Archive for February 6th, 2008

Do YOU Need A Wedding Planner?

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

When I first started playing for wedding receptions, every bride had a wedding planner. Her name was “Mom.”

Your Mom, however, may be hundreds of miles away, or have a full-time job, or otherwise be unavailable (or just not be the right person) to coordinate your wedding. So the question arises, do you need a wedding planner?

To answer that, perhaps we should first ask, “What is a wedding planner?

Wedding planning – as a career – has changed dramatically in the past couple of decades. The first semi-professional coordinators were either women who had survived their own daughters’ nuptials and were asked to help out their first-time mother-of-the-bride friends, or were ladies who had gained experience working with brides for churches, florists, country clubs, etc. There were no such things then as associations, accreditation, or a code of professional standards. Now there are. Today’s trained and fully professional wedding planners can keep you from wasting time, effort, and money. Their experience guides you through the maze of vendors, venues, and choices each bride must make.

So – do you need such a person?

If you have a full-time job, if either you or your groom have divorced parents (who might respond better to a neutral 3rd party), or if you are planning a wedding that will be only slightly less complicated than the D-Day Invasion – then yes, you would definitely benefit from having a pro working in your behalf.

Even if you anticipate having only a “small” wedding, are on a tight budget, and know exactly what you do (and don’t) want, a coordinator may still help you – simply by knowing where the best values for your dollar are.

One word of caution, however: while many wedding planners today have undergone a certification process, there is – as far as I know – no union to which coordinators must belong. Virtually anybody can call herself a wedding planner, whether she has any real-world experience or not. So, ask a recently-married friend for a referral. Ask your favorite florist for a referral. Hey – if all else fails, ask me for a referral.

And maybe, keep “Mom” on stand-by, just in case.