Should you hire a wedding planner? There are different ways to address this question, but the answer is “yes!” Wedding planners are not only for the rich and famous, but can benefit the everyday bride. With average budgets in the mid-twenties for a wedding consisting of a ceremony, reception, and roughly 200 guests, you need an expert on your side. There is a lot of money and memories riding on this one day to have it ruined because of one wrong decision. A wedding planner can work with you from the beginning, starting with outlining a budget so that you know where your limitations are…you will work within a floating budget meaning if you take a little here, you will have to give a little there. This process makes decisions far less overwhelming. You know that if you have 2500.00 budgeted for a photographer that you won’t be making frivolous appointments with photographers that charge 5000.00. How do you know who is reputable, will show up on your big day not wearing jeans, will not expect to eat with your guests, and won’t try to sell you on something you cannot afford…a wedding planner. Same with every other vendor you will hire for your event. The hardest decision will be who to hire as your wedding planner without having an expert to help! Ask around, do your online research, and interview at least 3. Each will provide an insight into the way they work with you and the vendors and a glimpse at their personality which is key! The two closest vendors to you throughout the process will be your planner and your photographer so make sure you click. The next decision is to what degree you will need your planner. Most will provide a menu of packages that will consist of full planning, partial planning, and day-of services. Full planning is by far the way to go if you have the means as this package will take you from budgeting, vendor meetings, schedules, and on to the ceremony and reception handling every last detail so there is nothing missed come the BIG day. Another huge benefit of having an expert from the beginning is the discounts. A reputable and established planner will have the inside track on the best prices for vendors that match your needs and requirements. This can ultimately end up paying for your planner! Win! Win! Partial is good when you realize half way through the process that you need help. The planner can evaluate your remaining budget, your already hired vendors, and get you to the finish line on time. And at the bare minimum, hire someone for day-of services. A good planner will begin the day of services about 6-8 weeks before your wedding. Taking what you have done and making sure all of the “t’s” and crossed and the “i’s” dotted, creating a day of schedule and communicating that to your vendors and keeping the chaos at a minimum. So, “yes”, hire a planner and relax!