According to recent studies, a majority of couples don’t typically budget for a planner or coordinator for their wedding. The truth is, hiring a wedding coordinator is less of a luxury and more of a necessity. We talked to some Central Texas, highly-rated wedding planners for some first-hand experience in the art of planning a wedding. These five wedding experts illustrate why it’s important for every bride to have a coordinator to lean on.
Shauna Pittman-Hamby, owner of Weddings by Shauna, has worked with brides “at every end of the budget spectrum,” she says. While many brides may think they are saving money by not hiring a wedding planner, Shauna tells us that isn’t the case. “wedding planner can guide you toward the right vendor for your budget because they have relationships with these vendors,” she explains. Some vendors are more affordable just because a wedding planner is in the mix. “A lot of times when I work with certain vendors and they know I’m the planner, they will give [the bride] some sort of discount just because they’re using my services,” Kathy Thorman of Before I Do explains. Also, the average person may not know a fair price for a bouquet, but a wedding planner does. Kathy states, “I’ll know if a quote is too high and how to negotiate that quote.”
A bride should be fully present on her wedding day, and face as little stress as possible in the planning process. “It alleviates stress off the bride knowing that there’s someone there on the wedding day to handle problems that arise that the bride won’t even have to know about because you hired a wedding coordinator,” says Bricker Bruner, owner of Bruner Events. It is essential to have someone to bounce ideas off of, to answer questions, and to find solutions for any wedding-related situation so that the bride isn’t burdened with those tasks herself. Kathy explains this multi-faceted role best: “I can be their sounding board, I can be their advocate, I can be their solution finder. And if they don’t have somebody that can do all three of those, they’re the ones that’ll be doing it on their own wedding day.”
Even a bride that knows exactly what she wants may not be aware of the more detailed aspects of planning a wedding that often get overlooked by the average person. “A lot of brides don't know where to start and how to go about the planning process,” Shauna shared with us. “At first meetings with a bride, I ask tons of questions that they are often times surprised by. ‘Oh, I didn’t think about that.’ I hear that response a lot, that they didn’t think of those details. A planner will think about all of those details because for us, those details are at the forefront of our mind.”
Additionally, having someone that truly understands your vision can help you execute it in a way you may not have been able to do alone. Bricker tells us that, “your coordinator knows you, knows what you like, and what you don’t like and that's why you hire them.” He shared a story with us about a wedding he coordinated that had some last-minute vendor cancellations due to COVID-19. Because he knew his bride’s vision so well, he was able to quickly swap those vendors with others that were readily available that he knew the bride would approve. Had it not been for the wedding coordinator, that bride would have been scrambling to solve that problem herself—and without a wedding planner’s vendor connection, she may not have been able to come to a solution so quickly, or at all.
Every wedding planning process is bound to have some family disagreements along the way. When there are too many people involved in the decision-making process, it hardly ever goes smoothly. Kathy describes a wedding planner as that “one go-to person for everyone to come to, especially when you’re trying to navigate the family dynamics, because sometimes, they’re not all in agreement—like when you have ten people giving you an opinion and it really only needs to be two people.” That planner is there to field questions and opinions of both the bride and the family and friends involved. This means wedding discussions with the family can be enjoyable and beneficial rather than counterproductive and full of disagreement.
It’s no secret that planning a wedding is a time-consuming process. Whether you have months to prepare or just weeks, you need someone who knows how to get things done efficiently, effectively, and affordably. A wedding coordinator is the best person for that job. Some wedding coordinators cut down on time even more by working directly with party and event rental companies. Celebrations Wedding Planning and Event Rentals out of Temple, TX is one of those businesses that offers such a useful connection. Alysse Rinaldi-Roepke, a wedding coordinator at Celebrations, says that “wedding planners not only come with themselves, but they also come with connections in the industry.” She also mentioned that, if you book their services, you get a planner and vendor accommodations all bundled in one package. This feature can be highly convenient; working with one company versus several keeps things simplified, organized, and efficient.
A wedding is more than just a couple big parts tied together—it is a puzzle with many delicate pieces that fit together. No one is more familiar with and prepared for those pieces than a wedding coordinator. You know that you and your guests will notice the big things—the food, the music, the venue—but it takes many small, behind-the-scenes efforts to pull together those memorable outcomes. In order for the bride to recall her wedding day and think only of positive memories, she needs someone else to focus on those small puzzle pieces.
Denise Wall-Babcock runs the show at The Whole Bridal Affair. She explained that “going into the details is really what coordinators can help make sure you get done.” For example, Denise said, “if you want a certain type of music to be played, or if you want to make sure that certain people get recognized.” She also mentioned that the photography aspect often requires the help of a coordinator. “If you don’t have a coordinator there to make sure those people are there to get their pictures taken, then you miss out on some of those things, and I do think that, at the end of the day, the things that sometimes count the most are those pictures.”
It’s time to stop thinking of a wedding planner as a luxury or extra perk when they really are your much-needed sidekick, ready to provide you with all of the knowledge and resources you need to achieve your dream wedding.
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