• Tamara Merri

Do I really need a wedding planner?

Updated: Apr 17


Before I worked in the wedding industry I didn't know what a large role a planner/coordinator played. If you're like me, you may not know what they do or if they really need one. So, I reached out to a couple local wedding planners and asked them questions to help you and I understand what they do and if we need one.


Check at the end for vendor credit and details. If you're a wedding planner reading this, I invite you to answers to these questions in the comments, especially question number 4 :).


1. What does a wedding planner do?

A wedding planner acts as the primary liaison between the client and vendors, working behind the scenes to communicate all the details to ensure you have a unique and cohesive wedding experience. We're the visionary creatives who bring the details and design elements together and strive to make our clients wedding day vision & dream a reality - no ifs, ands or buts!


2. What is the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator?

Wedding coordination is a more short-term collaboration, working together in the final couple months leading up to a client's wedding day. We are the liaisons who make the day-of-event duties happen to ensure good flow for the wedding. (Many companies have both planners and coordinators depending on what you need).


3. What is a big misconception about planning?

The "it's so easy, I can do it myself!" idea. Wedding planning and coordinating isn't for the faint of heart. It is a large responsibility to make sure everything is seamless and to handle any surprises- and trust me, each wedding has at least one surprise! It takes a really REALLY unique set of skills to truly flourish in this role.We're problem solvers, negotiators, money managers, advice-givers, a little bit of a therapist at times, visionaries, logistics gurus, and the list goes on.


4. Do I really need a wedding planner?

That depends on the scale of your wedding. I will say there are a few ingredients for a more "challenging" wedding in which a wedding planner would be beneficial if not necessary. The recipe: you have more than 200 guests, a large wedding party (more than 8 on each side), multiple vendors to manage including a band (the more vendors = more questions), and you're spending upwards of $40k. Plus if you're getting married outside and there is a chance of rain. A wedding planner/coordinator is like buying wedding insurance. We're here to help ensure it all runs seamlessly together and without us, that will likely not be the case


5. Tell me a story about a couple where their day would have been chaotic or impossible if you weren’t there to serve them.

"We had an amazing event last Fall that was supposed to be a mellow and laid back event creek side on the family's ranch. They had built an open-air pavilion above the creek for dining and dancing. The bride and groom were free spirits who wanted to get married under huge oaks that came together to form an arch. This was a sacred area where the family had many great times together and this was to be their most fond memory of all. Beginning on Monday the week of the wedding it rained, and rained, and poured rain all week long. The creek rose out of its banks and was raging on the wedding day. It was apparent that we wouldn't be able to hold ceremony creek side as planned and so we moved it to the pavilion. But the rain was pouring into the sides of this structure as well. My team and I gathered organic cotton painter's tarps and grommets days prior and began making faux drapery "walls" to enhance the structure and keep the rain out. The wood floors inside were bowed due to all the rain that was holding on them, so we found extra furniture and created lounges placing sofas, rugs, and chairs over the humps in the floor. On the day of the event, the florist arrived without a large bit of the floral so my team gathered stems from local sources and made beautiful natural floral arrangements. The caterers arrived late so our coordinating team set up tables, put out linens and place settings to be ready for guests. We laid out faux turf at the entrance for the bride, and had lanterns lit and ready when the power went out later in the evening. But most importantly, we did not share any details of the chaos that was occurring at the pavilion with the Bride or Groom until many weeks later while having dinner together. The had an awesome wedding day free of worry and are living happily in Colorado!" - Silver Thistle Weddings


6. In your opinion, is a first look beneficial? Is there something specific that a couple said that made an impact on your regarding why they are happy they did a first look?

  • Personally, I think the first look is great for certain couples but not all. Some couples, especially ones that have a large guest list or a chaotic planning experience want that first look to have something for just them...something they don't necessarily have to share with everyone else. - Saulnier Weddings

  • I fully support each couple in their decision to either do a first look or wait until that moment at the ceremony. However, I do try to provide them helpful insight to make an educated decision. I think first looks are beneficial for couples getting married after daylights savings time (or when the sun sets before 6:30pm). I also think first looks are beneficial if there's a lot of anxiety around seeing each other, sometimes it can feel more natural to have that moment alone with your photographer to get rid of some of the jitters. - Blue Sparrow Events

  • YES, YES, YESSS!! FIRST LOOK IS EVERYTHING!!! A First Look allows the couple to not only see each other and calm their spirits, but it allows a few extra moments of peace between the two, before the craziness begins! - Momentous Wed

"Thank you for encouraging us to do a first look! Seeing him love calmed the butterflies and made me feel more confident when facing a crowd larger than I've ever experienced!" - Momentous Wed Bride
  • Yes! I absolutely encourage our couple's to do a first look. It takes the edge off and makes walking down the aisle stress-free. I also suggest that the father of the bride do a Dad's first look with the bride as well. Especially if he is a very emotional kind of guy. They can laugh and cry together - then she can do a quick HMU touch up before walking down the aisle. - Silver Thistle Weddings

"It took the pressure off me to have a BIG reaction as she walked in, and allowed us the private moment to soak in what was about to happen. " - Silver Thistle Groom

I hope this blog helped you figure out whether a coordinator would be valuable for your wedding day, and more! I value when my couples hire a planner because they keep me in check for the timeline. When I don't have to worry about the time, I can focus solely on taking your magical photos. Do you have a question about wedding planning, or the wedding industry in general? Leave a comment so others can learn as well. If you're interested in my photography, please contact me!


Thank you to the following coordinators for their answers and insight. If you're looking for a wedding coordinator/planner in the Austin area, take a moment to check them out.


- Company Name: Silver Thistle Weddings + Events

- Website: www.silverthistleweddings.com

- Instagram: @silverthistleweddings

- Facebook: Silver Thistle Weddings

- Email: silverthistleevents@gmail.com


- Company Name: Momentous Weddings, Events & Designs

- Website: www.momentouswed.com

- Instagram: @momentous_wed

- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/momentouswed/

- Email: hello@momentouswed.com

- Company Name: Blue Sparrow Events

- Website: www.bluesparrowevents.com

- Instagram: @bluesparrowevents

- Facebook:@bluesparrowevents

- Email: vanna@bluesparrowevents.com

- Company Name: Saulnier Weddings

- Website: -

- Instagram: @saulnierweddings

- Facebook: facebook.com/SaulnierWeddings

- Email: saulnierweddings@gmail.com


xo,

Tam


Tamara Merri Photography

www.tamaramerriphotography.com




I'm Tamara!

I'm a Massachusetts wedding & elopement photographer. I'm the voice behind this blog and the girl behind the camera. 

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Tamara Merri Photography
Massachusetts based Wedding & Elopement Photographer
hello@tamaramerriphotography.com