What Does a Wedding Planner Really Do, And Why Do I Need One?

A yellow and white Victorian building glowing from within hosts guests along the porch and ramp in front of eucalyptus trees silhouetted against a midnight blue sky.
Photo by Manali Anne Photography

Occasionally, when I’m talking to new potential clients, one of them will seem a little skeptical about why their intended has dragged them to this meeting with me. They may not have grown up with many thoughts about weddings, or seen themselves as someone who would be having a wedding, and they don’t get why they might need a wedding planner. I describe to them how I help clients search for venues and vendors, show them sample schedules, and walk through how I will take care of all the details, large and small; but it still doesn’t feel relevant to them. This is when I may introduce the Contractor Concept.

Let’s say we are building this house called your wedding, and I am your General Contractor. I’m going to make sure everything comes together perfectly. I will likely be recommending your electrician, plumber, carpenter, painter, landscaper, and other important folks involved in making sure your house turns out even better than you originally envisioned.

We may be building this house from scratch, or we may be doing a major renovation on an existing structure, but either way, I have experience in delivering your dream home. I understand the order of how everything needs to come together, and know the potential pitfalls of what can happen along the way. I am here to guide you through the process, keeping the schedule and details in mind, and working closely with all of the different players and parts to execute the project smoothly and beautifully.

Your level of involvement applies here, too. Have a paint color in mind for the living room? Great! I can’t wait to learn about your aesthetic and what makes you happy so I can ensure your vision is incorporated throughout. Want to pull the permits yourself? Great! Let me give you some tips on making that easy. Want to make sure your house is accessible? Great! Let’s make sure we include that in the design.

While I am not be doing the electrical, plumbing, or drywall myself, I know how all of those elements need to be done well (and what it takes to ensure that), and I will make sure that all of those folks are doing what they need to do to make your house safe, beautiful, and ready on time and on budget!

Certainly, the parallels between general contractors and wedding planners aren’t exact, but the concept often helps people see the planning process in a new way that feels like it applies to them. Similarly to building a beautiful house, both art and science are necessary in constructing a beautiful, successful wedding. It’s important to balance color and proportion and the ways that certain experiences make people feel, but it’s also important to understand the equations behind knowing how many drinks will be needed per hour in relation to the number of square feet of the dance floor. Putting all of the plans and details together in a way that feels fun and easy for the couple, and then seeing everyone have the best time, is the biggest joy of all!

An officiant signs a marriage license while another person holds it for her.
Photo By Loic Nicolas

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