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Working with a Wedding Planner

by Gwen (follow)
Gwen O'Toole Luscombe is the director of a boutique creative services company, The Ideas Library. Visit www.TheIdeasLibrary.com.au
Event Planning (1)      Wedding Organisation (1)      Wedding Planners (1)      Save Money (1)     
If you're getting ready or are currently organising a wedding, it's always nice to have a bit of help.

All too often couples have the best intentions of saving a bit of cash by putting together DIY wedding and all too often we see couples come to us, two months away from the wedding frustrated because they are overwhelmed with a lot of the boring details.

seaside weddings
Wedding planners know all the tips and tricks about find the best venues to hold your wedding. And they save you the time and effort of searching through the hundreds of options. Image courtesy of istock.

Many couples don't realise that organising a wedding is more than picking a venue, a caterer, some flowers, music and that's it. There's contract negotiations, budgeting, logistics and all kinds of very non-glamorous things that, if you aren't used to dealing with on a day to day basis can cost your sanity (and often extra money).

We've outlined some of the key steps we encounter when working with our clients to allow them to host one unforgettable event.

seaside weddings
Using an event planner will save you money in the long run as event planners have more purchasing power in negotiating with suppliers, and a better knowledge of who can offer what services at what prices. Image credit:Istock.

No matter if it's a casual or an elaborate wedding, we've worked with all types of clients to ensure their event was a stress free success.

So whether it's your first time hiring an outside event organiser to help you, it's important to keep these few things in mind.

Organising an event can seem like a daunting task, but remember, having the help will save you a world of stress and allow you to enjoy the event as a guest.

Step 1 Plan Ahead.
This is the biggest tip of all. Just like the old saying that all good things take time, having as much planning time as possible will allow you to have the event you want, not what you've settled for because of time constraints. Having time up your sleeve gives you and your planner greater negotiating power when you book your venue and suppliers (such as a caterer, entertainment, etc).

Also using an planner over doing this yourself means you'll have negotiating power. To suppliers, you are a one time sale and they've no motivation to give you a great deal.

When an event planner approaches a supplier, they see a company who will give them repeat business and provide pricing accordingly.

tree of love
Your wedding is meant to be about enjoying your day and relaxing, not about answering phone calls from suppliers who are setting up, giving directions to delivery people and worrying about the smaller details. Using a planner ensures you get to thoroughly enjoy your day.

If you're trying to organise a wedding in a tight turnaround, you're putting yourself in a desperate situation. This means you'll be limited in available options and will often spend more money.

Plan at least and 5-12 months out for a wedding. If you're wedding is a larger affair or a destination wedding, make sure you give it at least 8-12 months.

Step 2 Decide how much help you need.
An event planner can do as much or as little as you need. From organising absolutely everything, to simply finding you an amazing wedding cake or photographer.

Getting them to help you find the right venue and caterer and read over your contract can take a huge strain of and save you money in the long run.

We often go with our clients to the proposed venues for site visit prior to booking it and ask all the important questions that our clients may not think of until they've already signed a venue contract and it's too late.

champagne toast
In some cases we can negotiate bonuses like overnight accommodation for the bride and groom or a welcome drink on arrival for a celebration toast.

A planner can help with just one or two things or they can see the entire event through from initial ideas to the special day. We've even attended our clients events (but stayed unnoticed in the background) to help out with set up and ensure everything runs smoothly so that you don't have to stress at all.

Think about it: On the morning of your wedding day, the last thing you want to be doing is answering phone calls from the caterer, the limo driver, the florist, the cake making, giving directions to the venue- Event planners take all that out of the equation.

Decide how much help you want. Do you need them to help with selecting the venue and menu? Are they helping with creating invitations and managing the RSVPs? Do they need to source entertainment, a photographer or transport?

Step 3: Know your budget.
This will vary based on the type of wedding you are hosting, and what you want it to include.

Many people who organise an event for the first time often fall into the trap of wanting to plan a champagne event on a beer budget (no offense to beer themed events, which can be great too!)

Know your budget. Being honest about your budget will allow your planner to assist you as best as possible. In many cases we've helped brides put together beautiful weddings on smaller budgets.

Step 4: Come to your planner with ideas of what you want.
We're always eager to hear about the weddings our clients want to organise. From colourful and creative parties to lavish affairs.

Have an idea of the style and feel you want. This will let your planner hit the ground running with plenty of ideas. As they work with hundreds of venues, restaurants and suppliers, they should know who will give you the best service for your budget.

Good planners will also be upfront about their fees and provide you with a breakdown of more than one option for each service you need. This way you can compare costs and ultimately choose which venue, caterer, music, transport, etc to go with and there won't be any surprises.

Step 5 Stay in touch with your planner leading up to the event.
If your plans change, guests numbers change, etc let them know as soon as possible so they can make sure everything runs smoothly on the event day. This is especially important with catering and/or seating numbers.

Step 6 Enjoy your event.
With careful planning, your wedding should run seamlessly so that on your event day you'll have no stress about what time the florist or entertainment arrives.

For help getting started, contact The Ideas Library at info@theideaslibrary.com.au

#Event Planning
#Wedding Organisation
#Wedding Planners
#Save Money
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