So, let's look at some statistics (I love numbers, I can't help it!) The average time someone spends planning their wedding (sometimes even with a planner) is 120 hours. That means if you spent a FULL two hours every day for 60 days, then you may be where you want to be with your wedding preparations. But, who has two full hours every day for 60 days?
When you originally thought of the duties of a wedding planner you were thinking: someone who goes to all the venues with you and gives you their two-cents. They help pick which flowers best compliment your color schemes and which dresses flatter your figure. You might even imagine them going to meetings for you, if you got too busy to make them yourself. Yes, we do all of those things, but those really aren't the reasons you NEED a wedding planner. The reasons that make us necessary, are the things you THINK you can take care of yourself.
Most people say their number one reason for not hiring a wedding planner is because they can't afford it. Well, take a look at all the money you plan to spend on florists and food. Think down to those extra gifts you may give out to your guests, and even wedding programs for your ceremony. A wedding planner will be able to help you find the best and most budget efficient ways to get these things. Wedding planners have an "in". They know vendors (because we have worked with them, or worked with other vendors who have) and know the best people to execute your wedding plans. Weddings planners know the cheapest ways to go about things, including the best times and dates. We can give you budget advice solely just because we've been working with all sorts of wedding budgets for quite some time now. The amount of money a wedding planner could potentially save you on your wedding will pay for, or mostly pay for, the wedding planner and possibly more. Meaning, you have a person to tell you the ins and outs for free! On top of the simple budget shaving advice the wedding planner can give you, they save you the TIME you would spend on planning...and, well, time is money.
Next, people will say, "that's why I have bridesmaids", or "my mom/sister/best friend said they would help me with everything"...or my favorite, "I have a venue coordinator already". Well I am about to tell you why all of these options are going to fail.
First, all of you bridesmaids, sisters, and your mom all have their own lives to attend to. Yes, they may be excited about HELPING with some of the planning, but they really don't want to review your contracts or visit 4 different photographers to help get the best prices. They have jobs and/or other things going on in their lives that are important too, and more times than not, they will put their lives before your wedding planning. Not to mention the day of, they are going to be too busy getting ready and dealing with family hustle to also worry about setting up your decor and making sure vendors are getting there on time/have the correct directions.
Second, there is a HUGE difference between a venue coordinator and a wedding planner. Most venue coordinators welcome their clients to hire wedding planners so the bride doesn't, unknowingly, try to put duties onto the venue coordinator the day of, and become thoroughly disappointed. Venue coordinators are there to maintain and manage venues, whatever that includes (food, rentals, staff, etc.). They are there to make sure their staff and the things they are in charge of run smoothly. They do not care if the florist is late and then the flower arrangements are wrong. They don't know how you previously decided (hopefully at the rehearsal) to get down the aisle with your wedding party coordinating with the music. Their job isn't to know these things or to keep everything going in a good timely fashion. So when your guests are wandering around aimlessly because they don't know where they were seated, you can't look at your venue coordinator, because they aren't hired to know these things.
Your wedding planner is built to deal with the "problems" that may arise. The wedding planners duties are (but not limited to) meeting with you, the client, as many times needed before your wedding to assure all the right information has been acquired to carry out just what you want on your special day. They build a timeline for your wedding day for all vendors to follow (making this only after contacting each vendor). This helps because they have the numbers and information for all the vendors to keep them "in check" if something isn't gong according to plan. They help with everything from design creation, budget management, assistance with choosing vendors, negotiating and finalizing contracts, to coordination of your rehearsal and everything the day-of your wedding. They are there to make sure you don't worry about when the cake will be arriving, or if the photo-booth doesn't have any props.
So, in all the getting ready and pre-ceremony pictures, when did you have time to set up the reception? Was your mom/sister setting it up instead of getting ready? Were they able to make sure everyone was following their timelines, when they themselves had their own timelines for that day? What if the cake knife was left behind or the DJ is lost and your mom/sister was too busy with pre-ceremony pictures to handle it? These are all reasons to hire your planner. They will know everything about your wedding. They will know all the details and who to get in touch with. If something goes wrong, they are trained to take care of emergency situations that, otherwise, will give your mother an anxiety attack. We won't even go into getting everyone down the aisle or how the bride knows it's time to toss her bouquet. Let your parents and friends enjoy the wedding and shake a leg on the dance floor, rather than watching the clock the entire evening. Maybe all of this isn't enough to convince you it's necessary, but I can't tell you "I told you so" on your wedding day when your groom is standing at the altar by himself because no one cued the wedding party to coincide with your ceremony music. Or better yet, when your mom forgets to check the bar tab and it exceeds the allotted budget. No one is going to like that unexpected bill at the end of the night.
Problems are going to arise, but it's all about how they are managed, which is essentially the number one reason to hire a wedding planner.