Yeah, that is the question. Should you or should you not hire a wedding planner? Allotting budget for a wedding planner is something that you and your fiancé should carefully talk over. Unless you’re incredibly rich and five-digit payouts don’t mean a thing to you, hiring a planner can be quite expensive.
The first thing that you need to know is what exactly a wedding planner does. In the 10 months of my engagement, I’ve received quite a lot of proposals from wedding planners. And they offered me three options: Full Coordination, Semi Coordination, and On-the-Day Coordination.
With Full Coordination, your wedding planner basically just takes care of everything for you. If you’re the extremely busy type of person (like your scheduled is practically controlled by your organizer or something like that), I would suggest that you do get this option. Taking care of wedding plans is no joke, and if you know that you really don’t have time to plan your wedding, it’s best to just hand over the job to a planner. The planner will do the conceptualization, the canvassing of suppliers, and keeping you in check with all the things that you yourself will have to do (ie. Creating a guest list).
A word of warning though… Full Coordination planning comes with a price, and I mean that literally. Be prepared to part with a minimum of Php15,000 (approximately $300). Some even charge as much as Php25,000 or more. But then again, if you’re too busy to plan your own wedding, I’d assume that you’re making enough moolah that the amount for paying Full Coordination services wouldn’t be too painful in the pocket.
Semi-Coordination, on the other hand, is relatively a tad bit cheaper than Full Coordination. With this service, the planner takes off from where you started. Basically, you’ve already done some legwork yourself. This is usually best for those who thought they could hack it themselves but later on decided that planning their wedding is just too much work.
On-the-Day Coordination is what Marc and I have initially thought of getting. As the name implies, coordination is done only on the day of the wedding itself. Some would probably go out of their way to help you with RSVP and the reception program, but basically what the planner will do in this service offer is to make sure that the plans you made will run smoothly. But other than that, all the responsibilities of planning and supplier hunting fall on your shoulders.
Your decision on which wedding coordination service to pick really depends on your need, lifestyle, and resources. After my fiancé and I talked it over and analyzed all these factors, we reached the decision of not getting a wedding planner at all.
First of all, I’m self-employed. I run my own home office on web/blog design and development. I also own a small invitations and souvenirs business. Both are operated from home. So in other words, I have total control over my schedule—I would be able to allot time for planning the wedding since I didn’t have to endure the stress and fatigue brought about by traveling. I had the luxury of working at home.
Another factor to consider was the fact that I was connected with a lot of established wedding suppliers with the help of my dad who used to offer wedding photo and video coverage service in the 80’s. I knew where to look for the best suppliers, both online and offline.
Although Marc and I have seriously considered getting On-the-Day Coordination, we got lucky due to the simple fact that some of our friends from college volunteered to take care of the event for us as a gift. They were adept at planning major concerts and fund-raisers (our “main” coordinator even had experience planning his parents’ silver anniversary). And since they were doing this out of their own accord (and from the heart), we were assured that they would make sure that the plans push through (if there were any glitches, they would find a way to fix it).
Marc and I were glad we made this decision. Aside from saving a lot on our budget, it turned out to be a wonderful wedding. The execution of the wedding plans was even commended by our guests—they said it was a very organized wedding. Regardless of a few problems they encountered along the way, everything still turned out great.
I’m not discouraging you in hiring planners (far from it really), but my situation was a bit different. If we’re in the same boat, you might consider doing the planning yourself. If not, you’d better analyze your situation first before rushing into a decision. Remember, wedding planning plays a big role on how the actual ceremony and reception turn out. And this event only happens once in a lifetime.