We get it, weddings can be costly! From venue rentals, decor, invitations, photography, and hiring your favorite musicians, it is understandable that trying to find places to save some money might be high on your importance list. Take our word for it though, from experience at hundreds of weddings, you want to make sure you have a wedding planner or at least a day-of coordinator.
Wedding planners are pros, and there is a reason they charge what they do. They've been in the industry, they know the "behind the scenes" scene at venues, they know which vendors are best and how to get them set up, and they know how to organize your wedding day as well as the week and month prior to it. Honestly, they know how to handle emergency situations and make them work as well - really they can be event savers in some situations.
We've been at a number of weddings without a planner/coordinator, and here are some things we've seen happen:
Well, the answer and solution to all of these problems would have been to have a wedding planner list out all of the details, times of arrival, order of the ceremony, and everything else. Not be wedding planners ourselves, we can see the amount of work that goes into their daily schedules, it is really imperative to know in advance how your day will go.
There are of course many options to wedding planning. Most couples do some type of hybrid, a planner who will start working with them about a month before the ceremony to get all of the venue details and vendors in order, plan the day, and work the event. If you happen to be a very organized and detail oriented person who has free time, you could instead just hire a day of coordinator to run everything for your wedding day smoothly. If on the other hand you don't have time or the desire to plan anything, hiring a planner that can run things starting a year out, including venue tours and vendor contracts, might be more beneficial.
One last point to remember - venues typically provide a venue coordinator for their site, a person who is an event manager specifically for the venue. They are there to ensure the venue is open, clean, and that staff and vendors show up and set up in the right places, but typically they are not your day of coordinator. Unless you've worked something out with a venue who has onsite coordination staff to help you out, don't assume that an event manager will be there to help with your day of timing.
If you have other questions and want to speak to us about experiences or learn about some of the amazing San Diego wedding planners we've been honored to work with, drop us a line or leave a comment below!
Dan is the bassoonist & one of the founders of the LCQ.