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Should You Plan Your Own Wedding? Advice for Wedding Professionals to share with their couples

With a world of Internet resources at your fingertips and scheduling apps freely available, it should be easy to organise your own wedding, shouldn’t it? We look at why wedding couples keep turning to professional planners to coordinate their special day.

Wedding insurance

Wedding professionals in hot climates are accustomed to coping with shade temperatures of over 40 degrees and manage to look cool even at their most stressed in the full heat of the day – how do they do it?!

From the point of view of the couple getting married, finding a good wedding insurance comparison site is great but it begins to open the couple’s eyes to the myriad of things that can go wrong with their wedding! From rescheduling your wedding date to wedding suppliers going out of business; from public liability to professional indemnity, your wedding planner should have it covered.

But the most important thing is that the majority of things that can potentially go wrong at a wedding, can often be resolved before they even become an issue when the couple uses the services of a good wedding planner.

What does a wedding planner do?

There are different ways and degrees of involvement to plan your own wedding:

· There is professional help out there for couples who want assistance with every single aspect of planning their wedding day from sourcing providers to micro managing every detail of the styling and delivering their vision of the perfect wedding experience all within a specific budget.

· There are some couples who want to research their suppliers themselves and then just need someone to coordinate everything for them from there until they have their first dance.

· There are couples who only need someone to supervise on The Big Day itself what they have already put in place.

….And of course, there are wedding planners who can step into any level of responsibility and offer packages at different prices points relevant to the amount of work involved.

Event coordinator or wedding planner

If you already know where you want to hold your wedding ceremony and celebrations afterwards, it is worth contacting the event coordinator of that specific venue.

Find out if the venue only works with preferred suppliers or are they open to you bringing in your own celebrant, florist, DJ etc

Remember: an event coordinator works for that specific venue.

An independent wedding planner may also have their own list of trusted providers that they have created teams with in the past – photographers, caterers etc

So again, find out if you are limited to their supplier list or if you can reach out to a niche photographer in another part of the country, or a cake maker who specialises in Disney themed designs for instance.

Remember: an independent wedding planner works for the couple and should suggest a number of different venues that fit their “must have” list.

Should you plan your own wedding?

So your best friend is a project manager, your mum is a brilliant flower arranger and your cousin has offered to officiate as celebrant. Using the skills of family and friends is a great way to plan your own wedding and save money on a tight budget, right?

Just weigh up the pros and cons.

· Your project manager friend does not have the same professional relationship with trusted suppliers as a full-time wedding planner who has already negotiated the best possible price for their services. Think of it like, tourist price versus local’s price.

· Your friend might be great at organising, but do they really want to be solving problems on your wedding day like a blocked toilet, no light bulbs in the car park and a DJ who seems to have lost their way to the venue?

· Your mum might well be a great choice for decorating your outside wedding bower with garlands of fragrant blooms until she realises that for it to be at its freshest, the bower should really be decorated in the hour leading up to the ceremony – just when she would be wanting to have precious mother-and-daughter time during the final makeup and hair preparations.

· And your cousin loves the spotlight and is a fabulous actor – but it’s not about them is it? And do you really want to trust the very heart of your special day to someone who has never officiated a wedding before? Will they cope with the emotion? Will they unobtrusively manage the theatrics of your ceremony, remembering to step back when you have your first kiss – or will they for ever be in the centre of that iconic photo?!

When your couples are ask if they should plan their own wedding and you're not sure what to say - share this advice!

Trust the professionals

I am a professional celebrant, but I would never dream of planning my own wedding – noooo siree! I know how much stress wedding planners shoulder.

I have seen first-hand how planners are constantly problem solving numerous minor mishaps, through adjusting timetables on the day of the wedding as events overrun…. to the whole last-minute “let’s move to the wet weather plan B” scenario.

Many wedding and event coordinators, planners and stylists will offer a free consultation, so why not decide on the budget that you can comfortably afford and find out for yourself exactly what they can do for you for the money? And for a destination wedding in a country where you don’t

speak the language, a wedding planner is the best tool in your wedding box – but that’s a whole other editorial!

Wedding photography by Anne and Celeste for a wedding styled by Llevenes Events with floral art from Ana Mena at La Cresta Villa

Author bio: Debbie Skyrme is an award winning celebrant in Spain, helping destination wedding couples’ dreams come true by officiating elopements, weddings and vow renewal ceremonies in the Spanish sunshine.

You can read more of Debbie’s articles on the blog including this one Behind The Scenes Tips for a Successful TV Wedding • The Wedding Industry Journal

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