"Day of" decorator or a real wedding planner?

Many times I’ve received a call from a bride who is looking for someone to help her with “day of”.  When I ask the bride what her major concerns are, often she is really just looking for someone to do the decorating that she has planned, so that she and her family can relax on the big day.  Because of this, I find more and more that brides often assume the role of a wedding planner is simply a decorator.  While this may be true for some, it is not true of all.  This is why I try to clarify exactly what a bride needs and what my role in helping her truly is.

 While I can certainly help add the embellishments that you’ve planned, such as setting out place cards, adding twinkle lights, and sprinkling rose petals, this is not my main function.  My main role is to help plan out all the details, coordinate with your vendors and to make sure everything comes off flawlessly the day of your wedding.  Many times, your vendors, such as florists or rental staff actually do most of the “decorating”, such as tying chair sashes or adding floral to the gazebo.  Every vendor is different, which is why I encourage brides to clarify with their vendors exactly what it is they are helping with on the big day. 

The flip side is to understand what responsiblities your vendors are not handling for you and why it is beneficial to have a wedding planner with you through the process and on the big day.  For example, will the decorating company you hired provide an accurate and to-scale floor plan?  I recently worked with a decorator who did provide a floor plan, but it was not an accurate representation of what would be set up that day.  This became a problem because on the big day, it became apparent that what the decorator thought was ample spacing between tables was not what we originally envisioned.  Now as a bride, you hire vendors that you trust to know their job, but unfortunately, there are vendors whose opinions vary and their vision may not be exactly what the bride wanted.  

 As your wedding planner, it’s my job to make sure all the vendors are on the same page as the bride, so to speak, and to get accurate representations of what they are delivering. This is why the earlier in the process you hire a wedding planner to represent you and begin working with the vendors, the easier it will be for the planner to make sure your wishes are carried out.  Unfortunately, my bride had only hired me for “day of” and I was unable to prevent this problem.  (Another reason why many wedding planners will not offer “day of” services, they get stuck with vendors not of their choosing and are stuck with the consequences.)  While I continue to offer my Classic services, I offer up this example to show why hiring a wedding planner for more than “day of decorating” is so key to the wedding planning process.

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