Ah, to hire or NOT to hire…that IS the question.

This is not an attempt to woo you into hiring me as your planner.  No, really.  That being said, chances are, you are going to need some professional help for your big event.

Times are tough financially, and when you are planning a wedding, a coordinator seems like a luxury you can cut from the ever-growing list – right?  Well, I would say WRONG.

Whether you envision a princess-type ball or a small family gathering you will need to answer a crucial question: “should I hire a coordinator or con my family members and friends into helping me plan this important day?”  If you are on a budget (and most of us are), you probably have considered the latter.  I will offer some advice, from my own personal and professional experience.

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Family setting up – instead of relaxing!

I planned my own wedding, start to finish.  I had a tight budget and couldn’t fit in anything ‘extra’, which is what I considered a ‘planner’ to be.  My mother was my sole helper, and thankfully our relationship survived!  I loved every minute of the planning process and we literally did EVERYTHING except the cake and floral centerpieces.  All of the favors, the invitations, the decor – we did it all.  And we enjoyed most of it.  In hindsight, I would have forked over a couple grand for a planner with zero hesitation.  Why?  My poor family members were so busy running errands, talking to vendors, keeping the schedule tight on the wedding day, none of them were actually able to enjoy one of the most important days of my life.  I feel sad for my mom the most – she missed so much!  Instead of getting to sit and watch every minute, she was directing the dj, the florist, the caterer, the staff and the guests!

The first wedding I coordinated professionally was a huge success.  But it was also a huge lesson learned.  I had no idea just how stressful it could be.  Think about it: your biggest day thus far in your life is at hand, and it is my responsibility to have it go off without a hitch (at least as far as you and your guests know).  That is a big, big deal. I never had one moment, from 10:00 am until midnight, to catch my breath.  It was setting up, directing vendors, a problem with a delivery, someone has the wrong address, a guest broke a glass, the list just goes on and on.  It was then that I realized how much hassle my mother went through on my wedding day.  Not one guest was ever in need of anything – she took care of it without my knowing there was ever a problem.  Exactly like I had to do on that first job.  Do you really want your family to have to go through that?

Many think of planners as divas that are going to take over and turn the wedding into something completely foreign from your vision.  That is not a good planner.  We are here to take your ideas and enhance them, make them more affordable, and more appropriate for your event.   A coordinator/planner/designer/guru – whatever you want to call it – is there to hold your hand.  To keep you on track, keep you on budget and keep you from getting stressed along the way.  I have seen more and more, in our computerized society, many brides know exactly what it is that they want, how much it will cost and how to get it done.  They don’t need me in the planning process, they need me in the crucial time leading up to the event – to finalize contracts, details, rehearsals and to be their ‘go-to’ gal on the day of the wedding.  It is so nice to walk into a room of crazy-stressed women and hear a collective “Aaaahhh…she’s here!”

Sometimes, it is better to leave some things to the experts.  🙂

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Little inspirations

I recently had a bride ask me to help her find a theme for her wedding – it turned out she had no idea where to start.  My suggestion to her was not to go through a bunch of wedding pictures on one of the many wedding info sites out there.  I suggested she look around at the things in her immediate surroundings that catch her eye – be it a color, a shape, a texture.  She sent me the above photo of an equisetum plant with a note:

“I don’t know what it is – I just love this.  The color, the crisp texture.  Can we use this???”

Now THAT is inspiration.  You don’t have to pull a million ideas from tons of different weddings/events that have already been used.  Create from your own palette – you can’t go wrong.  My client found, just from this one plant, that she wants a clean, crisp, nature-inspired wedding.  We will use white linens, bamboo accents, centerpieces with the above plant incorporated, and lots of smooth river stones.

Where do you find YOUR inspiration?