available until a month after our wedding day.  Furious is an understatement of how I was feeling!  The vendor discounted the rentals greatly and offered a grey or black option.  We went with grey given the color palate we had and there they were.  Those grey tuxedos glaring back at me in every groomsmen picture.  Did it look bad? No! Was it what we wanted?  No! 

A wedding planner is an advocate for the couple.  He or she maintains a level head, can think through sourcing options, and then discuss ways to resolve the situation with vendors.  With a planner we could have looked into options of finding a new vendor.  The internet is a great resource and although outside the buy local plan, was still a viable alternative.  Refunds could have been negotiated due to inability to provide the agreed upon goods or service, but most of all, not having to deal with the headache and stress that comes with having to change one of the main things we wanted for our wedding.  Having an advocate on your side along the way can make things run much smoother and more efficiently.

The day of a wedding is always hectic.  A “day of coordinator” would have helped a little, but month of services for sure is the way to go if you choose to handle all your details.  A planner ends up being your quality control (QC).  Combing through your details to ensure it is how you would want it to be is crucial.  I missed out on having that QC.  Our planner would have caught those cake boxes that were in the chair and left out while the photographer took pictures of the room.  He or she would have asked the caterer to change out that red plate the cheesecake was served on, which not in our color palate.  I even believe the planner would have enhanced our travel theme as they would have noticed the lack of luggage that was left at our home that was supposed to make up our baggage/gift check area.  Don’t get me wrong, our family and friends pulled together to help out and we had an amazing time, but they couldn’t have known what details to check for and things to look out for.  QC is huge at any event especially a wedding.

I know I seem like a bias source, but let me be frank for a second.  The amount of money we “saved” is not worth the time I could have spent with my grandparents that traveled from New Jersey, the conversations I missed having with my friends from Texas or going down memory lane with my sorority sisters.  I was running around doing it all, so I missed that.  All I’m saying is you shouldn’t have to.  I think about how much more I could have enjoyed our wedding day if we were just all relaxing and allowing a team to run the show.  Those are moments we really can’t recreate and if I could have done it differently I would definitely choose a planner. 

Investing in professionals who have your best interest at heart is what it’s all about.  Planners relieve stress and free up your time.  My planner would have kept me from buying things I didn’t really need, been my advocate and quality control specialist.  They would have kept every vendor focused and in line with our design and timeline so that the only thing I thought of while looking through those pictures are how much fun we had.  Everyone has to weigh the benefits for themselves, but take it from this planner who needed a planner… WORTH IT!