The ‘National Wedding Show’ is fast approaching ( this weekend), and many 1000’s brides and their families will be joining the ques of inspirational ideas, with their notebooks and pencils at the ready. But where does a ‘wedding planner fit?’ ‘or is it a ‘taboo subject, as a bride you just do not mention?’
I do hear at events, and generally have got this feeling their is an assumption that ‘wedding planner’s cost a fortune’, ‘having a planner takes the ‘whole idea of planning your wedding away?’ ‘it could never be suitable for their big day, as you need to have a huge wedding for a planner’ or ‘generally a vague, to non knowledgeable view on what a wedding planner service can offer. I have personally found through friends and colleagues, the ‘shock and overwhelming surprise look, and abundance of thanks’, when being able to give a wealth of advice, suppliers contacts all cheaply or even on occasions for free. Mostly as they ‘have not realised what is involved, and how planner can help’.
Like, every week, It has got me researching: Where has these options come from?, what is the history of a wedding planner?, is this all changing for a modern wedding on a budget? do we only do expensive extreme weddings?….. Hopefully by the end of the blog, it may give a new insight. I appreciate I may seem bias ‘as it is my job!’, however as C’est Chic works on a range of different industry events, I see things from a different prospective, and honest.
The history bit!
The wedding planner’s role has dramatically changed over the years. It is only a recent phenomenon (the last 30 years) to ‘hire’ a wedding planner. Traditionally it used to be the responsibility of a ‘friend or family member’ who had some free time. She would design the room, make the cake and the dress! and the reception dinner, and even manage the guests arriving. You do not see many wedding planners, making the cake or dress today! (Personally, I would be scared to even attempt making a dress, not alone, panicking to not burning a wedding cake!!!). However, in different cultures the role of the family is more noticeable to run and prepare the wedding, or a whole village.
Where has peoples ‘view of the wedding planner come from?
The clear answer, would be the media, in a ‘comical, not quite accurate light’. Especially, regarding the option that ‘wedding planners are only suitable for very lavish events, and cost a fortune!’. Not alone, the limited knowledge of what is involved, and it been seen as ‘luxurious career’. This has been due to part, from planners of the ‘stars’ being presented on ‘reality TV shows’, explaining the extreme costs involved, flying around the world, while sitting sipping cocktails, with their ‘private swimming pool’ in the background. Then the ‘various wedding planner comedy films, again for lavish ‘American events, with extreme tastes and high end costs’.
Sorry to bust the bubble, that is not really true, if only!. To explain, I will break it down further, below;
Do wedding planners only do lucrative large weddings and where has come from?
With the introduction of broadcast-ed news in the cinema, and latter on through the TV, back in the 1930’s on-wards – many brides have been pulled into the ‘imaginative creative ideas, they wish to use for ‘their big day, from Royal’s and celebrities alike’. This is not including magazines, newspapers and social media. Therefore, a wedding is becoming more complex, and requiring more and more additional support. This is also not taking into consideration a culture ‘of keep up with the Jones’ and their wedding being better than a friends!’ That means, you can look at between 20-80 different suppliers, crew, and staff all to plan for one day!.
Back to reality, most people today are working, many do not have a huge family support network’ to provide, pay and run everything for a wedding. Therefore, a wedding planner, can really help. Not alone, we know the industry. This is whether regarding trends, practical ideas, and those cost effective and time saving ideas!. There is still contracts, supplier meetings, and designing your day, on how you dream it!
I personally do a range weddings and events, many small in number and ‘yes at a low cost, all at a different style and unique to the bride’s own constructed mood-boards!’, even add elements that are free. In my opinion ‘like most planners’ is to give the utmost service to create a seamless ‘stress-free wedding day’. This does not need to cost the earth, and while it is a business, it is the pleasure of being involved and assisting to create the perfect day. Yes, it may seem a ‘dreamy view’, but every day is very different and yep ‘it can be stressful!.
Having a wedding planner, is it a cop out or a taboo subject?
No not really. Ok, yes this ‘would be my answer, being my line of work. Honestly, if you add up the amount of hours and time you need to plan, and actually run your ‘dream wedding’ without support, and still be expected to enjoy it! Then yes, a wedding planner is a great asset.
I have come to realise that their is a little split between brides ‘whether you admit you have a wedding planner or not?’. Some of this, is a culture ‘of not wanting to admit you have needed support, even in a small way, that you are not organised enough to run your own wedding. While others, openly except the assistance, as a pleasure..
One very clear difference is when a wedding involves a ‘international location’. Many would except, that a background knowledge of a country and the work ethics there, is exceptionally useful when planning a wedding abroad. As well as the help in organsing accommodation, transport and flights. Is this really different for a wedding, around the corner, at home?
What do we do?
The last thing anyone want to happen, is to be the one who forgot to order the wedding car, or everyone comes down with food poisons, due to none preparation or Hygiene of the kitchen. If it is the responsibility of a wedding planner, then it is just that, their responsibility everything has been discussed and planned for, ‘just in case’.
Please ignore the film industry ‘wedding planner’s descriptions!. Each wedding, is exceptionally different, all depending on you and your wedding. Therefore a wedding planner will provide a unique service in relation to that too.
We do not arrive to a meeting with ‘pre-set ideas on what your day should look or be like, its your day, or only supply a pre-set list of suppliers’. Everything is around your day, your dreams, and creative inspirations, from your own mood ideas.
Areas of service are vast, and can vary from designing dance floors, table layout floor plans or light and sound rigging through to supplying lists of suitable suppliers (all areas) or even putting together guest lists. This is excluding, leading up to the day, with contacting suppliers, organising meetings, keeping everyone to their agreed contract, or even checking the wedding dress final fitting is on time, and any changes are ‘completed, no matter how late in the day it is. It is the many little touches, which ‘suddenly appears, and can snowball at the last minute’.
Most wedding planners, have a extensive wealth of background knowledge, including related degree and master qualifications. They experience of working and witnessing all the pitfalls and trouble -shooting of a wedding, every day’. is vital for everyone’s wedding day, whether it is a ‘small blessing with a tight budget, or a extravagant wedding for over 1000 guests.
I do hope, I have opened a ‘few can’s of thoughts’ and opinions, and hopefully see you at a wedding fair soon, or message. A personal thank you to ‘the Wedding Bride magazine, and friends for inspiring me to write this blog this week.