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Find a local wedding planner

    What does a wedding planner do?

    And are they actually worth it?

    Hannah | Oneflare

    So you got engaged (congrats!), now what? As you begin the wedding planning process, it can feel a little overwhelming and couples can often get overwhelmed by choice. A decision you’ll need to make early on is whether or not to hire a wedding planner.

    But what does a wedding planner actually do? To find out, we chatted with Natalie of EventZen, who after 8 years of wedding experience has a lot of sage advice to dish out. Read on for her insights on the industry, and advice for couples tying the knot during COVID times.

    Natalie is a wedding planner & celebrant with over 8 years experience in the wedding industry / Source: EventZen

    What exactly does a wedding planner do? 

    A Wedding Planner is essentially a PA / personal assistant for your wedding day. We work with couples in the lead up to their wedding day, any time from 18 months to 1 month before. We offer different services such as Full or Partial planning, and Day of coordination.

    I personally offer a month of service which allows me the time to develop a detailed run sheet, liaise with all the vendors and suppliers and help couples with final details and any last-minute bits and pieces that inevitably pop up. Planners will develop a budget for you, research suppliers, give you great options, save you money, bring your vision to life, make sure all details are covered, be the main point of contact, and take away the stress. Look at hiring a wedding planner as being an investment in your sanity! 

    Why should you use a wedding planner vs plan on your own?

    There are lots of reasons! Here’s a few:

    • You will save time – planning can feel like a part time job if you’re doing it yourself and can be exhausting. It can take anywhere between 80 – 250 hrs to plan a wedding. If you’re already working full time, hiring a planner is worth the investment, you don’t want to walk down the aisle stressed and feeling like a zombie!
    • You will have a professional on board – someone who has done so many different weddings and knows the drill. We know what to expect, good and bad and are well equipped to deal with any curve balls.  
    • We also have contacts. We know all of the best and most trusted professionals in the business and will hook you up with the right suppliers for your wedding. No prices are being hiked up because you mention the word wedding and are an unassuming bride! 
    • We won’t forget the details. If you haven’t planned a wedding before, you’ll quickly realise there are so many different aspects and endless tiny details to consider. A planner will ensure you don’t miss anything and that the process runs smoothly and you don’t feel overwhelmed. 
    • We are there for you to bounce ideas off! We are creatives who are in the know of all things on-trend, and that work (or don’t) for weddings. We will help you create the perfect vision for your day.

    Do you need to be having a large wedding to use a wedding planner? 

    Absolutely not! The most recent wedding I planned was for 30 people. I had 4 weeks to plan it from scratch as my clients were busy working and wanted to get hitched ASAP. I also plan elopements and that’s about as small as you’ll get! 

    Contact local wedding planners

    How far in advance should you start planning your wedding? 

    I think the planning process should start anywhere from 8 – 12 months before. Locking in a venue and great suppliers such as photographers and a celebrant is good to do ASAP as the good ones get booked for months, sometimes years, in advance.

    What are some of the most common mistakes couples make planning the big day? 

    The number one mistake I hear of with people who don’t have a planner, is not having someone there to run their day. Even if you don’t have someone to assist in the pre-planning process, I cannot stress how important it is to have a coordinator on the day to run the show and be a main point of contact for all the suppliers, venue and guests. You don’t want anyone asking troubleshooting questions and stressing you out on the day – it goes so quickly and it’s so important to be present in the moment with your loved ones. 

    Blowing the budget – not knowing how to allocate it properly. A good planner will always help you stick to your budget, keep you on track and if necessary bring you back to earth to keep your expectations realistic. 

    Another common mistake is not having a wet weather backup plan; it’s like raaaaiiiiin on your wedding day! It’s not Ironic… it’s wet… and not great for hair and makeup! Also, not getting a videographer / good photographer – the day goes by so fast and memories fade. Your wedding photos and videos will allow you to watch in real-time and remember one of the most special occasions of your life.

    Natalie suggests hiring a wedding planner, or at least an on-the-day coordinator to help ensure you can relax and enjoy the big day / Source: EventZen

    Do you have a favourite wedding you’ve worked on? 

    Oh that’s a tough one! Every wedding is so different and always so full of love – it’s hard to choose a favourite. I have been so blessed with all of my clients, they’re wonderful couples. I actually really enjoyed the last one I worked on, I really connected with my clients and I was their celebrant as well as their wedding planner. To be able to marry a couple after spending time with them and really getting to know them is such an honour. It gives me all the warm and fuzzies! 

    Go-to advice for couples who just got engaged, and don’t know where to start?

    Sit down and have a conversation together about what you want. What style you want, who you want there, where you want to do it. Then pick a date, set an ideal budget, and find a wonderful wedding planner! 

    Any tips for couples planning a COVID wedding where restrictions are always changing?

    Oh my heart goes out to all couples who are planning at this time – it’s hard enough as it is without all this uncertainty! My advice would be to make sure there is complete transparency and clarity between you, your venue, and your suppliers. Discuss possible alternative dates straight away, ask about their cut-off dates, read the fine print on their policies and see where they stand on reducing the number of guests. 

    Reducing your guest list can be so hard, especially for large families, but if you can get the list reduced, this can give you a lot more flexibility and save you money. Keep everyone updated – so there is no confusion. Sadly, this is the new norm for now so until things settle, people will understand. Keep updated and check the WHO website and your local Government Health page for the restrictions in your area.

    My last tip would be to breathe – you can do this! You are not alone. I am always here for a chat, support, and to help any couples navigate these strange times! 

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