Confessions of a Wedding Planner – 3 Things We Wish All Couples Knew | P.S. & Associates Event Planning
It’s time for more awesome wedding pro insight from one of our vendor friends! Today I’m proud to introduce the P.S. & Associates Event Planning team based out of Pasadena, CA. These lovely ladies offer a luxury event and wedding planning service throughout California. Today, they’re sharing 3 things they wish all couples knew as they plan their big day.
Without further ado, take it away ladies…
P.S. & Associates Event Planning is a female-owned, female operated full-service event planning, coordination, and styling company. We curate special events and cultivate celebrations, which focus on bringing our clients’ personal styles and dreams to life. Recognizing that each event is unique, we embrace everything from the grand essentials, to the tiny details, as a chance to be creative and showcase character. It is our greatest pleasure to guide clients of every variety – from bride and groom, to parents-to-be, to corporate teams – through the process of creating an absolutely unforgettable event. Most importantly, we allow them to sit back and actually enjoy it, while we make the magic happen.
All wedding planners would love nothing more than to be magical creatures, able to grant wishes and execute event details, under any circumstance. Unfortunately, there isn’t an app for this yet. What we can guarantee, is a database of expert knowledge, cultivated over years of fieldwork and true experience. We use this knowledge to guide clients in the direction of successful events, but the knowledge is only useful if our advice is taken to heart! Sometimes ideas sound good because they can (theoretically) save money or because your aunt is going to be downright sad if you don’t let her put centerpieces together. Trust us, we understand the allure to have friends double as vendors, to cut costs on wedding planning and opt for an inexpensive (which often synonymizes with inexperienced) day-of coordinator or even to start shopping around for details that you’re excited about, before mapping out a solid budget. Luckily, we are here to help you avoid oversights and optimize your planning journey.
Let us share with you….three things we wish all couples knew when planning a wedding:
Friends Don’t Make Good Vendors
Although your college roommate might DJ on the side, that doesn’t mean you should have him DJ your wedding, even if he offers to do it for free. Professional vendors come with many safeguards, including legally binding contracts, reputations to uphold, professional relationships to nurture (aka with their favorite wedding planners) and wedding-specific knowledge that allows them to be a part of a larger team, all working to make sure your day goes off without a hitch. Throw in a “friendor” and throw everything off balance. Planners essentially lose control over a portion of the moving parts, once a friendor is on the scene. We have seen friendors arrive late, not deliver what they promised, get in over their head, and get drunk while trying to perform their duties. More often than not, whatever relationship our couple had with this friend before wedding planning, ends up damaged. Unfortunately, there is little we can do to control a friendor (although we will put forth our best efforts) because we lack the aforementioned safeguards. Just trust us when we say, it’s not worth it.
Day-Of Coordination Doesn’t Exist
To be completely frank here, experienced and professional wedding planning companies no longer offer day-of coordination because “day-of” help does not exist. The ultimate goal of a wedding planner is to make sure that your event day is successful and runs smoothly. The outdated concept of day-of has been replaced with what we call, wedding management. With wedding management, your planner starts to work with you up to three months before your wedding date. This allows time for your planner to review contracts, walk the venue and map out logistics – carefully paying attention to potentially missed details. In the long run, this allows a planner to best execute coordination on the wedding day, where coming in at the last second (let’s say a few weeks to a few days before your date) does not allow your planner to catch missed details, which could become a huge issue for the overall smoothness/success of the event.
Long story short, a true day-of coordination experience is like being thrown into an environment where you have little control, where you will be putting out small and large fires all day, to the best of your ability. Wedding management prevents these fires from ever happening. You may be able to find a coordinator willing to sell you day-of coordination services for a budget-friendly cost, but it will be at the sacrifice of your event’s overall success. We are not willing to sacrifice that success.
Build Your Budget Before You Spend
A budget is one of the more technical parts of planning an event. A common mistake that couples make, is pushing off the importance of mapping out a solid budget, before they start spending and making vendor decisions. Make sure you create a working budget (a spreadsheet is our recommendation) and talk finances over with all parties involved (including mom and dad) before you start spending money. Once you have come to a number (or at least narrowed it down to a range), then you have a better sense of how much you can spend on each vendor.
You should also decide what the most important elements are to you and your finance, let’s say top 3. Maybe it’s music, food, and venue? If a band is important to you, this comes with a much higher cost than a DJ. This means, you will likely have to watch out for ways to cut costs in other areas, in order to accommodate the expense of a band, without blowing the budget. Bid out your most important elements + the most expensive elements, first (venue, catering, photo/video, band). Move on to your less expensive elements from there. Continue to update and monitor your budget throughout the planning process and this should keep any unwelcomed surprises (like forgotten costs) from sneaking up on you!
The bottom line is, wedding planners are not magical creatures, but we are a constant support system and an unending pool of knowledge. All in all, a planner can not only manage your questions, budget and planning timeline…but we can manage your stress level. So please, take our advice to heart!
If you’re engaged and looking for a wedding planner, I highly recommend the PS & Associates Planning team! Use the links below to find more information on their services and give them a follow on social media!