Full planning versus Partial Planning: What’s the Difference

When it comes to planning a wedding, there’s a whole host of ways to get it done: full planning, partial planning, day-of coordination, wedding management. You could even DIY, although I don’t recommend it.

In today’s post, I cover the two primary services wedding planners offer – full and partial planning. What’s the difference between these two, and how do you know which one you need?

If you’re like most recently engaged couples, you dive head first into wedding planning and want to be super involved. You’re excited! You have all kinds of ideas but don’t know what you want or need. This is normal. You’ve likely never done anything like this before. You’ve never had a project of this magnitude to navigate or expectations to manage. 

Photo by Nikki and McCall Ryan Photography

This is where full wedding planning comes in because dreaming about your wedding and the day itself are two major points, but there is all this stuff in between that someone has to handle. A full-service planner can get you from point A to point B and then all the way to point Z. 

Full planning is perfect for busy couples with a date and a venue picked out who want the rest of the wedding details taken care of. But it’s also perfect for anyone who’s just working with a date and knows they want to get married in a certain town. 

That’s the thing about full planning – there are lots of levels because so much goes on between your engagement and wedding day. You might need planning services for one day or an entire weekend experience. I’ve even helped couples plan their pre-wedding events, like bridal showers. 

Now let’s talk about partial planning.

I find partial planning to be a slippery slope and somewhat of a disservice to couples because they often realize they need more than what they signed up for during the process. 

Partial planning is exactly what it sounds like – partial. It works great for couples who have a firm grasp on what they want or are good with things like contracts but need help with the creative side of things. 

Photo By AGS Photo Art

Many couples who come to me and book partial planning have the bulk of their vendors hired and have hit a wall and are stuck. They need someone to get the rest of the work finished. 

So, let’s say you’re six months in, and you’ve hired a photographer, a band, and a few other vendors. But you still need florals, rentals, a videographer, and you have all of these other things that you haven’t done yet, and you’re feeling burnt out already. That would be the perfect opportunity for me to come in, pick up where you left off, and move forward. 

But here’s the thing. Partial planning doesn’t take as much off your plate as full planning. You’ll still be more involved in the process. So if you’re at your wit’s end and just want to hand over the reins, full planning may be a better option. 

There are benefits to both full and partial planning services. The best path for you will depend on your unique situation, which is why I always do my best to customize services and packages to each couple. You and your needs, struggles, and dreams are all unique to you.

Photo by Shannon Cronin Photography

I offer personalized help and guidance through full planning and act as a professional in all aspects (for example, become a neutral party when navigating family dynamics, help you navigate unresponsive vendors, mediate logistics with your venue, and so much more). 

Whichever you choose, wedding planning will become less of a to-do and more of a fun-and-done journey.

Let me know where you’re at in your wedding planning process and how I can help you cross the finish line.

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