[right after Eric propsed on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai]
After 5 ½ years with my incredible partner, Eric, we’re now blissfully engaged! This means we have to plan a wedding, but where do we even begin? There are endless amounts of wedding blogs, countless Pinterest boards, several wedding expos each year in every city, and hundreds of wedding vendors to comb through when one gets engaged. And let me tell you, you get engaged and almost immediately the questions come pouring in. Did you set a date yet? Where are you going to get married? What are your colors going to be? Are you kidding me people?! I just got engaged six weeks ago. What I can tell you is that we decided to hire a wedding planner and so far we are incredibly happy that we did!
You may be asking yourself, why did we hire a wedding planner? Do we have a limitless budget for our wedding that we can splurge on a planner? Absolutely not. My fiance and I are funding a majority of our wedding independently. What you might not realize about wedding planners is that they can save you a ton of money not to mention save you from becoming bridezilla and spending every night after work emailing vendors.
We found our wedding planner by recommendation of the local online magazine 7×7, which I am an avid reader. Before choosing one I emailed six planners, narrowed those down to two, and then had meetings with each of them before landing on our planner. We easily vetoed four of them purely based on their absurdly high prices. We’re lucky we both have excellent full-time jobs, but I am still just a social worker and we are on a budget! We chose our wedding planner based on the ease of our conversation, her engaging personality, her focus on green, sustainable, and local weddings, and how it seemed that she just instantly understood our vision and who we are individually and together. I think she had me at, “you like donuts? We can definitely incorporate donuts at your wedding, maybe as a midnight snack with hot chocolate by a fire place.” Excuse me? Donuts and hot chocolate at a fire place at the end of my wedding? Must I go on? Perfection. Our planner was unfortunately about $2,000 over what our initial wedding planner budget was, but when we asked her if she could work within our overall budget, she agreed and we decided the splurge would be worth it. Instead of us having to email numerous wedding vendors and finding out they are out of our budget over and over again, she will do all of the legwork for us as she has a wealth of knowledge and a list of vendors she works with and trusts.
I am not what one would call a “control-freak” and I am not one of those girls who has dreamed of my wedding since I was five years old and so hiring a wedding planner, for me, was easy. I don’t enjoy spending my rare free time after work researching flowers and photographers and I get easily overwhelmed by the amount of decisions involved in wedding planning. I love Pinterest, but I hate DIY projects because mine never turn out like the pictures. I just did not want to spend months agonizing over every little detail or arguing with my fiance about if we should have a band or a DJ. On the contrary, I want to spend the next year to year and a half celebrating my better half, tasting cake, sampling signature cocktails, and dreaming about our epic party to come.
If you’re afraid to let go or you think you want to take a more active role in the wedding planning process, I would recommend reaching out to a few planners anyway. All of the people we talked to offered varying levels of planning involvement from full planning to day of coordination. It is possible to have a partial planner if that’s more your style! Our planner has so far sent us the most extensive and detailed spreadsheets I have ever seen and has created a month-by-month timeline to pace us for the next four months. In two weeks we’re hitting the ground running, venue scouting here we come! Stay tuned for more on our wedding planning adventure, we’re so happy you can join us!