You’ve said, “Yes!” to the most important question in the world, and you’re ready to plan your big day. You want to begin to live your happily ever after with a perfect wedding, and wisely, you hire a wedding planner to make sure that happens.
There may be some misconceptions about what a wedding planner will and won’t do. To make sure your expectations are on point, here are 10 things your wedding planner cannot do for you (though sometimes, they wish they could!).
- Compile the Guest List
Your wedding planner can give you some guidance as to how many guests you might want to invite based on your venue and such, but they do not collect addresses or do anything to compile the guest list. You have to create the list and get the addresses together. Pro tip: Mothers of the bride and groom are perfect candidates for this job!
- Decide Your Budget
You need to bring your budget to your wedding planner after you and all involved parties have discussed and agreed on the final numbers. You and your partner/families need to decide what your budget limits are, and then you need to set clear expectations with your families and your planner for your priorities in spending.
- Make Final Decisions on Color & Decor
It’s your wedding. No one cares what your wedding planner’s favorite colors or foods are, and no one wants to see what your planner’s tastes in dresses or table design happens to be. A wedding planner is there to help you and make suggestions and recommendations, but you make the final decisions. You tell your wedding planner what you like and want (as well as what you don’t like/don’t want) and they try to put it together. It’s your day, after all. They’re just there to help you execute it.
- Break the Rules
Please don’t think of your wedding planner as ‘bad cop’ in a game of good cop/bad cop. You want to have birds released in the sanctuary, but that’s a ‘no’ in the church’s rule book. Stick with the rules; your wedding planner cannot do it on your behalf so ‘you’ are not breaking the rules of the venue. Remember, these planners are often very familiar with the venues and their proprietors and they won’t want to burn any bridges. Don’t ask them to.
- Determine Seating Assignments
Once again, YOU are the most familiar with your families, not your planner. Your planner cannot and doesn’t want to decide who sits by whom at the reception. She doesn’t know that your Uncle Roger and your Uncle Bill got into a huge fight at Thanksgiving, so make sure you are the one making the seating assignments.
- Do More Than What You Hired Them To Do
You’re most likely paying a venue and/or a catering company to set your tables and chairs up. You’re most likely paying them to make sure your guests have enough to eat and drink, and most likely, you’re paying someone to take care of the flowers and the cake setup (and cutting). If you’re expecting your planner to do any of that, be prepared to pay him or her more, as those are the jobs of other vendors.
- Take Pictures
You may not have a photographer for the whole day, and that’s fine. But your wedding planner isn’t there to take candids and fill-ins where your photographer is not. Either hire a photographer for more time with you to catch those moments, or ask a friend/member of the bridal party to do those pics for you.
- Be Responsible for Other Vendors
Your wedding planner is in the business of recommending various vendors for your needs. That’s what they do. They make recommendations based on their experience with vendors and are not personally responsible if your DJ messes up every name of your bridal party. Nor can they fix it if another vendor is messing up. They’ll do their best to make sure everything goes as planned, but they’re not florists/caterers/DJs.
- Run Your Personal Errands
Hiring a wedding planner does not mean you have someone at your beck and call to do your personal errands. Picking up dry cleaning, making sure you have food on your wedding day, and any other task that is outside of the contract you have with your planner should be delegated to a bridesmaid.
- Be Peacekeepers
Yes, to a degree, your wedding planner is your behind the scenes cheerleader. He or she is there to help make your day go smoothly and to help you reduce your stress. They are not mind readers or a peacekeeper and she simply cannot be responsible for singlehandedly reducing family drama that often accompanies wedding days. Wedding planners try to remain as neutral as possible, with their end-goal of always being on YOUR side. Have your bridal party hash things out themselves. Your planner’s busy ensuring things go smoothly.