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5 Common Questions About Wedding Planners Answered By An Expert


Hello lovely,


Wedding planning - a confusing, frustrating and stressful process for many newly engaged couples.


But luckily for you - my zone of genius!


I bloody love weddings! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d get married every year if I could. My husband’s not so keen… He reckons once is enough! (he’s a numbers man!) 🤣🤣🤣




It’s probably the only time you’ve pulled together a party of this scale and importance, so it’s totally understandable if you’re floundering in the shallows, too nervous to dive right in and lap up the whole experience.


The key to getting started, like everything in life, is to ask questions. The more you ask, the better you’ll feel and you’re less likely to come across pesky planning problems that you can’t overcome.

At Etta Mae, we help you work out what the most important elements are to you, help you think through the pros and cons of various scenarios, offer suggestions for things you may not have thought of and support you the whole way, but ultimately the way you want your wedding day to come together is all down to you.


Here are 5 common questions about wedding planners and what we do.


I’ll bet you’ve been asking yourself the same things, so I thought I’d answer them for you!


NOT READY TO START PLANNING YET?

SAVE THIS POST SO YOU CAN COME TO IT LATER!


What exactly do you do as a wedding planner?


Duuuhhh! Obvious question alert!


Yes, it’s an obvious question, but one that often doesn’t get asked and should, because every wedding planner works differently, has their own way of doing things and may have different inclusions in their service packages. You need to find a wedding planner whose process and approach works for you.


All wedding planners will coordinate the logistics of the wedding day, liaise with vendors and suppliers, schedule the wedding day etc, but some planners also include design and styling services in their packages; some are more hands on with negotiating contracts and managing budgets and some are also florists or can make and supply decor and furniture items for you, but that is not always the case.


Make sure you are clear about what your wedding planner does and does not include in their packages.

What do they offer as extra services that could be tagged on to their packages?


Get clear about what you need from your wedding planner and find one that you gel with. When you’re all singing from the same song sheet, you can make beautiful music together.

Are wedding planners and wedding coordinators the same thing?


The difference between a wedding planner and wedding coordinator is subtle, but here are the essentials:


A wedding coordinator takes the reins a few weeks before the wedding day and is responsible for the wedding management in the lead up to and on the wedding day. That means you (the bridal couple) need to have EVERYTHING organised and in order up to that point, so the wedding coordinator can execute their role brilliantly and you get bang for your buck!


You may see this service is called ‘Day of Co-ordination’, ‘Wedding Day Coordination’, ‘Month of Coordination’, ‘Wedding Coordination’ or my personal preference ‘Wedding Management’ to name a few.


Be wary of anyone who just wants you to hand over the brief up to a week before without a proper handover or within an appropriate time frame. This indicates they won’t be on top of the details for the big day.

A wedding planner on the other hand, usually takes all or some of the responsibility for the wedding planning from the couple. They take care of all the nitty gritty - sourcing vendors, liaising with suppliers, sending emails, confirming details (multiple times), putting together and maintaining planning documents and much, much more…


You can be as involved or as hands off as you want to be. I have seen couples who are intimately involved and work collaboratively with their planner all the way through; couples who work with the planner to develop a clear vision and concept, then leave the planner to narrow down the options and they simply make all the final decisions; and couples who have very little input during the process, putting all their trust in the planner to make choices that reflect the vision and budget they have discussed.


Wedding planners are usually on hand to oversee the flawless execution of your vision on the wedding day itself and won’t knock off until the last chair has been stacked and light switched off.

Again, the services and inclusions wedding planners offer can vary widely, so it’s important you check your chosen planner’s website and service brochure before you book and if you’re still not clear - just ask! They should be happy to clarify their inclusions for you.


You can check out Etta Mae’s wedding planning packages here and you can also download a brochure of all our services here.

Photo by Katie Rosario

Do we really need a wedding planner?


CONTROVERSIAL OPINION ALERT!


Honestly, no, you don’t “REALLY NEED” one.


Hahah I can hear you know… “WHAT!!!!! But Emma, you’re a wedding planner, surely you think everyone should hire a wedding planner for their wedding day???”


Errrr, NO!


Of course I’d be delighted if you chose a wedding planner to help you with your wedding plans because I know how valuable a good planner is. And I’d be overjoyed if you chose to work with us at Etta Mae, but I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it’s essential.


But it is a game changer!


It’ll free up your head space and calendar.

It’ll reduce your stress and let you focus on the people, priorities and activities that you value most.

It’ll give you peace of mind that a professional is ensuring your vision, hopes and dreams for your wedding day are in safe hands…… but it’s not essential.


There are plenty of brides and grooms who planned wonderful weddings all by themselves, but here’s the thing… not all brides and grooms are made equally. You don’t all have the same skill set, demands on your time, expectations or priorities for your wedding day.


If you’re not already reasonably familiar with weddings (and no, propping up the bar as a guest at several of your friends' weddings DOES NOT count!!! LOL!), then YES, a wedding planner is a great idea.



And even if you are all over what’s happening in the world of weddings and you know the amount of work involved, you probably don’t want to stress yourself out with all of the details for 12-24 months when you could be putting that time and energy elsewhere.


The right wedding planner will take you through the entire process, put your top priorities and wedding vision front and centre of everything they do, will keep you in the loop with all the decisions and will make sure the day runs seamlessly and stress free. The peace of mind that comes from hiring a professional is priceless.


Many couples value the fact that they can enjoy being engaged and have fun making memories with their loved ones without having to burden or rely on their family and friends to do “all of the things”. Trust me, it’s such a liberating feeling!


So, if you value your time, health and peace of mind a wedding planner is the perfect person to head up your wedding team and flawlessly effortlessly execute your plans.

Ultimately, it’s up to you what role you would like your wedding planner or wedding coordinator to have in your wedding day, so it’s important to be honest with yourself and each other about what you can manage by yourselves and the level of involvement you need or want from your planner.


Even if you’ve started planning your wedding and have already secured some or all of your vendors, it’s all good! On the Day Wedding Management could be the solution you've been searching for. Check out Etta Mae’s Wedding Management Package here.

Why should we hire a wedding planner?


Where do I begin!


Planning a wedding is hard work! There are so many moving parts and things change constantly.


You have to juggle competing priorities for the wedding - yours, your partner’s, your family’s - not to mention priorities in your work and your personal life. The opinions and requests from friends and family can be especially draining to manage. So it’s helpful to have someone to turn to, who can bring an alternative viewpoint.


This is your wedding, so you’re emotionally invested, which is totally understandable (I’d be worried if you weren’t 😉). But sometimes that can mean you'll lose perspective of the bigger picture and the ultimate aim - marriage to your love. Hiring a wedding planner you trust, will provide you with an objective perspective and help lower your blood pressure!


A wedding planner knows how to bring your ideas to life.

They can deliver what you need with efficiency, save you time, money and peace of mind, ultimately freeing you up to enjoy the important things in your life - time with loved ones, health and hobbies.


And here’s the wonderful thing, you can outsource as much or as little of your wedding planning as you like - there’s a wedding planner and service offering for everyone, no matter your wedding style or wedding budget.


For couples new to planning a shindig of his scale, or if you couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery, then the wedding planning process can be extremely challenging, confusing, overwhelming and stressful.


I don’t want this for you!

My venue already has an event coordinator, why do I need a wedding planner?


Many venues have wonderful coordinators, who really want you to have the day of your dreams, but what you need to remember is that they are employed by the venue and represent the venue’s best interests.


A venue’s event coordinator is minimally involved in the planning, organisation and set up of your wedding. Their focus is often the catering component; access to the property for deliveries, and overall running of the property.


They won’t take care of the concerns of vendors who do not need access to the venue prior to the start of the ceremony or reception - for example, hair and make-up artists, photographers, videographers, wedding cars or those involved at the ceremony if it is in a different location from the reception.


Depending on the venue, your wedding is usually not the only wedding on that weekend or even that day for venues with multiple spaces. Whether you like it or not - you are not their number one priority.


A wedding planner is your person, your advocate, your secret weapon.

They represent YOUR best interests and they are your go to person when things need to be taken care of - whether that’s making sure no one calls you on the morning of the wedding, having a secret stash of lollies for a sugar hit, or giving a vendor a tongue lashing for turning up later than promised.

How much should we budget for a wedding planner?


This is a difficult question to answer because there are wedding planners out there for every budget bracket.


Also, as we mentioned above, the services that wedding planners offer vary widely and their pricing packages will reflect the inclusions they provide, so it’s important to compare apples with apples.


Some wedding planners may charge a percentage of the total wedding budget, some may charge by the hour, some have a package price and many also offer a bespoke service which will be priced based on your specific requests and needs for the day.


Prices may also vary according to location and will reflect the cost of doing business in that place. For example, a wedding planner in Hobart may charge less than a wedding planner in Sydney.


In Australia full service wedding packages can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

The best way to find out is to ask a few of the wedding planners you would really like to work with. If the information is not freely available on their website, have the discussion and get the information you need to make an informed choice.


You won’t be able to stay on top of your wedding costs and make crucial decisions about where to allocate your budget if you don't have the figures from the start.


At Etta Mae we are up front and transparent with our planning costs. Our Packages and Pricing Guide can be found here.


Anyone who’s hired a wedding planner will tell you they are worth their weight in gold! Especially, if you’re time poor, not hot on organising, keeping records or managing “all of the things” that come together to create one spectacular event.


They make sure your money is spent wisely and keep you accountable and to budget, often taking the emotion out of the decision to give you an objective perspective.


Just knowing that you won’t need to stress about every. single. little. detail of your wedding day and you can spend that energy doing something you love and spending quality time with the important people in your life is worth the financial investment.


Key Things to Remember


The earlier you hire a planner the better we can produce your wedding.


Do some research and find the planner who is the best fit for you and your budget. Know what you want to achieve by hiring a wedding planner and remember personality matters here!


You and your planner are going to get to know each other pretty well over the next 18-24 months, so make sure you’re going to enjoy chatting and spending time together.

There are many things a planner can’t or won’t do for you (for example, creating the guest list), so you and your partner need to dedicate some time for planning as well.


I recommend 1-2 hours per week to keep on top of everything, including responding to emails, paying invoices, updating your wedding budget and making decisions. Give yourself the time and headspace to think things through, so you can communicate with clarity. Rushed, and poorly considered decisions will result in mistakes, extra work for your vendors and possibly increased costs in the long run.


Trust me, it’s the key to a slick, smooth, seamless wedding and happy vendors, who will be willing to go all out to give you the wedding of your dreams and memories that will last a lifetime - and that’s the end game, right?


Good luck lovebird,


With love and laughter,


Emma



Planning a wedding and need a little something extra to alleviate the stress?


You’ll love these resources!


For those of you that are excited to plan your wedding on your own, I’ve got you covered with my Etta Mae’s Wedding Planning Countdown Checklist. You can get it by clicking here.


Make sure you’ve got your budget under control and on track with our Etta Mae’s Wedding Budget Template.


Need a little inspiration? Our instagram, facebook and pinterest pages will give you plenty of ideas to point your planning in the right direction.


If there’s something that you’re looking for that’s not on the resources page, please let me know. I want to create resources that you want and will help make your wedding planning a breeze!


What’s Your Wedding Style?


A FREE FUN GUIDE TO HELP YOU DEFINE YOUR STYLE


With so much to think about now that you are engaged, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the choices out there.


If you are struggling to find your style, why not take this fun quiz to find out which style of wedding best suits your personality?




Not ready to start planning yet?


Don’t forget to save this post.

You’re going to want to come back to this later!



Recently Engaged or Planning a Wedding?

Let's Chat!

There is much to think about, and you’ll be forgiven for finding it all too much.


If this is you and you want even more help with your wedding planning, I’m only a phone call away!


You can schedule a FREE 30 minute creative consultation with me to get the ball rolling. It’s completely obligation free!


I’d love to hear all about your wedding plans and how I can help you bring that vision to life.


Book your FREE No-obligation 30 minute consultation now!



For more specific issues, you can schedule an extended creative consultation where we can talk through a specific issue or challenge you are experiencing or a question you have.


This one-off wedding vision and planning session is designed to give you some clarity and direction so you can be a Party Boss and get your wedding plans up and running in no time.





Know you need a wedding planner

and want to get started with Etta Mae today?


That’s fabulous, lovely!!


I can’t wait to hear from you.


We will ensure that there is enough time for everything you have planned, be on hand on the day to keep the schedule on track and smooth over any bumps in the road on the way.


We will bring together all the elements you desire and ensure that all the vendors are working to the same timeline. This will free you and your fiance up to focus on enjoying all the little moments as the day you have been dreaming of unfolds before you.


If you don’t need the full wedding planning service, why not consider our day-of wedding management package? We will handle the transitions during the day and remove the stress and worry from your shoulders so you can relax.


We pay attention to the details so you don’t have to!


Find all the details of our wedding services here.




Keep an eye out for upcoming posts to help you plan the wedding of your dreams, a birthday to remember or any other reason you have to celebrate……


Until then...Enjoy!




*All opinions presented are my own. Any links provided to other companies or vendors are not affiliate links and I do not get any payment for using them.








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