When you speak to a wedding vendor for your wedding, there is something that should put you on alert. It's not intentionally a bad thing, but beware. When a wedding vendor other than a Wedding Planner says, "We can plan your wedding for you" they are only partially seeing the vision of your wedding and will not be able to intercede for you on your behalf like a Wedding Planner will throughout the planning process and on your wedding day. I wouldn't pretend to be the professional to safely prepare your food or operate the equipment that a DJ has invested money and time in. I wouldn't pretend to get your flowers done in nearly the amount of time a florist could. I do know that a Wedding Planner sees all of the finer details that others just aren't used to looking for and knows how each segment is part of a complete picture. Wedding Planners take away the worry wort factor. We are on the lookout for what can go wrong, but hopefully a bride won't even know until after the wedding what was an issue.
A venue coordinator's primary responsibilities are to the venue and their staff. A caterer's responsibilities are for the food and they seldom stay for the whole wedding reception especially off-site caterers. A DJ is hired for a specific reason to provide music and facilitating entertainment and more than likely will be your emcee and seldom is able to leave his or her post.
Why do they say that they can plan your wedding? It's not necessarily just to make money, but I think that many of them really think that they can do Wedding Planning and that they are helping a bride! Granted, they are extremely familiar with weddings and very professional in what they do. However, I feel that these vendors are not doing a good service for the bride nor to themselves as vendors by saying that they can plan a bride's wedding. I want you to know what to look for when a vendor volunteers to plan your wedding.
This is the picture! On the wedding day itself, these vendors and other have their own job to do. They will have their own set up and tear-down to take care of and are not going to be able to take the time necessary to make sure that all of your contracted vendors are on schedule, know if they are having problems in traffic and then able to help them with their setup.
Prior to the wedding day, what these vendors consider to be wedding planning is not going to include accompanying you to consultations with their selected vendors which is what a Wedding Planner will do for you. They probably won't be selecting vendors based on your personality, style and budget for each and every category of vendor you need. More than likely they are only thinking of half a dozen vendors when in reality it takes 16-20 vendors for the average, a not-many-frills wedding. It's understandable that they think only of the vendors that are actually a part of the reception, because that is what people primarily think of as those involved in a wedding or what has to be planned for a wedding.
There are so many vendors that are behind the scenes even months prior to the wedding and some who have a role only after a wedding. Everything from invitations, finding selections of makeup artists or hair stylists that will come to the venue, a calligrapher, pre-marriage counselors, etc. Will you want a caterer or florist coming with you to shop for wedding dresses? Don't worry, they won't.
There are also some very unique vendors that they probably have not run into. Do they know multiple people who specialize in daycare at weddings? Do they know 3 people who play bagpipes? Do they know where to find and know how a business operates that has horse-drawn carriages? Will they check to see if your venue is within trotting distance from a place where the horses can set up for your carriage ride to the venue. They might know a harpist, but do they know one that can actually bring magic out of the harp and have everyone dancing to rock and roll music from the harp? These categories might be on the more unusual side, but if somebody wants even the oddest category of a vendor, that is what we as planners thrive on. We have an insatiable curiosity to know what is out there for making a wedding unique just in case a bride might ask for that type of vendor.
Sorry, but here are more questions. Do they know the things that each of their suggested vendors needs to optimally perform their individual tasks? Are they aware of all venue rules? Are they prepared for answering all of your questions at any time you have them about your wedding? Will your vendor who says they can plan your wedding be willing to look at each and every contract. Aside from consultations, are they going to be willing to meet each vendor prior to the wedding on those selected vendors' schedules at the venue to help them get familiar with the layout and where they are going to fit into the larger picture? That would include the photographer, the DJ, the rental company at minimum. Normally a client has to take time out of their busy schedules, but a Wedding Planner will do this save you a lot of time which you'd rather save for the honeymoon or money to stay in your paycheck. Wedding Planners primarily work on weddings while these other vendors also have other types of events that they do or concentrate on even more than weddings. For example, many caterers and others count on Corporate events to be their bread and butter. Many times those events are held during times when you really need some answers.
You know I love good vendors, but I have to love brides more. Even better, I like knowing that a bride has someone to exclusively look out for all aspects before, during and after her wedding. Yes there is work after a wedding. Is there such a thing as a Lost and Found Manager? A Wedding Planner is hired for the bride, her family and her guests so that they can relax and enjoy the party knowing that a complete team has been put together just for her with every minute detail considered in the planning process.
Wishing you the greatest of Days!