Time, for one. Consider the harried real estate agent who wanted a simple, classy Lewes wedding with a private ceremony and energetic outdoor reception. She could only manage three meetings with planners Leanne Silicato Prosser and Casey Kieffer Bailey of Make My Day Event Planning to share her vision and discuss the budget. “But we made it happen for her—stress-free,” Prosser says.
The partners often see clients who want a beach wedding but live outside the state. Some think a beach event is more easy-going and therefore requires less planning. Not so, says Nicole Bailey of Elevee Events, also in Rehoboth. You still need a caterer, location and possibly rented items.
Planning from afar, however, isn’t limited to destination weddings. Many of Secretariat’s brides grew up in Delaware but now live out of town.
Instead of trekking to the destination to meet with umpteen vendors, the couple can rely on a planner to narrow the options, based on their budget and preferences. Consequently, they only need meet with two or three florists or caterers instead of six.
Even couples living in the town in which they’ll marry may know nothing about catering, venues and ceremony sites. “They need direction, and we can help them stick to their budget, too,” Burgess says.
In addition to handling details, planners can also serve as advisers. Gay couples, for instance, may want help finding open-minded vendors or handling matters of etiquette: Whose name is first on the invite and whose parents pay for which services? Planners can also help interracial couples or couples of different faiths navigate obstacles. When there are conflicts among family members, the planner offers an impartial, expert opinion.
No matter the reason for why they hire a planner, they all want a “day-of event where they can enjoy their own wedding,” Diedrick says.
And a happy couple makes vendors happy. “It always makes our job easier,” says photographer Carolyn Watson. “Just knowing a planner is there relaxes the couple.”
» For more Pros and Cons of Hiring a Wedding Planner, click here.