Why you should hire a wedding planner


Weddings are expensive. As a 13 year veteran of the wedding industry, I get it. I’ve worked with hundreds of couples and photographed countless weddings. I think most couples experience sticker shock when they first begin planning. Things add up and they quickly realize that they can’t have everything they want.

Unfortunately, I hear all too often that cutting out a planner is their way to save money. After all, most venues have an on-site coordinator. And, major shoutout to them – they are amazing and a very important person in your wedding day vendor team. However, a venue coordinator doesn’t usually replace a planner. A dedicated planner’s duties will extend far beyond.

Here are top five reasons I recommend hiring a wedding planner:

  1. They can help you determine a realistic budget – and stick to it. Most full service planners are involved in your budget from the very beginning. They’ll likely sit down with you and map out your target budget so you can determine what percentage should be allocated to each vendor category. They can help you determine if you’re being realistic, and if you need to spend more or less in certain categories. (Sure, there are online spreadsheets and guidelines, but every geographical area is different, as are your personal priorities!) They can even help you save money by advising to spend less on low-impact items and possibly more on the things that are really important to you. Lastly, an experienced wedding planner will also have a team of trusted vendors, and can ensure you’re getting the best pricing.
  2. They save you time. I think this one goes without saying! Many planners will handle vendor research, reaching out to confirm availability, determining what package you need, negotiating contracts. They’ll handle further vendor communication. In between they handle all the logistics involved in planning one of the biggest days of your lives. (Really, it’s too much to list.) Then, they reach out to the vendor team the week of the wedding and make sure everyone is ready for the big day. I don’t think it’s overzealous to say that they can save you hundreds of hours of time.
  3. They’re an expert sounding board. How much should you ask your bridesmaids to spend on their dress? Who pays for the welcome party? When should I send out invites? What do I do when guests don’t respond? What should I do when my future mother-in-law insists on something I don’t like? Trust me, your questions will be endless. And, they’ll have the answers or will be able to get them quickly. You’ll have access to all their resources.
  4. They keep you on schedule. There are lots of moving pieces on a wedding day. Your planner will ensure you, and all of your vendors, are where they need to be, and when. When there’s a planner involved, I rarely have to worry about having 5 minutes for couple photos when we had originally scheduled an hour. You’ll get better service (and results!) from all your vendors when they have the time to do what they need to do.
  5. They enable you to fully enjoy your day! And, they’re there for you when things go wrong. This is a big one! We all envision a picture perfect wedding day, and your day will be perfect! However, things will still go wrong. It’s almost inevitable. In the 350+ weddings I’ve photographed, I can’t recall many without hiccups. It’s usually minor, and a good planner won’t even let you know anything has gone awry. They’ll handle it for you. Not your mom. Not your maid of honor. Let your guests, including your closest loved ones, fully enjoy your day. Let yourself fully enjoy your day.Because sometimes things do go terribly wrong. I’ve seen crazy stuff. Tornado warnings in the Midwest, when a tented wedding had to be moved to a different venue in a matter of hours. A dress where the seamstress forgot to reattach the bodice to the skirt and no one realized until the bride was stepping into her gown and pictures were supposed to start in 20 minutes. Marriage licenses forgotten. The bus transporting the groom and all the groomsmen broke down. A planner will tackle all that for you.Furthermore, planners are especially helpful right now! 2020 brides, what a year it’s been! This is completely unprecedented and the events industry has never experienced so many postponements and cancellations. It’s not easy to navigate. I’ve heard many horror stories from both brides and vendor friends, and I can promise you, if you have a professional wedding planner on your side, helping coordinate all of the many vendors to renegotiate contracts and reschedule on a date everyone is available… you’ll be beyond thankful you hired them. They understand industry standards and will advocate on your behalf.

 Having a planner (and experienced vendors in all categories) is a must! They act as location experts and can provide advice on seasons/weather, permits, licenses, guest accommodations, guest activities, and SO MUCH MORE!

Why you should hire a Hawaii Wedding Planner! By local photographer, Laura Ivanova

There you have it! The advantages to having a wedding planner are endless, but I hope this short list provided some insight. If you’re in need of a referrals for a Hawaii wedding planner (or a Minneapolis wedding planner – my hometown and where I started my photography career), I can refer you to the best of the best! Contact me for more information!