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10 Things to Know If You Aren't Hiring a Wedding Planner

The most common reason for not hiring a wedding planner is because couples are on a tight budget, and planning a 'simple' ceremony and reception, and don't feel they can either afford one, or that they even need one. We'll admit it, we're not for everyone or every couple - the wedding planning process is only as complicated as you make it, and plenty of couples have memorable, and beautiful weddings without the help of a wedding planner. BUT wedding planners are pros at designing and executing a couple's perfect vision. If you're opting out of a wedding planner, remember these 10 things.

1. S T A R T A N D S T A Y O R G A N I Z E D

You'll be getting a lot of emails with or without a planner, but they will multiply exponentially when you're planning a wedding on your own. Being organized in your email from day one will really help and pay off when you're in the thick of planning. Organization is key to making sure nothing falls through the cracks. Keep a master list of tasks to get done throughout the planning process, contact information, and add dates and deadlines to your calendar. Many couples find that creating a separate email address for all wedding-related communication helps keep the planning emails separate from work and personal emails, making sure you never miss a beat.

2. B O O K V E N D O R S E A R L Y

Wedding planners have a deep and very extensive network of vendors they reach out to for a last-minute event. If you're not hiring a wedding planner for your big day, you better start booking your vendors way in advance, as early as possible. Booking early will ensure you get the vendors you want, and reduce stress in the months leading up to the wedding knowing your vendors are locked in.

3. D E D I C A T E T I M E E V E R Y W E E K T O P L A N N I N G

Wedding planning is a job, and a full-time job at that - if you're not going to pay for it in money, you'll certainly be paying for it in your time. You don't want wedding planning to take over your life, but simultaneously you need to get stuff done. Procrastination will set you up for failure. Dedicate an hour or two every day, or a chunk of time on the weekend to wedding stuff. That way, you're still moving forward, but it won't consume your life.

4. D E S I G N A T E S O M E O N E A S D A Y - O F C O N T A C T

Honest talk, you're going to experience pre-wedding stress. There are a million decision you have to make, contracts to sign, deposits to pay, and emails to respond to. However, wedding day stress is completely avoidable if you designate someone to handle all of those last-minute decisions on the day of the wedding. They need to be someone you know and trust to make decisions on your behalf so that you are able to enjoy your wedding day.

5. S E E K O U T A D V I C E F R O M P R O F E S S I O N A L S

If you take one thing away from this post, hear this... you don't want to be getting your planning information from other couples, that's just the blind leading the blind. Couples are only experts in planning their own wedding, while wedding planners often have tens to hundreds of different weddings under their belt. We suggest following wedding planner blogs, or other vendor blogs to get the tips and reliable advice that you need.

6. L E A N O N Y O U R V E N D O R S

Ask your vendors for their recommendations, and referrals. The wedding industry is a small world no matter where you're getting married, and many of your vendors have worked with each other on previous weddings. There is nothing better than when vendors have already worked together, and when they work well together, it's fun for all involved! Don't ask them for something that doesn't fall in their scope of work, but utilizing their help as much as you can will make the process easier and faster for you.

7. R E V I E W C O N T R A C T S C L O S E L Y

Weddings are a big investment. Most of your vendors require a contract and a deposit in order to secure the date/goods or service. Make sure you read all the contracts carefully before signing so you know exactly what you're getting into when it comes to non-refundable deposits, cancellations, overtime, and travel fee. If you're confused, don't hesitate to ask questions.

8. T R U S T Y O U R V E N D O R S

This is likely your first wedding, and know that your nerves are normal. Your vendors on the other hand, often work hundreds of weddings (and events) each year, and know exactly how to execute a flawless event. That's why you hired them, right?! Ask questions ahead of time if you need reassurance, but at the same time trust that they know what they're doing.

9. M A K E A T I M E L I N E

One of the many reasons a wedding planner is worth the investment is for their timeline day-of. Without a wedding planner, you still need a timeline and need to confirm times with your vendors, and know what's going to happen when.

10. G O W I T H T H E F L O W

There's always going to be something that happens on your wedding day that you didn't plan for or expect. The best thing you can do when it happens is take a breath, accept it, and make the best of it. If you let these little details get you down, you will be too stressed to enjoy the best day of your life. An hour before the ceremony, forget the phone - anyone who is trying to contact you an hour before you walk down the aisle should either know exactly where you are, or it can wait.

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