If you’re hiring a planner just to set up chairs on the beach, you’re wasting your money. You can often negotiate that service with the rental company. “Know what a planner does,” Bailey says.
That said, planners often go above and beyond to serve clients. Alaina Chamberlain, who married Sean Lanan in June, was impressed when Bailey of Make My Day helped set up centerpieces and distribute favors. At the end of the reception, held on the Lewes Historical Society grounds, Bailey willingly helped with breakdown. “My parents and I didn’t have to run around boxing leftover favors,” Chamberlain says. “We didn’t lose time celebrating with family and friends—time you can’t get back. We got a lot for our money.”
If you’re extremely detail-oriented, reconsider hiring a planner. “It could be difficult for a really Type-A personality,” Chamberlain acknowledges. “You are handing over some control.” You might as well do it all yourself.
You should also be open to advice, Diedrick says. Rely on the experts to guide you in matters of tradition and etiquette.
Some reception venues, such as a hotel or a conference-event facility, have onsite staff dedicated to event planning. Consequently, you may not need an outside planner.
Don’t hire a planner if you’re simply looking for deep discounts and freebies. “We can only negotiate so much,” Diedrick says.
Indeed, budget plays a part. Burgess worked with a couple struggling to pay the venue deposit. She told them to secure the venue first then see if later they needed help. “I won’t take their money if they’re having problems paying for the wedding,” she says. “That wouldn’t be right.”
» For more Pros and Cons of Hiring a Wedding Planner, click here.