{Dear Bride}:

Please hire a wedding planner.

Love, {Your Venue}

Let’s face it, weddings are an investment. It is a one time, once in a lifetime magical event for two people to celebrate their union. It is also important to note that no wedding is perfect, or will be perfect. It just doesn’t exist. But, one way to get really close is to hire a professional wedding planner. As a venue manager, I have been in meetings with brides where a catering manager tells a client they don’t need a wedding planner. WOW. Those are the people who have no idea what a professional wedding planner offers to a client. The bottom line: venue coordinators are there because they are hired by the venue to maintain and manage the venue only. They work for the venue and not you. Their main goal is to ensure the facility runs smoothly. So, if you arrived to your venue and all your flower arrangements are wrong and the guests can’t figure out where they are supposed to sit, don’t look at the venue coordinator to help you out because they wont have a clue on what you wanted, they do not coordinate! The feedback from vendors I have worked with say more times than not, there is a huge difference between weddings with a planner vs. ones with out. Not only are the finishing touches and design usually better but also the flow of the event and communication between the parties.

Recently, Philip Chancellor with 5150 Productions (the most amazing DJ in the San Antonio area) told me there were 160 registered DJ’s in San Antonio. Really? How is a bride supposed to choose one?! A wedding planner has already developed relationships with vendors they are confident in recommending because they are talented, reliable and essentially the best in the business. Although venues have vendor recommendations, a wedding planner has a vast list of professional vendors that they work with and know, they know which ones show up on time,

communicate effectively, and are passionate about their services. They are able to look over contracts, negotiate prices, and be the go-between. These are things a venue manager would not necessarily be involved in.  The process of vendor research is extremely time consuming but a wedding planner is there to help you decide and bring you the resources that best fit your needs. Many times couples are so worn out with making decisions on their own that by the time the wedding is here, the process is no longer fun. A wedding planner does not make your decisions, but provides you with the tools needed to make the right decisions. They are your planning partners!

A few more reasons to hire a planner… You need a mediator. A planner is a good third-party mediator in tricky family situations. It is impossible to please everyone; however, at least a planner can give an unbiased opinion to help navigate problems.

Most often I hear “ I have family and friends who have volunteered to help me day-of” ….while this is a nice gesture, unless your family member is a professional wedding planner, it wont be fine. They are your guests and should not be working on your wedding day. They will be preoccupied with socializing, drinking a little too much champagne, and admiring how beautiful you look, taking hundreds of photos and not focused on the important details that make the event run smoothly.

In reality a planner can save you money and time. Not only by putting together a realistic budget, but also in the end, planners have relationships with vendors since they work on many weddings not just one, so they can use insider deals to save you on costs. There are many wedding horror stories I can share with you, but none of them start with a professional wedding planner. At the end of the day, I strongly encourage my brides to take advantage of what a professional wedding planner is worth. Let them make your dream a reality, let them be organized, build a timeline, troubleshoot, manage vendors, guests and all the details. Let them save you money, they are a resource of knowledge, a sounding board for decisions, a mediator, a therapist and a stress reducer. Give your family a break, a gift to yourself and a gift to your family. You deserve it!

Kristin Voss

{Kendall Plantation}