Do I need a wedding planner?

So you are thinking about hiring a wedding planner? I am guessing you landed here either

1. Because your my mom (thanks for reading mom!)


2. Because you have very little clue as to what the heck a wedding planner does and whether you really need one.

Good news, I am here to tell you – YES, you do need a wedding planner. Yes, maybe I am a little biased.  Honestly, I would be a fool to tell you that you don’t need a wedding planner if that is my job. BUT more importantly I want to explain to you all the things a wedding planner does for you in the course of planning a wedding. 

A wedding planner or wedding coordinator does a lot more than show up on the wedding day and coordinate the vendors. In fact, don’t believe the lies that there is even such a thing as a wedding day-of coordinator, or even a month-of coordinator for that matter (you can read more of my ramblings about that here). 

Truth is the day of the wedding is only about 10% of what I do for you. Anyone that tells you otherwise is setting you up for a first class ticket to STRUGGLE TOWN. Wedding planning is hard and emotional, so let’s avoid the causal trip to struggle town, yeah? 

I want to break down what a wedding planner actually does for you before, during and after the wedding day! 

Photo by Megan Welker at Garrapata in Big Sur, CA

What a wedding planner does BEFORE the wedding day: 

Venue Selection

Often many couples think they should select their wedding venue before selecting a planner but the truth is that a wedding planner can really cut your time and effort in finding the perfect venue for your day. 

My average client that hires me after they selected a venue tells me they looked at over 30 venues and did site tours at about 10. With each site tour lasting 30-60 minutes that is a minimum of 5 HOURS just viewing the venues, not to mention the time of researching, contacting, and scheduling these site tours. Oh my gosh, I am already exhausted, what about you? 

Here is the deal. I am guessing out of those 30 venues probably only 3 were actually valid contenders when you take into consideration budget, guest count and priorities. I could save you so much time and energy on the venue alone. Whether you are in Carmel or Monterey or looking up in Napa Valley or even Tahoe, How? Because I have an amazing network of people and know these things, like its my job, cause it is. If you could see my behind the scenes spreadsheet about venues you would faint… it’s my little wedding venue bible 🙂 

Vendor Selection

This is probably what most people think of when it comes to a wedding planner. And yes, it is a big perk of having a wedding planner, we can save you so much time and energy in the vendor selection process for your wedding day. 

To me the vendor selection is so much more important than just saving you time. As a wedding planner I really take my vendor partners SUPER seriously. They make or break my reputation. SO believe me I do not recommend people flippantly. If I am recommending you a particular vendor it’s based on many factors, not just who I like and I don’t accept money to refer clients so you know my recommendations are trust worthy. 

I base recommendations on your budget, your style, your priorities and above all, your personality! Take a photographer/videographer for example, on the wedding day you and your soon to be married partner will be spending more time with your photographer and videographer than anyone else. It is so incredibly important that they are a good fit for you. This is a terrible example, but it’s easy to understand, so here we go; if you are an atheist I am not going to pair you with a photographer that I know is deeply religious, cause no one needs to feel uncomfortable on a day that is meant to be the most perfect day of your life. 

Act as a Guide

Throughout the process whether you are a “full wedding planning” client or more of a “wedding management” client I keep you on track and keep the process moving along so you aren’t packing planning a wedding into the last 90 days before the wedding. I know some of you work best under pressure but I promise you, in this situation you are not doing yourself any favors and my friend,  you need me more than you know! 

While I love a good checklist as much as the next wedding planner, I do not simply hand you over a long laundry list of “wedding to dos” and send you on your merry way. My wedding planning process is broken up into phases that I have refined and developed in the last 5 years of planning weddings in Carmel, Monterey, Big Sur and Pebble Beach. Planning in each area is different. I know what works here and how to set you up for success. 

If you want to learn more about what wedding management is check out this blog post. 

An Unbiased Opinion

One of the hardest parts of wedding planning is emotions and opinions. Even those of you with the most incredible and supportive families can feel the weight of opinions and emotions. And while in most of the cases the support system means well, it isn’t always helpful. In fact, it is often downright confusing. 

I am here to tell you, how, when, where, and what works best in terms of your wedding, venue, and season based off of the 100s of weddings and events I have successfully planned and coordinated. And most importantly, I am giving you advice and opinions that are completely unbiased. This sounds cold but I am not emotionally invested in the dynamics behind the option.  I am hugely emotionally invested in making sure your day is a success, but beyond that I have the power to separate emotion and business and tell you what honestly is best. 

Photo by Lorinda K Photography at Gardener Ranch in Carmel Valley, CA

What does a wedding planner do ON your wedding Day: 

So yes, I have said it before and I will say it again, (and probably 300 more times) wedding day-of coordination is not a thing. No one, not even magical unicorn wedding planners can show up on the wedding day and do a good job unless they are involved and informed of a huge amount of information. I don’t care if you are having 10 people or 10,000 – IT. AIN’T. POSSIBLE. 

Yes, when I was young and naive I did offer this service, but after a couple times of hearing “Oh I forgot to tell you………..” on the wedding day, I got wise. And it is my fault, not my couple’s, that those “oops” moments happened, because I wasn’t providing the service that they really needed. Because you DO NOT KNOW what you need, You have never planned a wedding before!  I realized that in order to serve my couples to the absolute best of my ability I needed to stop offering this concept of day-of coordinations and start really guiding them early in the process before mistakes are made, budgets are blown and communication breakdown occurs. 

I get about 1 instagram DM a week from a wedding vendor saying, “OMG, I just added the requirement to have a professional wedding planner on the day because let me tell you what I had to do while attempting to be the photographer/chef/bartender/DJ…”  We all have crazy stories. And again, THIS IS NOT THE COUPLES FAULT! It is on us, as professionals, and the wedding industry to stop feeding you lies about how great your day will be regardless of the vendor team. Crazy shit happens on wedding days, I could tell you hours of stories, (but I never will, so don’t ask) and it boils down to the fact that no one really helped you in the process of planning the wedding. 

Are you terrified now? Don’t be, But seriously, hire a good and experienced planner so that you and your guests are not swapping stories about tipped cakes, drunk vendors, lost shuttles, fires, flooding bathrooms, rouge speeches and so much more. I am telling you, I have heard these stories… Have you ever been to a wedding without a wedding planner? Chances are if your answer is yes, you can stop reading this, and contact me now. 

Photo by Jake and Necia Photography at Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley

Here are some of the many tasks that a wedding planner can do AFTER your wedding day: 

After your wedding is but a glorious memory, a day of happiness and celebration that you will look back on and share the stories of for many generations there is still work to be done. So how does a wedding planner fit into the aftermath? 

Vendor Follow ups

Vendor Communication doesn’t end when the clock strikes 10pm, they don’t poof disappear like pumpkins. In fact many of the really important vendors then have deliverables, like photos and videos from your wedding day. Sometimes, you may need to clear up details of timelines and deliverables post wedding and as the consistent point of communication I can help streamline that. 

Donate Flowers

One of the big things that I like to offer to couples is helping them donate the florals after the wedding. There is SO much waste in weddings, it honestly still makes me cringe and flowers are not even near the biggest culprit when it comes to waste. One small way that couples can feel good about their beautiful weddings and the fact that their flowers may make the day of an elderly individual or person that has been struggling to get on their feet. 

Communicate details you may forget

Another one of my favorite post wedding day things we do is to send you a list of everything you need to know that you may not have remembered from our conversations the night before. You were having fun and celebrating and when the time comes to go you don’t need to worry about where your gifts were placed or what happened to your heirloom toasting flutes, but I do, I worry about that stuff. I make sure that come the next day when you start coming off the wedding day high you are met with answers. I got you. 

Photo by Sun+Life Photography at Sanctuary Beach Resort

So all in all, my very long winded answer to the question – Do I need a wedding planner? Is a resounding Y-E-S! And the good news is, there are professional wedding planners out there for everyone at every budget.

If you are looking for a wedding planner in Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Pebble Beach, Santa Cruz, or beyond do reach out and let connect about your wedding and how I can help you avoid that trip to struggle town and instead set you up with a first class ticket to married bliss. 


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