Catering, music, photography— oh, my. The reel of to-dos required to plan a wedding are enough to send the most organized type-A person into a tailspin.
The good news is, you can orchestrate an ideal Big Day without all the pressure if you partner with a planner.
“I love weddings because they are so high-stress, and you get one chance for everything to go right,” says Jessica Kraner, who runs Oh Hello Event Planning with Amanda Metcalf. (Kraner’s adoration for complex, emotional wedding coordination is a relief to many couples who hand off the details.)
But even wedding coordination isn't one-size fits all. Kraner offers a few different types of wedding planning services:
- Full planning: A turnkey program that goes from selecting vendors to clean-up after the reception.
- Month-of planning: A consultant comes in after a couple retains vendors and manages final details, including creating a timeline of the wedding day.
- Day-of planning: This is more of a coordination effort with a third party acting as a go-to for questions and ushering the bridal party and guests through the schedule.
Kraner recommends full or month-of planning so the consultant can get to know the couple and execute on their vision. Here are a few reasons why.
Calling out red flags.
One feature that couples appreciate is a timeline that walks them through their wedding day from start to finish. A planner should point out scheduling logjams or missing pieces that a bride and groom might not consider. “Say a photographer is contracted for eight hours so the bouquet toss needs moved or the DJ was contracted for four hours but the reception is longer,” says Kraner. "We see how things fit into the day."
Are there enough centerpieces for every table? Have vendors been contacted, and do they understand the timeline and their responsibilities? If the wedding involves bringing in a lot of setup supplies like furniture and table settings, are rental agreements squared away and delivery times arranged? “There are little things that can slip through the cracks, like in one instance, there were not dessert plates and then a family member had to run out to the store,” Kraner says. “It helps to have someone who plans weddings every day be there to double check all the details.”
A go-to for ‘all the things.’
“Having someone there on the day as a point of contact is important for vendors and family members, too,” Kraner says. Otherwise, the bride and groom — or their parents — are left to coordinate vendors, answer questions about “what happens next” and basically herd cats. “That way, they don’t have to deal with the questions and everyone can enjoy themselves.”
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