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Wedding Planner
Life and Style

Lifting the Veil on Wedding Planners

By Grisel Damgaard

What does a wedding planner actually do?

Let’s face it – other than having maybe watched the movie “The Wedding Planner” starring Jennifer Lopez or having seen Martin Short’s hilarious rendition as Franck Eggelhoffer in Steve Martin’s “Father of the Bride,” most people don’t really know what wedding planners do.

I think that part of the problem lies in that until couples enter the world of bride-to-be and groom-to-be  they have a firm grasp of what other professional service providers do for a living (they are clear in their minds as to the utility of a lawyer when they are doing legal battles and of an accountant when organizing their finances) but they don’t have a clue of the myriad of tasks and the complexity of a wedding planners’ job for  the simple reason that (most) people planning big weddings are getting married for the very first time.


Opening doors

The very first major decision you will make (other than whom to marry, of course) is where to hold the ceremony and reception. A good Wedding Planner knows a host of exclusive venues which are not necessarily advertised to the masses. In addition, venues often prefer working with Wedding Planners instead of with a couple directly because their reputation for attention to detail and professionalism will precede them – i.e. the venue representatives will know who they are dealing with. The entire process becomes much smoother because the Wedding Planner knows how to translate a couple’s wishes into reality and has experience coordinating all of the suppliers’ efforts on the big day.



Giving you peace of mind

The average engaged couplespends 200 hours planning their wedding.  Hiring a professional to take care of your wedding will mean that you will not be single-handedly be planning what most people consider “the biggest day of your life,” while simultaneously juggling your job and other commitments, to be attended by 150 of your “closest” friends and family, with (most of the time) no event nor wedding planning experience. All of this, of course, after months of negotiating with the caterers, the florist, the decorator, the photographer, the videographer, the wedding cake baker, the DJ and last but not least working out if the invitations should be off-white or eggshell white (there IS a difference, believe it or not).

Having a wedding planner whom you know, whom you trust, with whom you have laughed (hopefully not cried) and discussed with over the past few months will make your Big Day stress free. Who wants to be explaining parking arrangements to people or figuring out where to find a last-minute babysitter, a last-minute sewing kit or a last-minute replacement for the church organist… when they are getting married?


Saving you money

One of the first things that a wedding planner will do is save you money. You might be able to negotiate deals in your every day business life, that is for certain. However, don’t underestimate the breath of knowledge that you have attained over the years about your particular industry. A good wedding planner will negotiate prices down on just the right things – depending on which elements of the Wedding are the most important to you and what your overall budget is.


Choosing… just the right one for you

Last but not least, a word of warning once you have decided to hire a wedding planner. Just like with all service providers – there are varying degrees of experience and professionalism out there, and this is not something you want to get wrong. First and foremost: if you want a wedding planner, get a wedding planner, not a florist/caterer/decorator/cake maker who plans weddings. Do your research, ask for references (by phone, not just written ones), check that they are accredited by the ABC, the NAPWS and the AfWPI, and generally ask around.


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