This is what can happen when you don’t hire a professional wedding planner!

My colleague Jeannie from Wedding Jeannie recently posted an entry in her blog about what can happen when you don’t hire a professional wedding planner.  Here’s an excerpt from her recent post:

Recently a bride called me inquiring about hiring me. I was already booked for her day, but referred her to another planner that I know and trust. Her wedding was 45 days away and she still didn’t have a DJ. Even though I wasn’t her planner I referred a great DJ to her, and she hired him.

Monday after the wedding, I heard from my valued DJ. The bride decided not to hire a planner because she didn’t want to pay the fee, and she was confident that her family members would take care of the details. Unfortunately they didn’t, and her wedding was not all she was wishing for. Here is a list of what went wrong, and how it could have been avoided.

  • The florist was late and didn’t have an assistant to help him. He was putting down the aisle runner and petals while the guests were seated and watched. A professional coordinator’s timeline is detailed. Each vendor (including the florist), is called two weeks before the event to discuss the duties and what time they need to start work and finish work. The florist is called again a few days before the wedding to confirm. I always have an assistant, and often times an intern. If a vendor is late and needs help to finish, we all jump in to get it done.

  • The ceremony was one hour late and the priest threatened to leave because he had another wedding to perform. He instructed the DJ to start the music and send the bride down the aisle immediately or he would leave. The bridal party was running around visiting with friends and would not stay lined up. The brides father couldn’t be found when it was time to start. The Bride had to walk down the aisle alone! This is absolutely heartbreaking. There are always two of us at every wedding. I stay with the bride and her maids, and my assistant stays with the groom and his men. We keep everyone in line. The latest I’ve ever started a wedding was 10 minutes.

  • Photography is one of the most important aspects of your wedding. You get one opportunity to capture “moments” on film. The photographer at this wedding was eating hors’ doeuvres and sitting down. The DJ caught him sitting down on several occasions, not taking pictures. He had to continually hound him all night to do his job. It is not the job of the DJ to help with all of these problems. This couple was very lucky that this DJ is very caring and wanted the best for them. A coordinator would have made sure the photographer was doing his job. If necessary, my assistant would shadow him and keep him on his toes. It’s our job to oversee that the important shots are being captured.

If you’re willing to spend $3,500+ for your photographer, $15,000+ for catering, and $2,000+ for flowers, isn’t it worth a small investment to make sure that your day runs smoothly and you enjoy all the happy moments for years to come?

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  1. Thank you for sharing this because Jeannie makes a great point! I often say that many couples – even those who HAVE hired a planner – only realize the TRUE value of our expertise on the day of the wedding. Try as we might, we don’t always succeed in helping couples to see this beforehand… But ‘hindsight is 20/20’ and I’ve yet to have a client tell me anything but “I don’t know what I would have done without you!”.

  2. As I am starting the process of planning a wedding I find the wedding industry more and more greedy especially here in Las Vegas. I hope you take no insult to this as I am sure you and your company are wonderful, but posting horror stories like this only feed into the industries greed. Since I started planning my future wedding I figured out two things all vendors, planners, and photographers are stingy with any information or ideas unless of course you hire them. The second thing is that you must have at least a 20,000.00 budget for the wedding or its a no go. I mean honestly in this economy couldn’t you just lower your rates or give specials? I have on my own been searching and planning. I found a location that is amazing and will allow us to bring and hire outside vendors. I hired friends and family members to do certain things. Yes they are all professionals and currently have jobs in the specific field to which I am hiring them for. And have been researching my own DIY projects. So to finish I just saying that posting one sided horror stories and feeding into brides worst fears only does a disservice to them and of course makes you profit.

  3. Jennifer,
    Thank you for your comment. I respect and understand your views however professionals in the industry are making a living and it’s not fair to say that it is “greed”. It is our job. We cannot give everything away for free because this is how we make a living. Would you go into a accountant’s office and expect free advice?

    In this economy, would you take a job for less? Our business expenses and operating costs aren’t any less during a recession so how can we justify lowering our rates?

    I have taken weddings that are $10,000 so not every wedding needs to have a $20,000+ budget.

    You are very lucky that you have friends in the industry however many people are not as lucky or are not capable of DIY projects. This was primarily posted as an educational tool so I’m sorry you felt it was posted out of greed. There is no “second chance” to redo your wedding when something goes wrong and this was directed to those brides who hired their family members and friends who are NOT in the industry to “coordinate” their wedding.

    Best wishes to you on your wedding day.

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