What Level of Wedding Planning Service Is Best for You?

wedding truck

We’re in the early stages of planning our wedding, but Robert and I have already met many amazing wedding vendors, such as Becca and Jess of the Nashville-based Modern Vintage wedding planning, who are responsible for the styled shoot above. I’ve already written on whether a wedding planner is for you, so I asked them for tips on helping brides and grooms determine the best level of wedding planning service.

Different wedding planning services offer different packages, but you might find such options as: Day Of, Month Of, Partial, Full, Design or DIY Assistance. Since we all know budget is always going to be a factor, I asked Becca and Jess to skip the obvious parameters and get to the stuff we may not think about. Here’s what Becca sent us.

OK, DIY brides, I know you’re thinking, “I don’t need a wedding planner,” but hear me out. This wedding planning thing is hard. In the beginning, you are gung-ho and productive and checking things off your to-do list like Martha Stewart, but eventually you get into the “middle planning slump,” where you feel like elopement would have been a better option. Since every wedding — and every bride — is not the same, here’s a breakdown of the levels of wedding planning services. One will probably fit you.

The DIY Bride

You are Pinterest savvy and have scoured wedding blogs to know exactly what look you are going for. You want to have your handmade touch on all aspects of your wedding. The obvious answer would be that you need someone to come in and coordinate the day of the event because you certainly don’t want to be the one to distribute the 250 coasters you just made — in fact you may not want to see said coasters ever again — but what happens if you get slammed at work or just get tired of DIYing?

Many planners offer a la carte packages and help you finish all that tissue paper pom garland that you’re sure is not going to get done. They can also help you carry out your vision at your reception venue. Yes, you know what centerpieces you want, but do you know what proximity to the kitchen works best for caterers or how early to cut the cake, so your guests don’t leave you with three tiers of wedding cake? Planners can help with those decisions and with any that creep up on you during the last few weeks. Opting for a month-of package with a few extra design/DIY sessions for good measure might be your best option.

The Pinterest Overload Bride

You have lofty goals and love every last idea you see all over the internet, but you cannot seem to bring everything together to form a cohesive wedding vision. You have some yellow and gray table linens with black, white and Tiffany blue accents; you aren’t really sure what a ranunculus is; and maybe you want the guests drinking out of mason jars … or send them on a photo scavenger hunt.

All this being said, you do not want someone dictating every last detail. Many planners offer design packages along with the traditional coordinating and planning. They can help you pull together the concept and overall feel you are going for so you don’t have a rustic, blingy, traditional, modern wedding that feels like a mashup gone bad. A planner/designer can give you ideas and incorporate the things that you truly want beyond Pin-induced delusions of grandeur.

The Anti-Bride Bride

Yes, you want your day to be fun and special, but when it comes to all the little details, this planning thing is not for you. This could be because of: time, you’re unsure of what you want, you’re sick of seeing the same things at weddings, or maybe you’re just sick of hearing your mom talk about it all the time. (Sorry, Mom.) All this had led you to the “anti-bride” stage.

In this case, a partial planning package might be for you. It is sort of that middle of the road, best-of-both-worlds for the bride who has some ideas but needs help executing everything. A planner can come in and help you sort though all the details that you are avoiding and make your wedding feel more fun and more like you. They can take some of the stress off you when it comes to calling vendors or researching good stationery, but still leave to you the fun things like bachelorette parties! Many of these packages come with vendor meetings and some design help and definitely include making sure you are sipping mimosas with your girls on the morning of your wedding instead of setting out place cards.

The “Bridezilla” Bride

Hear me out, I know none of us think we are a bridezilla, and most of the time we are not. There are just those inevitable moments when you realize you are in Way. Over. Your. Head. Like when you have 300 response cards to look through and a playlist to put together and caterers to check with and a timeline to make and so on.

In these moments, a full-scale wedding planner comes in handy. First, a planner can get you on the right track from the beginning with to-do lists and plans of action for those little things that you may not anticipate. Like, cousin Sally wants to bring her five children even though you have specified an adult-only reception. They can also help you eloquently break the news to Sally without having to go on Family Feud. A full-scale package gives you help with all the foreseen aspects, like picking out caterers and bakers, to the unforeseen, like the cake is melting so you need to move the cake-cutting up 30 minutes.

The Not-So-Good-at-Budgeting Bride

What happens when you book the photographer you love and the florist you have to have and then realize you only have enough for $5 per person for catering? A full-service planning package can alleviate this in the first place. Planners have the inside scoop on pricing and can help you put together a budget that highlights the most important aspects to you and then fills in the rest. For instance, if you really want a huge six-tier wedding cake but flowers are not your thing, a planner can help you budget from the beginning and book with vendors accordingly. Planners can also help you make the big decision such as the number of people to invite based on the budget you have and the type of wedding you want. They can help you keep your plated dinner on a lower budget by suggesting you lower your guest count. (Yes, that means the first grade teacher is out.)

Many thanks to the Modern Vintage ladies for their insight!

What sort of bride are you? I think I’m both a Pinterest Overload and Anti-Bride Bride…. Find the right wedding planner for you here!

Photo by Chris and Adrienne Scott

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  1. You planned for the wedding in a nice manner, you skip off the things you think are out of your budget, or you find are not linked to your wedding style, and judiciously carry out the findings of an experienced and good wedding planner.

  2. Thanks, Wedding Services — I think skipping things that just don’t quite fit with what the vibe or our wedding is the one that I’m working on the most. There’s so many great ideas out there, but you can’t do ALL of them!

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