You’ve found the guy, gotten the ring and chosen a date. Now, it’s time to begin planning the most important day of your life thus far: your beautiful Tennessee wedding! While this experience is extremely exciting and emotional, it can also be intensely overwhelming. Brides are instantly faced with decisions on dresses, locations, colors and vendors, and, of course, they have to set that pesky budget. Whether a bride has little time to plan herself, feels completely lost when it comes to wedding ideas and vendors or she needs help making her dream wedding happen on her realistic budget, hiring a professional planner is a fabulous help for any bride!
However, the common misconception that planners are simply and unnecessary expense, especially for the bride on a budget, leads many brides to reluctantly take on all the stress themselves in order to save a little in their budget. However, while, yes, a planner is another expense to work into your budget, they are extremely important when it comes making the entire planning process enjoyable and stress-free, even saving you money in the long run! Because many brides are so hesitant to hire a planner because of the extra expense, I spoke with Murfreesboro, Tennessee-based wedding planners Nikki Bullock and Tracie Mallari with Hype Events to find out why using a professional planner for your Tennessee wedding will make the planning process fun and easy, while actually saving you money in the long run. Read on for Nikki and Tracie’s fabulous tips!
The first and most important factor when you begin planning is establishing your budget. As I mentioned, this is precisely why many brides decide to completely forgo a professional planner and choose to only hire a day-of coordinator instead. While the bride usually makes this decision with the premise of saving money, as Nikki and Tracie explain, a professional planner can actually help you save money by using their personal resources, vendor relationships and creative planning ideas.
“Trying to plan a wedding on a budget can seem daunting to a bride. Although to many it seems like a wedding planner is not the best way to spend money, we can actually help you save money in the long run. We will help you set a budget and do whatever we can to help you stick to it, stretching your dollars as far as they will go.”
If budget is the first consideration when deciding to hire a professional planner, stress is a close, close second! The months leading up to your wedding should be filled with excitement, anticipation, flowers, dresses and all of that fun stuff, not stress, anxiety and frustration. Because every bride should enjoy the entire planning process, Nikki and Tracie suggest hiring a professional planner to take on all of that unwanted stress so the bride can focus on the joy of the experience.
“A planner takes on the stress so you don’t have to. We will be the point person with all your vendors so you only have to deal with one contact. We will coordinate all of the meetings and be there to remember the details and ask the right questions. We will
help you keep a timeline, stick to your budget and do the dirty work. Most importantly, we will be there on the big day to make sure everything runs smoothly so you can be with you family and friends worry free.”
When it comes to breaking down your budget and allocating the right amount to each planning element, many brides feel completely lost and worry they will have to forfeit many of the things they want to make their dream ideas come to life. If you hire a professional planner, you may not have to forfeit anything! (within reason, that is!) A planner knows how to prioritize your budget to give you the elements that mean the most to you, while still incorporating the detail elements you desire, explains Nikki and Tracie.
“It is a good idea to know what is important to you and where to put your money. If food is your thing, then you might want to throw extra money into the catering budget. If you are a music lover, you might want to put a greater amount of money
there. That’s why it is important to discuss what you and your fiance care about the most and in what order. We will offer guidance about what is within your price range and what will throw everything else out of whack. It is easy to get excited about all of the possibilities and make an uninformed choice, but we will serve as a great resource in helping you make your decisions.”
While many brides resort to frantically Googling different vendors, a planner has already established relationships with reputable vendors in your area. Forget searching for online vendor reviews and testimonies, you can trust your planner to know from direct experience and long-standing relationships which vendors are right for you. As Nikki and Tracie suggest, this can be crucial for brides for more than one reason.
“We are in the position to work on multiple events and have established relationships with vendors of all sorts – photographers, florists, caterers, etc. Not only are we able to spend time researching and meeting with vendors to know the best that’s out there for every budget, but we also refer couples to vendors constantly. As a result of all of these referrals, a vendor is more likely to negotiate with a planner since they can give them repeat business.”
Because their own wedding is often their first behind-the-scenes look at the planning process, brides often times need to spend some time educating themselves on what they need and how much they should pay for it. Also, there are many wonderful ideas and options that a bride may never be aware of until it is too late. This is where, as Nikki and Tracie explain, the experience of a professional planner is a fantastic aid to the bride.
“Most people are planning their wedding with no knowledge of how to throw a large-scale event. Of course, there are books and plenty of tips from well-meaning friends and family, but a planner has seen many events. We are in the unique position to know what things should cost in every range. We can tell you if you can find a quote closer to your budget or if that “expensive” vendor really isn’t so expensive after all. We know what questions to ask your vendors and how to schedule the day so that you can
get your photos taken, your guests fed, your speeches completed and everyone out on the dance floor.”
6. Planners are Required
While many traditional venues provide event sales managers or wedding coordinators to manage the venue staff on your big day, this does not mean they are at the bride’s disposal to help with their specific needs throughout the ceremony and reception. And on top of that, with the growing popularity of more alternative wedding venues, many spaces do not even have this position to help organize staffs, let alone someone to help manage your vendors and coordinate all of the evenings highlights. This is why Nikki and Tracie say many venues really almost require a professional planner to help pull off the wedding without a single hitch.
“More and more venues are requiring planners. Hotels used to have banquet managers to assist couples throughout the whole day, but this is an easy cost-cutting measure for venues. They get to cut their staff and have them go home, and your planner will be the one to stay until the end of your wedding, making sure everything gets wrapped up – rentals collected, gifts delivered to your room, wait for vendors to come and pick up their items. Site coordinators offered up by the venues often represent the venue, not the couple. They will help you, but they will not advocate for you as the planner would. In addition to traditional venues, many couples are now seeking out unusual spaces for their weddings–barns, art galleries, lofts–and all of these spaces need planners as well since they double as a wedding site but often have no one to help manage the space.”
Hype Events would love to help you plan your dream wedding! For more information, visit their website or connect with them on Facebook and Twitter. To schedule a consultation, call Nikki or Tracie at 615.631.0707. Tell them The Pink Bride sent you!
All images courtesy of Hype Events.