Before getting engaged and working with a wedding planner, it’s not really common knowledge to know what all a wedding planner does and how exactly to work with one, so I’m going to break it down here! First, we’ll talk about the overarching role of a wedding planner is, then I’ll give you some tips on how to utilize and effectively work with yours!
What is the role of a Full Service Wedding Planner?
The easiest way to think about the role of a wedding planner is to compare them to a general contractor. Let’s say you are remodeling your bathroom and you hire a general contractor.
What does this contractor do? Well, first they meet with you to talk about your budget and your vision for the project. Then they come out to see the space and advise you on materials, what will fit and what won’t, and take overall specs of the project. Once they get plans in place and the project outlined, they then pull together a vendor team. A plumber, electrician, designer, supplier, etc. Not only do they hire a vendor team, they hire their go-to vendors and act as the liaison between you and the vendors. They hire and work with people they trust and know will execute the project to match your vision.
This is EXACTLY what a full service wedding planner does.
We learn your budget and your vision for the day, advise you through decisions, hire your vendor team (with vendors we trust), and act the liaison between you and the vendor team. Basically, we oversee, advise, and execute the “project” from start to finish – just like a contractor!
Next we’ll dive into some tips on how to work with your planner in the most efficient and effective way possible!
Tips when working with a Full Service Wedding Planner
1: Be totally transparent about your budget.
We’re going to keep the contractor analogy going so let’s think about this way: Imagine you are working with a contractor to remodel your bathroom and when they ask you your budget and you say “oh we don’t really have one” or “we don’t really know.” Then your contractor starts putting together a plan for a project with no budget. Then you start getting quotes from their vendors for numbers you weren’t really expecting. Now the contractor has to rework the entire plan!
That just screams inefficiency and disappointment to me!
The same thing happens when we plan weddings and events with “no budget.” There is always *at least* a ballpark budget – please tell us what it is up front! That way, we can hire vendors that fit not only your vision, but your budget.
2: Tell us EVERYTHING you are envisioning and planning. No detail is too small
Let’ say part of your vision is to have customized cocktail napkins with a portrait of your dog on them. That’s wonderful and SO cute (and seems like a small detail) but if you don’t tell us that up front, or at least immediately after you get the idea, we won’t know to budget for them, we won’t know to create a bar sign/menu that compliments them, and it might come at a time when we’re having to rush to get the custom sketches done. So, no detail or idea is too small, share it with us as soon as the epiphany hits you!
3: Answer your emails and respect working hours!
At least for our team, we do 95% of our communication (in between meetings) via email. We do this so that we have a paper trail and all details in writing. As most wedding vendors, we are working on multiple events at a time, so we need to be able to look back on communication and make sure we’ve got our details correct. So, when your wedding planner emails you a task or question, make sure and answer it within a respectable timeframe and in the same email chain. That will help things get done quicker, more effectively, and correctly!
This may come to a surprise to everyone, but wedding planners have working hours, and lives outside of those working hours. LOL. BUT, we also understand that you are probably working a full time job and thinking about/working on your wedding when you get home from work or late at night. And that’s totally fine! Just make sure to shoot us an email instead of a text or call if it is outside of working hours. That way, you get your thoughts to us when you have them, and we can respond when we get to our desk the next morning!
4: Don’t have too many cooks in the kitchen
We know that weddings are sometimes a *group* effort, but when we have TOO many folks in our meetings, it makes it super hard to reach decisions and make sure we are advocating for what YOU want. Because at the end of the day, that’s our job, to make sure you (the bride or the groom) has the wedding of your dreams – not your mama/grandmama/aunt/dad/MOH, etc.. LOL. To make sure your people are still involved, we suggest to our clients to meet with their support team before and after our meetings to gather input, think it over, then relay decisions to us. That way they are all still a part of planning, but we don’t waste any time arguing with loved ones during the meetings.
Lastly, but maybe most importantly, if you have too many people working and communicating in the planning process, it can set us back tremendously. Here’s a real life example: Let’s say we had a meeting about rentals and you communicated all the changes you’d like to make to a rental order to your planner. Your planner says “ok, great! I’ll get these changes made with the rental company this week.” Then, the next day when your planner finishes her meetings and calls the rental company, they tell her that the brides mom called yesterday and actually submitted THESE changes. Now, your planner has to tell the company to hold off on all changes, call another meeting with you to figure out what changes YOU want to make, then play phone tag with the rental company for another two days to submit the real changes. What could have been quick and easy for you and your planner has now turned into extended communication and confusion for the rental company. And even if mom had communicated the changes perfectly, it would still be confusing for the rental company because they would be like “we already have these changes” when the planner calls and then wonder who they actually need to contact in the future for other details. Just inefficient for everyone!
This is example is the perfect reason why, when you are working with a full service wedding planner, you have one, straight line of communication: you to your wedding planner, your wedding planner to the vendors.
To connect to the contractor analogy – you wouldn’t let your mom call the electrician to submit light fixture changes or decisions when the contractor told you that she would, right?
5: Trust the process
At least for us, we have the process of planning a wedding down to a science. We have natural ebbs and flows in planning – sometimes we will be meeting every week, making big ticket decisions, and sometimes we’ll only need to touch base a few times in a month to check in on things. It’s all part of the process – trust it – we promise we’ll let you know if something needs to be done ASAP.
Just like with a contractor – communication and meetings will be heavy in the beginning, but then you have to let the team do their work, let the paint dry, and wait for the supplies to come in. Trust the process.
6: Trust your wedding planner!
Disclaimer: I’m speaking for our team and all of the other excellent planners out there – if you haven’t heard from your planner in weeks, they’re ghosting you, or they are obviously unorganized, I’m not speaking for them. If you have a reliable, organized, responsive, wedding planner, this one’s for you:
TRUST YOUR WEDDING PLANNER. This is what we do. This is what we love. And we would be TERRIBLE wedding planners if we didn’t want your wedding to be perfect. Literally, if your wedding plans go haywire and it’s not executed the way you want it, that makes us look bad! So know that we are on your team and we want the day to be FABULOUS. So trust us. Trust us when we say we’ve got it. Trust us when we say we’re going to do something. You hired us because you connected with us in some form or fashion. If you step back and trust your wedding planner, I promise you will feel less stress and they will work wedding MAGIC for you.
I hope this helps you have a clearer picture of what exactly a relationship with a wedding planner looks like.
To sum it up, just like if you’ve got a good contractor: if you’ve got a good wedding planner your vision will be executed by great, trustworthy vendors, you’ll feel less stressed, and you’ll devote way less of your own time to the process.
Interested in having the Jackson & June team coordinate, plan, or design your wedding? Find out more info here!