[Editor’s note: This Tips & Advice post comes to us from Debbie Orwat of Planner’s Lounge. Debbie has extensive experience as a wedding planner and designer, and she has some amazing insight to share with us as an ELD contributor!]
As the founder of an online community of thousands of wedding planners, I often hear from planners about things they wish their brides knew. Often times these are things that we would love to tell our clients but usually can’t. But thanks to Every Last Detail, I’m able to share seven of these things that wedding planners might not tell you:
1. How emotionally involved we get in the wedding planning, design and coordination process.
We pour so much of our hearts and souls into every single event. We do get emotionally attached to some of our clients and families which makes us do a fantastic job because we truly care. You just can’t put a price tag on that.
2. How much of our income goes to taxes and business expenses before we pay ourselves.
Many of our clients work in professional careers but do not own their own business. Understanding that your wedding professionals only make 50-60% of what you pay us (after taxes and business expenses) may help brides and grooms understand why we charge what we do.
3. We cannot remember every single detail of your wedding every single minute of the day during the planning process.
Wedding planners may have 10-20 weddings that they are planning at one time, each with hundreds of details. That’s why we write everything down. It is also why we like to schedule meetings and phone calls in advance so we can refresh our memories first.
4. While we put everything we have into making sure our client’s wedding day is the best it can be, we have families and other obligations as well.
Many wedding planners set up office hours to deter brides and their families from calling their cell phone at all hours of the day and night. Planners often schedule certain weekends and evenings off and can’t always be available at the last minute. Many clients understand and respect this but we have a few who consistently think we should be available 24/7.
Image by Cat Pennenga Photography
5. If you hire your wedding planner after the planning process has begun, she or he needs to know every detail.
As soon as you hire your planner, the planner needs to know about all contracts already in place, vendor contact information and any problems you have come across with the venue, vendors or family during the planning process. For wedding coordinators to successfully pull off a wedding, we need to know details like the fact that the groom’s parents are divorced, and if you sit them close to each other, they will fight. Or that you are having a problem getting in touch with a particular vendor. Many brides, grooms and their families don’t fully understand that the wedding coordinator needs to know every single thing related to the wedding. Even if it’s not something that you think is a big deal, it’s better to err on the side of giving too much information.
6. We only have so much time and energy to get things done on the wedding day.
If our client has a two car loads of wedding details, favors and stationery to set up on the wedding day, we may need multiple assistants to get it all done in time. This is especially important to remember when there is a limited amount of time for setup at the venue. We may need to add on staff (and charge additional fees) to accommodate last minute requests as well. Even though we try to be superhuman, we can only physically accomplish a certain amount of work in a few hours.
7. We are an advocate for the bride and groom.
We are there to create your vision and make your day exactly what you have been dreaming about. We are also a buffer between you and all the details, vendors, mishaps and family members that would prevent both of you from completely enjoying and living in the beautiful moment of your wedding day.
These are just a few of the details that wedding planners would love to tell you but usually keep to themselves. Many of us live and breath our jobs and only want the best for our couples and their families. We love what we do and truly care about our clients.
Have any of you had your wedding planner (or any other vendor) tell you something about their jobs that you’re now thankful for knowing?
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33 responses to 7 Things A Wedding Planner Might Not Tell You
Thank you for sharing your insight! I can relate to point number two. Running a small business isn’t always what it seems. There are so many costs that people don’t realize, I’m glad that you shared that. I also like how you were honest about the level of care and thought that you put into each wedding. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks Jessica. I appreciate you taking time to comment!
Fabulous post! I would also add in, tied to #6 about timing – Don’t assume your planner is available week or all day before your wedding. The only day we can guarantee to be 100% yours is your wedding day as we can’t ignore our other brides for days. Also don’t assume we are available the day after your wedding (ie returning lost and found). After working 12-16 hours on a wedding day we need a day to recover, especially during peak season when we are at weddings every single weekend.
Great points Tanis. Thanks for sharing!
Yes! I loving this article! Thank you for putting it out there when we can’t!
Thank you Stephanie! I’m very thankful to Lauren for publishing it.
Loved this article Debbie. Thanks Lauren for posting. It’s nice to have some of those points brought to light, because yes, we usually keep it to ourselves.
Just adore this! We love our clients so much but yes- everything on here was SPOT ON! re posting!
The post title scared me a little but that made me want to read it! I love this so much because it’s SO true!
Great job Debbie!
#1 is actually really important – due to how emotionally charged events were surrounding my wedding (my parents had just passed away being the biggest of them all…) EVERYONE who had been involved in the planning process was super emotional. I can’t really blame her, but my photographer didn’t get the best pictures of my walk down the aisle because she was so emotional. It also didn’t help that I walked down the aisle to a gospel choir singing “How Great Thou Art” a cappella. Bless her heart. But I was just as emotionally involved with them because I emailed all of them from my honeymoon suite my sincere heartfelt thanks. So yeah, #1 was something I didn’t really expect, but I believe it made my wedding just a bit more special.
Thanks for sharing your experience Elizabeth. Sometimes we (vendors) really do get attached to our clients.
This is a great post, Debbie. You really captured it all.
Thank you Nil!
As a wedding planner, I can’t thank you enough, Debbie, for writing this! This is so well stated that I am ready to hit print, make a thousand copies and hand this out to all my existing and potential clients. I just love this!!!
So great Debbie! You hit the nail on the head with this article ! ! ! ! I cry at EVERY wedding during the vows and especially during the mother/son dance since I am a mother to a young boy. So to say we are emotionally invested is so true. Even more so if we make a special connection to our wedding couples.
I know exactly how you feel Kelli. Thanks for taking time to comment!
thank you for writing such a nice article, this is absolutely what our clients should read, before hiring a wedding planner, I will re-post it straight away.. Keep em coming.
This is nothing but the truth. So glad to see this! Thanks Debbie!
You are welcome! Thanks for the comment Becky.
Wow. This was so precise, that I wish I could put this with my contracts, hahaha! In all seriousness, I fully support each and every one of these statements. I have worked full-time in a completely different field, and it is nothing compared to being a part of bride’s day, and becoming emotionally involved in all aspects, including other family members, and then balancing all that along with my own family (I’m a stay at home mom, but run a business)…
Everyone knows planning a wedding is hard, and it’s know different than doing it for a living. If I don’t take time the day after to do absolutely nothing (but snuggle with the kids!), I will be a zombie come Monday! Thanks for this, Debbie!!
THanks for sharing your experience Christine and taking time to comment!
Soooo true, I am hair & make-up artist in PR and help a LOT my dearest wedding planners in many ways, in a single detail, and yes, very emotional, brides are special, all of them.
God bless all of our couples and more to come.
Thank you for this beautiful and helpful tips.
I want more!
When I initially read the subject.. I thought it would be tailored more towards the bride than the planners… Love…. Love… Love the realistic and positive insight on what planners/vendors go through. Thanks for sharing… I also shared this post on my facebook page and when the revamping of my website is completed… I will be adding it to one of my blog posts.. if you don’t mind.
THANK YOU, thank you! Loved the read so accurate.
OMG! Great, great, great points! You are a rock star Debbie! You hit everything right on the head! I totally agree with everything you listed.
Every single one is so, so true!! Thanks for putting it out there like you did :)
Great post with lots of insight. Makes it very real for potential clients as to what they can and should expect. Every time I watch an episode of “Bridezillas” (a guilty pleasure of mine) I am reminded of how much most people need planners – they expect their wedding party or vendors to handle things that are “beyond their reach” – and even when these brides hire “planners” they expect them to be superhuman (or disregard their advice). Well done.
This is a super interesting post! Thank you Debbie to show the other side of the coin… We as wedding planners know how important is to achieve on this life project and make our best efforts each time with every single bride, but we are women, mothers, wives and others at the same time we are wedding planners… I love the idea about our brides know us too in that sense :)
What a fabulous article. Thank you. I would love to pop a copy of this in my client folders ! It is written with such heartfelt honesty . X
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