I hope you all have had a wonderful week so far. As I get closer and closer to my wedding day, there have been so many decisions to make & meetings that my head is spinning.
When Harry & I first became engaged, there were so many butterflies not only because of the excitement, but also because everything kind of hits you at one time. You start thinking about how you need to set a date, are you going to use a DJ or a band, what about catering, how many people are you going to have, what sources of income are going to be able to afford this dream wedding of yours, who are your bridesmaids going to be, etc. The entire wedding concept became very overwhelming very quickly (I have asked Harry if we could elope three separate times).
A lot of people these days have started to believe that they can do everything for their wedding themselves & don't get me wrong, I love a good DIY, but there are so many good things that come from hiring a wedding planner that I wanted to share with you all my take on the whole process.
So like I was saying before, when we first got engaged I was so completely overwhelmed with emotions and the attention you get (some people get mad they found out through instagram, Facebook, etc., and I promise you, there is no way around this with our technology run world, so just take everything with a grain of salt). You want to tell all of your family first then move onto your closest friends and then everyone else. My advice is to let the grapevine do it's work and everyone will start finding out through others, it truly was great for me because it saved lots of time.
When I was growing up, my mom made friends with an event planner here in Charleston and 12 years later, Stacey, is my wedding planner. Her business, RLE Charleston, not only does weddings but also any kind of event. The night we got engaged, I texted her after getting so overwhelmed that I needed to meet with her immediately the next morning to start planning because I was so stressed already.
What's great about Stacey is that not only is she my wedding planner, but she is a friend. She texted me back immediately in a paragraph first congratulating us, but that I needed to relax, enjoy this time and that we would start planning after Christmas. Somehow, she was able to say the right thing to soothe my worries and was able to calm me down since she wasn't worried about timing and she knew immediately that I needed to take a step back and enjoy this time because it will fly by. Fast forward 7 months later, Stacey was absolutely right, I can't believe it's already July and I'm so lucky to have her because she has helped me to have the best engagement. I have had many people, especially recently, ask me why I'm not stressed or getting anxious, and every time I tell them it's because I have the most wonderful wedding planner that has helped me to get through this.
So to get right to the purpose of the post, I want to take some time to explain why I think wedding planners are so important to not only the planning of the wedding, but to helping you, the Bride, have the best day possible.
Let me reiterate again that for those of you who have planned your own weddings, I have serious respect for you and I hope that this is not taken the wrong way. This is just my take on having a wedding planner.
With that being said, there are so many wonderful reasons to have a wedding planner. Before I go into this, I want you to forget what you see in the movies & TV shows, that is not real life. Wedding planners do not make all the decisions for you, they don't force you into doing something you don't want; they are there to help guide you through the process & assist you in any way they can. Having a wedding planner doesn't need to be a "luxury" or even "optional", they are there to save the day.
My Life-Saver: There are so many times that I have referred to Stacey as my "life-saver". I can't even count because it's that many. Little things I wanted to change on the bridesmaids dresses, something I wanted to be a little bit different in my flowers, changing the design on the cake, contacting the seamstress to set up multiple dress fittings, getting in touch with the hair stylist when I ended up not liking what I did for the trial run of my hair, she handled everything. I never had to play phone tag or plan any logistics of the hundreds of meetings/calls that we have had.
Expense: In the grand scheme of things, hiring a wedding planner is not that big of a deal. There is a stigma that there is this huge amount of money that you have to spend to hire the best wedding planner, so therefor, a lot of people don't want to invest. However, if you find the right one, like Stacey & her company RLE CHARLESTON, they are completely reasonable and will be your new best friend for all things wedding. I already know she is helping us SAVE money in making great decisions!
What you need & don't need: If anyone understands being frugal about where your money is spent, you are looking right at her (me). I learned from my grandparents who drive around the city of Charleston on Wednesday's finding the best deals at each grocery store. Funny enough, there used to be something called "Penny Coupon Wednesday" at Publix in Charleston where each Wednesday, one pre-selected item would be a penny. My grandmother would get her & my aunts coupons and when my grandparents would check out, she would make my grandfather go in a separate line so that they could both get the penny coupon deal. So like I said, I understand being frugal. However, when it comes to a wedding planner, while it seems like an upfront cost, they will help you save money in the long run. Through their contacts as well as saying "you don't need x, y or z", most of the time you will end up not spending as much as you would had you planned everything yourself.
You want to plan your own wedding: Well, yes, of course! This is your one wedding and you want it to be everything you have ever dreamed of! I have been planning my wedding since I was 4 and I know there are some other girls out there that have as well. However, having a wedding planner doesn't mean you don't get to make any decisions, in fact, it's quite the opposite. You still get to make all of the decisions, they are just there to help guide you and set you up with the right caterers, photographers, bands, DJ's, etc. Just because you have a wedding planner doesn't take away from you making all of the decisions! You WILL be making all of the decisions and you WILL have the wedding of your dreams.
You have a specific vision: Contrary to what some people think, this is even MORE of a reason to have a wedding planner. I sometimes like to think that I know everything (I promise you, I have been proven wrong many a time), however, wedding planners have seen it all. They will be able to take your idea and make it better than you could imagine, of course running all of their ideas by you first. They want it to be your wedding & the best it can be.
You want to plan with your mother/bridesmaids/grandmothers/etc: Having a wedding planner will not in any way take away from the amount of fun you have, trust me on this one. My bridesmaids & grandmother have come to planning meetings, dress alterations, cake tasting, etc. They even brought champagne for when we chose my dress :) Had Stacey not been there for all of these, I honestly would not have had as much fun because I would have been too stressed about accommodating everyone & their opinions.
You really can't afford one: If that is the case, then of course that is understandable. What I will tell you is that many planners offer smaller packages, even "day of" planning where they help things to go smoothly on your wedding day. This is a great option if the funds aren't fully there or you've already taken care of a few things. They might also offer ‘consulting’ services to help you get the right platform and system set up so you can finalize the details. It never hurts to ask!
Time: The absolute most important thing. If you already have a full time job or have a crazy hectic life doing lots of different things like me, then WHY ON EARTH would you take on another one? Planning a wedding even with a wedding planner is almost a full time job & there is so much that goes on behind the scenes that even I don't see, so do yourself a favor and hire a wedding planner :)
Long story short, you CAN & DO need a wedding planner and you NEED a wedding planner. They will save you so much time, energy & money that it is the best investment you may ever make, but most importantly, you should have FUN planning your wedding!
I'll keep you updated on how the last month of our wedding planning goes, but here are some pictures to show just how much fun we have had while planning!