Getting engaged can be one of the most exciting times in your life, and you may be on cloud nine for some time. So when it comes time to put pen to paper and start planning your special day, there are a few things to consider carefully so that you can maintain your calm and enjoy your engagement as much as your ceremony and reception.
Whether you’re planning a big elaborate ceremony and reception or a smaller, simpler gathering, many details need to be handled before, during, and after the event. Here are six reasons that you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner:
1. Allows Friends and Family to Enjoy Your Wedding
Many brides think asking a good friend or family member to plan the wedding is a good idea, but it’s not always recommended. Your family wants to celebrate your wedding as much as you do and be a part of the celebration, but being in charge of the celebration is an entirely different animal!
Putting the stress of managing the details of your perfect wedding will take away from their experience of being able to enjoy your celebration. Asking good friends for this kind of help can also backfire and potentially destroy your friendship. If they are a friend that you would invite to your wedding as a guest, they want to be able to participate and enjoy the day too. Managing a wedding from start to finish is a lot of work!
2. She Does All the Legwork
When you hire a good wedding planner, they will devote themselves to the project. They want to get to know you and your partner and what you want your ceremony and reception to look and feel like. A good planner will:
- Consider what your décor should entail
- Work with your guest list
- Design your seating chart
- Discover what your food choices are
- Develop a theme idea
- Plan the flow of your wedding
- Make sure to include every personal touch you want
By doing all of this legwork, all you have to do is show up ready to create memories of a lifetime. Tell them about yourself, your desires, your dreams, AND your budget.
They will be responsible for everything from the beginning, from ordering and sending your wedding invitations to managing the clean-up after the reception. You can focus on finding your dress and the more fun parts of your engagement.
3. Wedding Ceremony Rehearsal
Getting all your plans together for the reception, including the food, beverages, guest’s gifts, décor, and all the personal touches you want to include is one thing, but you also need to plan the ceremony. Most venues will include rehearsal time in their space so you can bring your wedding party and rehearse what you’ve planned.
When you hire a wedding planner, they will take care of the arrangements as well as be there for the rehearsal to manage the flow of the ceremony rehearsal. They will also take notes and facilitate any changes to the flow along the way so that when it’s showtime, you’ll be relaxed and know that everything is taken care of for you and your guests.
4. Works With Your Vendors
When you don’t have experience planning events or hiring vendors, it’s hard to know all the right questions to ask so that you don’t end up being short-changed in services or over-charged in fees.
Are you a good negotiator? Not all fees are set in stone. A good wedding planner will be able to negotiate on your behalf or already have connections (and perhaps vendor discounts) that you can take advantage of so that you’re sure to get the very best deal with no hidden fees.
Working with a wedding planner can also help in this area as they are well versed in working and negotiating with vendors. In addition, many planners will have established relationships with vendors, can provide a preferred vendor list at the very least, and may also have discounts available to you.
5. Choose Your Involvement
Working with a wedding planner, you can choose to be involved as little or as much as you like. Your planner will be ready to take on the whole project and pull everything off exactly as you have directed your day to be. But if there is a part of your wedding that you want to do yourself, they will be accommodating.
Working with a wedding coordinator will sometimes require you to be hands-on with all the planning up to the day of the event. Some coordinators will offer more in-depth assistance that will kick in a couple of months before your wedding. Then, they will help you with final preparations and take care of all the details on the day of the event.
6. Experience is Everything!
Working with a wedding planner who has ample experience is key to a stress-free wedding. Good wedding professionals have seen it all and are ready with creative solutions for anything that could go wrong. They have also seen the things that work well and things that don’t regarding crowd flow, food choices, décor choices, and fancy extras.
Your wedding professional is a wealth of information on creative ideas too! If you have a concept that you want to develop, they should be able to offer up ideas and show you all kinds of ways to decorate, offer creative food and cake ideas, as well as money-saving tips for all aspects of your celebration.
Wedding planners have an in-depth knowledge of wedding events and will also be willing to offer suggestions and ideas on what works well and what doesn’t. They will also be at the ready for anything that could need attention or a creative solution. This wedding professional will work with you on planning, the rehearsal, and all through to your wedding day. You can count on them to be there for you from the beginning through the end of your hall rental time.
To learn more about wedding planners, I went straight to the source and asked Carter of Honeysuckle Traditions about her experience as a successful planner. She is a true Southern belle, rooted in the values of hospitality and epic celebrations. As a wedding planner, Carter helps real couples plan their happily ever after. The photos you see in this blog post were all taken at weddings she’s planned!
How did you get your start?
I decided to follow love and move to Santa Cruz. Upon moving to town, I was hired at the beginning of the 2013 wedding season as an Assistant Wedding Coordinator at a venue in Soquel.
This experience was my introduction to the wedding business. After my first season, is when I knew this was the industry for me!
Which wedding or event accomplishments are you the proudest of?
One couple was supposed to get married in 2020 but had to postpone due to 2021 due to COVID. Navigating through COVID guidelines was a wild roller coaster. As restrictions were beginning to lift and their wedding approached, we learned that the guest count for indoor events dropped drastically. So, I navigated moving their entire wedding for 150 people outside. The venue also had noise restrictions, so I arranged for a silent disco. The dance party was able to continue even past the venue’s quiet hours!
I love adding personal elements of my couples to their wedding day. One of my couples was in the cannabis industry and wanted to add some aspects of cannabis to their wedding day. I suggested having a smoking section with pre-rolls with signs that said “A Joint Union.” They loved it, and it was a hit for their reception.
As a wedding planner, I work for the couple, ensuring that all vendors follow their contract agreement. One of my weddings was at a private estate, and we were not allowed to go inside the house except to use the restroom. It was a cold evening, so hot tea and coffee were a big hit during their reception.
Unfortunately, the catering company did not provide enough coffee, hot water, or creamers. I found the catering team inside the house searching for creamer in the refrigerator, which was unacceptable. Instead of communicating with me about what was happening, they lied and made excuses. At the end of the reception, the catering team just left. They did not follow through with their contract to clean up and breakdown.
The next day, I called the catering company to give feedback on how their team performed on my couple’s wedding day. They were disappointed and embarrassed with their team and offered a generous discount on their final event order.
What’s the most interesting thing that ever happened at a wedding you worked at?
A groom’s father had recently passed away and hugely influenced his life. His father loved mariachi bands and always hired a band to perform at family events or holidays.
The bride wanted to do something to honor her partner’s dad and include this family tradition on their wedding day. So, during dinner service, a mariachi band walked outside on the veranda and played for the remainder of dinner. The family was on their feet cheering, crying, and just in pure joy that this family tradition was still carried on for their wedding day.
When you are not at a wedding on any given Saturday, what would you most likely be doing?
Spending time with my family at The Ranch, attending concerts or music festivals, and trying to master a headstand on a standup paddle board.
You as a wedding and event professional in 5 words or less…
Calm, cool + collected
Where have your weddings been published?
Glittery Brides + Wedding Chicks.
If you could tell engaged couples everywhere one thing, what would it be?
Choose the vendors and location that best fit your style and personality. You should feel comfortable and supported by your vendor team.
What is your professional background?
I have a BS in Business Administration + Marketing from Coastal Carolina University. I studied at California State East Bay to become a Certified Wedding Professional. I also attend yoga workshops to learn more about how to breathe and become more grounded.
What’s your favorite wedding blog & why?
Personally, I find wedding blogs intimidating. The images on these blogs tend to come from weddings with large budgets and are sometimes unrealistic for your average couple. However, if I had to choose one, it would be Green Wedding Shoes. I am a boho-chic girl at heart.
Honeysuckle Traditions Business Details
Owner: Carter Coberly
The Knot: TheKnot.com/marketplace/honeysuckle-traditions-grass-valley-ca-2057513
Wedding Wire: WeddingWire.com/biz/honeysuckle-traditions/a2c4a04204f838c3.html
As Venue Manager for the Rough & Ready Vineyards, Tiffany has a genuine love and passion for planning and organizing weddings. She shares, “Being able to create memories that will last a lifetime for you and your guests is so rewarding. I enjoy making your dream wedding day come true!” Tiffany specializes in personalizing wedding services for each client and handling stressful event situations with grace.