by: Lauren

It’s no secret that I think that every bride deserves to have a wedding planner- because every bride deserves to have a wonderful, stress free wedding planning process. But I know there are many brides out there who insist that their mom/friend/cousin/aunt- or even themselves- can handle things. Sure, of course they can- but there are also things that a wedding planner can do that your mom/aunt/friend can’t do.

7 Things Wedding Planners Do (That Brides/Moms/Aunts/Friends Cant)

These things can range from having relationships with the vendors you’re working with, to “putting out fires” in the days leading up to your wedding. Chances are good that your mom/aunt/friend – even if they say they’re going to take care of everything for you- are going to want to enjoy the wedding at some point. Or what if your mom/friend/cousin/aunt isn’t exactly going along with what you want for your wedding? Who’s going to get them in line? And at the wedding, someone drops a drink on the dance floor- who’s going to clean up that broken glass? Or make sure that all of your gifts and extra details get sent home? There are so many situations that can occur that a planner would be much better suited to handle. So here are a few of those things that wedding planners do, and I’ve asked some of the ELV planners to add their insight as well:

1. Offer insight, suggestions, and advice based on their expertise.

Wedding planners are wedding planners because they plan weddings- lots of them. They know weddings, the industry, what they’re doing, and the industry norms. Why go blindly into something that you’ve never done before (planning a wedding) when you can have someone by your side who has tons of experience? I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of walking into a circumstance that I’ve never been in before- and that is entirely what planning a wedding is!

“We can give professional suggestions and services based on the many weddings that we have planned. Since we’re not mom, sister, or friend, we can provide you with sound and unbiased advice to help you along the planning process.” – Emmanuela of Precious Occasions 

2. Provide access to the relationships that they have in the wedding industry.

Yourself, your mom, your cousin- chances are that they don’t already have relationships developed within the industry (unless they already work in the industry, and then, you’re in luck!). Having a planner means that they can help you in choosing your vendors, and the relationships that they have will most certainly help. Because really and truly, sometimes there are things that you can’t determine via a website or simple consultation. Not to mention that having a planner can certainly be a “plus” when you’re inquiring with vendors. ;)

“Planners build relationships with venues and other wedding professionals which allows us to refer our couples to those that best fit their personalities and vision. This can save a lot of time, money, and stress.” – Colette of Pastore Events

3. Mediation.

Wedding planners tend to be excellent mediators. Example: Maybe your mom wants you to have fake flowers because she thinks that they’re cheaper, but you can’t even fathom having fake flowers. A wedding planer can step in and provide logical reasons to explain to your mom why fake flowers aren’t the way to go. Sometimes it takes someone who *isn’t* emotionally involved in the wedding planning to make sense of things. Now think about if you didn’t have someone to step in and explain logically- you would have fake flowers on your wedding day. (PS- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain this to moms and some brides too!)

“A wedding planner can often help mediate situations, both during the planning and on the wedding day, to try to make everyone happy – but most importantly, the bride and groom.” -Heather of First Coast Weddings & Events

7 Things Wedding Planners Do (That Brides/Moms/Aunts/Friends Cant)

Image by Stephanie A. Smith Photography

4. Handle behind-the-scenes issues in the days leading up to and on the day of the wedding.

If you’ve read my posts before, you know that I don’t sugar coat this stuff. Things DO go wrong in the days leading up to and one the day of the wedding. It could be that the linens are wrong, the guest counts are off, or a vendor is late. Regardless, you already have enough on your plate before and on the day of your wedding- you don’t need more to stress you out. Which is why a planner can handle these things, and sometimes you don’t even have to know! Sometimes the things that happen are just part of life and they can’t be helped- human error, traffic, weather- but a planner can deal with the issues so you don’t have to know about it and be stressed out by it!

 “The planner can quickly jump in and help save the day because of their relationships with the vendors. (This also helps with negotiating contracts as well.) I just had a situation where the venue manager and the bride ordered the wrong number of tablecloths for the reception and because of my relationships with other vendors, I was able to quickly call another vendor and get what we needed.” – Kelly of Just Save The Date

5. A wedding planner is there to WORK for YOU. 

A planner is at your wedding to WORK, not to enjoy it and mix and mingle with friends and family. You and your mom/aunt/friend deserve to be able to enjoy your wedding day, right? You don’t want those close to you to look back on their wedding day and have regrets. I’ve heard so many stories from brides who didn’t have planners, saying that they spent their whole wedding dealing with issues and didn’t even get to enjoy the night. That just breaks my heart.

“Sure the bride’s sister/mother/aunt probably could (painfully) handle everything, but they will not be able to enjoy the wedding day. Those special people in a bride’s life should be able to come and host, mix, mingle, dance & enjoy themselves. The bride will be happier if she can look over and see how stress-free and happy her mom is during the wedding. It’s time to enjoy the day with family and friends, not running around making sure the seating arrangements are correct.” – Avis of Carillon Weddings

“Just paying someone to do something means you can expect more. I know any time someone does something as a favor, it’s hard to truly let them know what you need because it’s a favor and you don’t want to expect to much.” – Valerie of Val Marie Paper

6. Making sure the wedding gets setup correctly- without having to worry about hair, makeup, photos, etc. 

As someone who has “helped” at a friend’s wedding, let me tell you- it’s not very fun to be on your feet for a few hours before a wedding, setting up and sweating, and then have to put on a fancy dress and look presentable. Not fun at all. In addition to that, it’s also incredibly difficult for a wedding day to go smoothly when people are running around everywhere doing things. You can’t find the best man/maid of honor/mom/groom/whoever, people are late getting their hair and makeup done, and most importantly, they’re not spending any time with YOU, the bride. It really does make a difference.

“As a videographer/photographer, when we get to work with planners on the day of, everything goes smoother. Mom is there to help get the dress on and put on the veil because she’s not yelling at people asking where the flowers went and where the bag of decorations got put. Sister of the bride or MOH are there crying tears of love and excitement watching the bride get ready or putting her shoes on instead of sweating buckets outside trying to put flowers on the arch outside or trying to make sure the centerpieces were setup just right. I have worked weddings where the family was able to be present with the bride, and weddings where I never saw them until the ceremony, or somewhere in the middle- where mom wouldn’t allow us to film or get photos of her helping with the dress since she was in sloppy clothes from setting up. That broke my heart.” – Lori of Shutter Life Productions

7 Things Wedding Planners Do (That Brides/Moms/Aunts/Friends Cant)

Image by Cassandra Photo

7. Timing and logistics of the day’s events.  

This planner describes it perfectly…

“The timing and logistics of communicating with vendors, especially as the ceremony and reception are going on. At the ceremony, I will have everyone lined up ready to walk down the aisle (MOB, best friends who are bridesmaids, and the bride herself), then I have to run all the way across the courtyard and/or signal to my assistant to cue the musicians to change the song for the family processional, bridesmaids processional and brides entrance. I am also the one that asks the guest to please rise right before the bride walks down the aisle, and none of this can be done by people closest to the bride because they are usually IN the wedding! Timing and logistics are everything, and brides have to have someone not involved in the wedding processional itself be in charge of managing the timeline in order for this to run smoothly.

The same goes for the reception. I tell all my clients I live by the “five minute rule.” In advance of the bride and groom’s entrance, I let the band/DJ know they have five minutes until they will need to announce the bride and groom, so that they can wrap up the song they are playing as guests are settling into the reception space. I then run over to the photographer and videographer and let them know, “Hey, five minutes until the announcement and first dance!” so they can get their lighting and equipment set up and ready to go at the dance floor in advance of the entrance. I also let Father of the Bride and Mother of the Groom know too that their dances are up right after the bride and groom’s first dance, and have FOB and MOG placed close to the dance floor to ensure an easy transition into those dances. All of that takes about five minutes to communicate to the vendors, and then it is time to cue the band and go back to the bride and groom and give them the signal to make their grand entrance. NONE of this can be done by anyone who is hosting the party or participating as a bridal party member, because logistically those important people are all entertaining guests, saying hello, and taking in the moments of the day with the bride and groom and don’t need to be bothered with managing the timing of everything.” – Valerie of Sapphire Events New Orleans

 

So with all that said, let me just say that it’s definitely possible for your mom/friend/cousin/aunt to help you plan your wedding- I just recommend that it be alongside a wedding planner. You can thank me later. ;)

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7 Things Wedding Planners Do (That Brides/Moms/Aunts/Friends Cant)

Lauren

Owner & Editor at Every Last Detail
Lauren Grove is the editor and owner of Every Last Detail. A clueless bride-turned-wedding planner, Lauren uses her experiences and knowledge to educate and inspire brides all over the world.

33 responses to 7 Things Wedding Planners Do (That Brides/Moms/Aunts/Friends Can’t)

We love your comments, but please remember to keep them kind and positive, as this is a place for inspiration and sharing information. We have the right to remove or not approve any negative or harmful comments.
  1. Amanda {Amanda Jayne Events} (a Vendor)

    Thank you for this post! You put it all so eloquently! As a planner, I often hear brides say – Oh my Mom is going to help run everything, or my sister, best friend, etc. They don’t realize that the peace of mind of everything being taken care of – without the most important people at the wedding missing out because they were helping – is worth the price! Thanks!

  2. Jan (a Vendor)

    When brides tell me, “oh, the lady at my mom’s work is taking care of that”… I cringe ;) THANK YOU for this!

  3. becky // event crush (a Vendor)

    You hit the nail on the head, Lauren! Great post! I will for sure be sharing this with brides… :)

  4. Rob Schenk (a Vendor)

    So true! I’ve seen great wedding planners mediate some insane disputes between the wedding party and vendors.

  5. Shannon (a Vendor)

    This is WONDERFUL! Bookmarking and saving forever – thank you!

  6. Carmen Mesa (a Vendor)

    Great article and information, as always! I’ll be sharing this…

  7. Michelle Leo Events (a Vendor)

    AMEN!!! Can’t thank you enough for posting this article. Sums up everything I try to express to potential (and even existing) clients. :)

    Sometimes I think I need to add “family therapist” to my business cards lol!

  8. Lauren Smith (a Vendor)

    PINNING IT to refer back to FOREVER!!

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  10. Katrina McCullum (a Vendor)

    Thank you for this post. I always cringe when I hear… “Oh, my mom, sister, friend is my planner.” This is great information for brides. You don’t get a do over.

  11. Cris Cunningham (a Vendor)

    This is SPOT ON! Thank you for posting this insightful article. So many brides have no idea how many details we handle, and how much better their experience can be if they would just trust us with the process!

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  13. Jamie Wyatt (just curious)

    I just happened on this post, and took a quick trip down memory lane. As a former Atlanta area bridal shop owner, and Registered Bridal Consultant, I can attest that GOOD Wedding Planners are worth MORE than you pay them! Bridal Consultants are PREPARED for any emergency! Too many times to count, things happened that nobody expected. I had to sew brides into their gowns because of broken zippers; I had to revive participants who fainted (including grooms and best men); I had to step in for a mother of the bride who broke her leg at the reception; I had to notify a bride her dad was in the hospital after a car accident on the way to the rehearsal–and he would not be at the wedding; I kept steps and exes and in-laws and out-laws apart and organized for photographers. And these are just the TIP of the iceberg! If you aren’t using a professional to ensure you have the wedding experience you want, your wedding, your photography, and your memories will all reflect your lack of professional expertise. Good planners will more than pay for themselves in YOUR peace of mind!

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  20. Kae (a Bride)

    I looked into hiring a wedding planner because of all the reasons above! Sadly, no one fit into my budget which was less than $10,000 overall. I wish we could have one on our special day, but finances don’t allow it. Any advice for those who don’t have that extra $500 or so?

  21. Jessica (just curious)

    I plan to have a simple, small, heavily budgeted wedding. A max of 40 people in a backyard-like environment doesn’t seem like the type of wedding that requires a planner, however, I am the type of girl to stress over everything especially when it effects other people and not just me. Any advice other than the obvious “don’t worry”?

    • Lauren (Post author)

      Jessica, even though you’re having a small wedding, if you’re the type to stress, you should definitely look into a planner- or at least a coordinator! You are right- so many things about your wedding day will have an affect on other people, and having someone there to be in control of everything, know how things are supposed to go, and be the point of contact is the smart route to take!

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  23. Hope Emory (a Vendor)

    Check local planners and see if they any interns if you just absolutely do not have it in your budget. Seasoned Planners will occasionally take on an intern if that person is near the end of that internship perhaps they would consider planning your wedding for the experience in exchange for a letter of recommendation and to add their portfolio.

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  25. Karen Kupke (a Vendor)

    Ohhhh thank you! Nicely put, and yes, many times I have also had brides take me aside and ask to not let their uncle do a toast, not let their mom set anything up, etc. I’m actually a day-of coordinator and your article is so very true! I love being there for the bride so she doesn’t have to stress about this type of thing after she’s worked so hard to plan up to the event. Thanks again!

  26. Karen Kupke (a Vendor)

    Ohhhh thank you! Nicely put, and yes, many times I have also had brides take me aside and ask to not let their uncle do a toast, not let their mom set anything up, etc. I’m actually a day-of coordinator and your article is so very true! I love being there for the bride so she doesn’t have to stress about this type of thing after she’s worked so hard to plan up to the event. Thanks again!

  27. Heather Gardner (a Vendor)

    Lauren, AMEN sister! Given the amount of attention to the article by other vendors and planners, you’ve hit the nail on the head! Thank you for sharing this great information as I help to share the word!

    Best,
    Heather

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  29. Analyn Calderon (a Vendor)

    Very well said, Lauren! No more nightmare weddings after this post. To all the couples who saw the value of hiring wedding planners, we salute you and we hope you had a one fine day!

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  31. barbara (a Vendor)

    Such a good post!!!! And so true! In my experience, one of the biggest selling points of why hiring a planner is a REALLY good thing is peace of mind. Not only for the bride, but for her family and friends as well. You certainly want your loved ones to enjoy the day and not have to worry about anything :)

  32. Melissa (a Vendor)

    This is a perfect post! So true!

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