It sounds simple enough. When your toilet breaks down, if you don’t feel like screwing with it, you just fork over some money and hire a plumber. If your car’s windshield shatters, you’d get a new one professionally installed. This is the genius of modern civilization: specialists, time-savers, outsourcing.
By this logic, it’s smart to just delegate all that tedious wedding planning to a “wedding planner,” right?
Maybe. Maybe not. You have questions. We have answers.
[You] How much does this chick cost?
For a full service wedding planner, it’s somewhere in the ballpark of 10 – 15% of your overall budget. Depending on what services they provide, you might be able to negotiate an hourly rate or a flat-fee.
What’s the hourly rate?
Dude, let’s get back on track. Stay focused. Forget the hourly rates. If your fiancée really wants a wedding planner, assume, for the sake of argument, that you can work it out budget-wise. And if you’re just dying for more technical and specific info on wedding planners, read what a more traditional chick-wedding-site says on the matter, like Frugalbride. For now, just pretend it’s 15%.
Ugh. That’s expensive. But I’d rather just fork over the 15% and be done with it
It’s not that simple. You might actually be adding to your stress, not subtracting.
Wait. What do you mean?
Think about it. Currently, your fiancée is gobbling up issues of Wedding Cake Hourly, Thank You Notes Weekly, and books like How to Plan Your Dream Wedding in Just Under 5 Years! She’s inundated with wedding-porn. If you hire a wedding planner, you exponentially raise the amount of input, ideas, and concepts that your fiancée will be exploring. You open the floodgates.
Huh…I thought that wedding planners make things easier?
They do. For your fiancée. They help her pick vendors, negotiate, set up a schedule, determine a budget, suggest other ideas and decorations, and help “fulfill your fiancée’s wedding vision.”
That doesn’t sound so bad
Think. What the wedding planner does not do, however, is pick up any of your slack. Your duties as the groom remain the same. You will still hear way, way, waaaay more about weddings than you’d like…only now you’ll hear it more often, because your fiancée will be getting a deluge of new ideas. You will face a two-headed monster of your fiancée and the wedding planner.
Is there any upside?
Potentially, ideally, the wedding planner could be the sounding board for all your fiancée’s stress, anxieties, and frustrations. Theoretically, this leaves you off the hook and problem-free.
Is that realistic?
Well, possibly, yeah. Remember, as a groom, your #1 priority is for your fiancée to be relaxed and stress-free. A wedding planner can help with this. And if your bride has less stress, then you have less stress.
Hmmm. I’ll think about that. Any other upside?
Here’s the bigger one. On the day of your wedding itself, if you don’t have a coordinator or planner, and if you don’t have any family step up, then it’s possible/probable that you (or your bride) will be the one in charge.
I like being in charge
Not on this day you won’t. On your wedding day, you don’t want to be tracking down vendors, filling out paperwork, monitoring time schedules, spot-checking the stereo system and the wires, asking the caterer to wait 7 minutes, etc. etc., all that work starts to sound like, well, work. You don’t want to do it. And you sure as hell don’t want your bride to do it.
So…should I get one? Or not?
The key is to have a designated point-person for your wedding day itself. If that’s a wedding planner or wedding coordinator, great. What you don’t want, as stated above, is someone who will show you 37 different options at all stages of planning for a solid 9 months. Ugh. But if you can find someone–through a referral, ideally–who has a more hands off approach, and knows how to only give you 3 options–and only when you really need it–that could be a good help.
Anything else I should know?
For a passionate defense of why wedding planners could be useful, see the below comment from our good friend Francine, one of the cooler wedding planners we know.
If your experience with wedding planners is different, tell us. And if you have any additional questions, ask us. Drop us a line at [email protected].
And now for the bloodiest complication of all: getting her to sign the Prenup.