A Terrific Insight and Several Things to Consider
Today I have the immense pleasure in handing my blog over to Tiffany Grant-Riley of Grant-Riley Weddings. I worked with Tiffany for the first time on the Rock'nRoll Bride Shoot (keep your eyes peeled this week for the big reveal on this one!) and she was amazing full of ideas, lovely to work with, inspirational. So, I am delighted that she agreed to write a piece for me about the advantages of using a wedding planner.
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The Benefits of Using a Wedding Planner
When a couple first get engaged they're full of the first flushes of excitement-they envisage the beautiful venue, the perfectly choreographed ceremony and their guests having the time of their lives. And then reality hits. The bride forks out a fortune on bridal magazines each month (I know, I did exactly the same) and decides she wants everything, whilst the groom starts to break into a sweat about those potentially spiralling costs. Before they know it, the world and his wife have asked about their theme, whether or not they're invited, what's on the menu and whether or not they can bring the kids too.
Where to start? I bet they wouldn't even consider hiring a wedding planner. Why? Well, according to the likes of movies such as The Wedding Planner and Bride Wars planners are neurotic, egotistical control freaks, reserved only for those with monumental budgets and very little between their ears. Right? Wrong.
Of course, I'm slightly biased being a wedding planner myself, but it wouldn't make sense for me to scare monger. Many couples don't hire a planner and have a wonderful day-it is after all a lifestyle choice, not a necessity. But for those who feel they could use some guidance, there's no shame in it.
So what exactly can a planner bring to the table and how can you use one to your advantage?
1. Industry Experience.
I naturally fell into wedding planning after I left a career in theatre as a stage manager. As much as I loved the buzz of creating shows and hearing the reward of an audience enjoying your work, I wanted to recreate that atmosphere on a smaller, more intimate scale. In the three years that Grant-Riley Weddings has been a part of the bridal industry I can honestly say I've done just that and made some wonderful friends from the couples I've worked with. Its a career that I live and breathe (and don't get me wrong, it has it's moments as with any job) and I work hard to further my knowledge and training to ensure my clients get the best service that I can provide to them.
A good planner will know exactly what does and doesn't work when it comes to planning and holding a successful wedding, from the timings, the best suppliers to work with and how to make the most of your budget. In many areas a planner can actually save you money and negotiate the best deals for you, so in actual fact you can end up making back at least some of what you paid your planner.
Above all, it's incredibly helpful to have a professional on hand to walk you through the process-theres a LOT to think about after all, and to remind you of any aspects you may have forgotten about.
2. Budget Creativity.
Im a very sensible person when I'm managing a clients budget. I'm open and honest with regards to what can be achieved and I do my best to keep my bride on track when she gets distracted with some of the more frivolous aspects that she doesn't really need. I am, however, awful when it comes to my own money management and I'm not ashamed to admit it. My husband always says that if you we're to blindfold me and put three items of varying costs in front of me, I'll always select the most expensive. I can't help it, but it does mean I understand how easy it is for brides to become distracted by the luxury and glamour that many of the bridal magazines create in their glossy pages. There are always alternatives to creating the day you envisage, some of which will involve compromise, but a good planner should be able to work to your budget and provide those alternatives for you.
3. Design and Creativity.
Every planner has their own style that appeals to a certain type of couple. I recommend that you meet with around 3 planners in your area to gain an overview of who you feel works best for you in terms of style, approach and personality. Its important to feel comfortable with the choice you make as you'll be working with them closely over a considerable length of time.
My own personal style really appeals to couples wishing to have a relaxed, fun and informal day usually with a vintage twist-I specialize in vintage wedding design from the 1920s to 1960s. This naturally isn't to everyones taste, but what I provide is niche and very distinctive.
An experienced planner will have the know-how to bring your wedding design to life, using the contacts they have to achieve this, from bringing out the best in your venue, choosing your colour scheme, table fabrics, lighting and so on.
4. Support and Guidance.
I have to reiterate that at no point during your planning will a planner ever force you into making a decision you're not happy with, nor will he or she take the control away from you. The support and guidance that is provided should be impartial and informed in order to help you make your own way. Sometimes it's really useful to have someone there you can vent to when your bridesmaids are driving you up the wall fussing over their dresses or your when your divorced parents refuse to be seated in the same room, let alone the same table. Weddings are a veritable minefield of expectation, decisions and politics and what you we're determined to enjoy can soon turn into a lot of hassle for what is essentially one day. Having an unbiased system of support can often help you defuse these situations and gain the clarity you need.
5. Bespoke Service.
Most wedding professionals (including myself) offer bespoke services as opposed to packages to give their clients greater freedom to choose how they plan their weddings. Packages can be restrictive in terms of what is offered and doesn't necessarily cover what the bride and groom wish to prioritize, therefore bespoke is a better option to get the best from your planning experience.
Planners also offer a range of a la carte services, from theme design, to sourcing your suppliers or venue, to on the day coordination, thus making hiring a planner more accessible and not just for those with larger budgets.
I do hope I've helped to paint a better picture of the wedding planner for you-were a passionate bunch and we put our hearts into creating beautiful weddings. When you begin your search, be sure to check any credentials, portfolio and relevant qualifications-there's plenty of cowboys out there too so be sure to be certain of what you're getting.
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Posted in Weddings Post Date 06/09/2016