What does a Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, or Canmore wedding planner do, and do I need a wedding planner? A wedding planner, coordinator, or designer can help couples plan, organize, and recommend vendors for you and create a successful wedding day timeline for you, allowing you to enjoy your day stress-free.
Out of the gates, after getting engaged, a bride either wants a wedding planner or does not. However, now and again, a bride becomes overwhelmed with designing her dream wedding day that she realizes that it’s much work, so a wedding planner is then hired.
A dream wedding for some is very different from that of others. Having a full-time job and then designing a wedding takes a lot of time, and often, it can take the enjoyment out of planning a wedding. When you reach this stage, and I sincerely hope you do not, you should consider consulting a wedding planner.
With so many costs involved, a bride turns to a spreadsheet and configures a budget. Hair and makeup professionals are a must; a wedding photographer is also a must. Okay, flowers are super crucial, along with a fantastic ceremony.
There are so many options!
Should I have an engagement shoot, is it needed, and do I need an engagement session? I have no idea what the average cost of a wedding photographer is.
There are so many questions.. Right!
In this article, I not only aim to share with you the best wedding planners in Alberta, but it’s my goal to help you understand what a wedding planner does and the types of services they offer. This way, you will go into a consultation with a wedding planner with knowledge of what offerings are out there and the type of questions to ask.
Let’s dig into all the terms and thoughts behind hiring a wedding planner and the best wedding planners in Alberta.
Calgary Wedding Planners
Many wedding planners are based in Calgary and are highly familiar with Calgary’s best wedding venues and vendors. A fantastic planner will be able to match you with the perfect venue according to your vision or help you plan everything you desire for your big day at the venue you’ve already chosen!
Lake Louise Wedding Planners
The best Lake Louise wedding planners are based outside of Lake Louise and will travel to the area. Most but not all charge accommodation and travel fees for their team as they work long hours to set up to create your dream become a reality. The famous Chateau at Lake Louise is well known; however, there are other venue options at Lake Louise.
Banff Wedding Planners
You will find by searching on google that Banff has quite a large selection of wedding planners. With no travel or accommodation fees, often, bride and grooms select Banff wedding planners based on this. Banff attracts couples from all domestic and international locations so if you’re serious about Banff for your destination wedding, make sure to book early. Without question, the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is the hotel of choice for most in Banff for very good reason.
Canmore Wedding Planner
The best Canmore wedding planners are familiar with the top mountain wedding venues, so if you’re unsure of where to host your wedding, Canmore, without question, Canmore is a hidden gem to many brides and grooms. Many (if not all) wedding planners travel to Canmore from Calgary or Banff, and some charge additional travel and accommodation fees.
Best Wedding Planners in Calgary, Lake Louise, Banff, Canmore, Alberta
I am proud to have worked since 2007 with most and if not all, of the best wedding planners in Alberta. To be on my preferred list, they offer a high level of professionalism, customer care, style, options and approach their craft from passion and heart.
Please remember, you must get along with your wedding planner as you will be speaking with them often. I have included a number of questions within this article to assist you. Follow your gut and meet them, preferably in person.
What type of Planner and service do you require for your wedding day
These questions might be swirling around your head regarding your wedding. The first question, though, might be; can I plan my wedding myself or should I hire a wedding planner. My first question to you is, why are you thinking about hiring a planner in the first place? Do you get stressed when planning events? Do you want to remember your day as a day of love and fun rather than a day full of organization, possible concerns or worries?
A bride’s wedding day is one of the best days ever, but yet such an incredible day does have a price tag. It is, therefore, essential to figure out how important it is to you. Ask yourself, what do you value, and what is paramount to you? Let me explain. What happens if you lose something that you love dearly like your phone? Or what happens if your TV stops working? You will likely just go out and replace them. You determine right away at that very point in life that they are essential and are of value to you. A wedding is no different. Such investment into one of the most important days of your life cannot be underestimated. So if you decide you need help to make your day perfect, then you should explore this avenue.
I think I need a planner
I want to make it clear that not every couple needs a wedding planner. Organizing a wedding day is fun; it is truly incredible. If you love meeting people and this is a dream of yours, then you should take full control and do it. Just remember, when moments become stressful, take a few days off from it and return with a fresh mind. If it gets too much for you, reach out to a planner for assistance.
What does a wedding planner do?
A wedding planner is experienced at listening and executing your vision for your wedding day. They have a list of vendors that they prefer to work with, and they take out the guesswork making your wedding flow with ease. There are different types of planning services including, Full-Service Planners, Event Designer, Day of Coordinator, and A la Carte Planner.
I am fortunate that I get to meet many couples, and quite often these questions are asked:
What are your thoughts on wedding planners?
Are they needed?
My friends had one!
I was told to look into it!
Do you think they are worth it?
There is often a big grey area and confusion about planners as many brides initially think they are for the rich and super-wealthy. I started my photography career in 2007, and I will say that not one bride and groom has ever regretted hiring a wedding planner. I have a list of preferred vendors that I recommend, as I only want the best for my clients. I have often found if a bride and groom are busy people and they want a smooth and fun wedding day, and they are best to go with a wedding planner. And by the way, they are not for the super-wealthy, some are for sure, but most have built their businesses around small to medium-sized weddings.
When I got married in Jamaica, if it were not for the wedding planner, I know for sure our day would not have gone so well. When you are the one getting married, there is SO much to do, and it can be overwhelming. A wedding planner made Tammy, and I so happy. They kept our vision yet told us when we were missing a few key details. She recommended a florist, cake artist, where on the resort to get married in and where we could have our reception. She was excellent and worked out the details behind the scene during our wedding day. We hired a boat but the catamaran company she recommended, double-booked that day. We were without a boat for our reception, which was the focus of our day. She had a vendor that messed up, and she knew she had to fix it, and she did. Instead, she hired a private yacht, and she saved the day. It was spectacular. All of this was taking place behind the scene without any knowledge to us, allowing Tammy and I to love our day without the stress, you can read more about us here.
A great planner will put out all fires
Wedding planners (the right ones) come with HUGE amounts of experience, and they offer a stress-free environment for the engaged couple. Knowing how to run a wedding day successfully comes with tons of knowledge and experience. Planners can be truly incredible, and they work so hard, giving the bride and groom so much. A great planner will put out all fires without you even knowing that they are happening. Furthermore, a good planner will assist with the bride getting ready details and guide the groom in getting ready.
Here are the Different Types of Wedding Planners You Need to Know About
Full-Service Planners are businesses that do everything for you from designing your event (Event Designer) to the tiny details of your day. Make sure to interview three different full-service planners as they all have different characters, as you will be speaking with them a lot. You need to make sure you love them. Listen to your gut when you interview wedding planners. Do not be dazzled by the sparkles, but look at the work and their complete offerings. Make sure to ask about vendors and if you can select your own photographer. They might know about the photographer costs but you might have someone special in mind to photograph your day.
Think of it this way; if you were having a new house built from scratch, you would need an architect to design the building. They will not build the building; you will then have to source out a builder. This is the same concept for your wedding day. You have hired someone to create a vision and thus designed your event. Now, these people often have connections in the industry, from hardware, florists, to stationers, and are one advantage of working with an event designer.
Day of Coordinator:
These companies aim to make sure that your day runs well and smoothly. They put into action all of your planned and booked services. But, and there is always a but, if you mess up in your planning, the wedding planner is not a magician, and they cannot make right a wrong choice/decision made by the bride and groom. They will do their best with what they have, so make sure to plan well ahead of time.
A La Carte Planner
This is when you contact a wedding planner and purchase a checklist of what to do. They likely will have their vendors and suggestions on it also, which is fantastic. You might visit the planner in person, Skype, or phone for a consultation, and they give guidance or a plan for your day.
If you stress easily or can afford it, hire a wedding planner or Day of Coordinator. They may not cost as much as you think. If you love planning, excellent, enjoy it. Please, though, delegate your wedding day to people so you can be present in your wedding photographs.
Closing word, I have photographed a bride and groom who should have had a planner as they were not present, they were exhausted. Their day was a planned success but they were too tired to enjoy it. Make sure whatever you do, be present on your day. If a big wedding is too much for you, why not think about an Elopement?
What to do now? I would be grateful if you shared this article or even better got in touch with me to say hi and let’s chat about your wedding day. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
A wedding planner will organize everything with you or without you depending on the level of service you booked. A wedding coordinator put into action all of your planned and booked services that you personally organized for your day. Sometimes a wedding coordinator is known as a Month-Of-Planner or Day-Of-Planner.
How far in advance should you hire a wedding planner?
You should hire a wedding planner 1 to 2 years before your wedding date. Venues in the Canadian Rockies open up their venue dates typically 1 year out and wedding planners have the skills to reserve a venue when they open.
If you are planning to host your wedding day on a Saturday on a prime date in the summer months the minimum that you should be looking at is 1 year from hiring a wedding planner. I suggest 1.5 years from your wedding date allowing you and your wedding planner to build a plan, location, list of vendors that you love and thoroughly enjoy the wedding planning process.
Do you really need a Calgary wedding planner?
Are you someone who has no time or gets stressed easily? Then yes. If you love to organize and meet many vendors, then you do not need a wedding planner. Quite often, brides think of planners as being expensive while some are, most are very reasonable.
Can a Calgary wedding planner save you money?
Absolutely yes and no. Let me explain. A wedding planner will happily spend your money and more if you let them; however, you work with a budget they can from their experience, know-how to invest it into your day. In this case, they will save you money as you won’t waste cash trying to figure things out and going the wrong vendors.
Questions to ask a wedding planner
Will you be planning our wedding day?
What is your fee and can you provide details of how things are charged?
How does your pricing structure work above and beyond your booking fee?
Can we book our own photographer?
Who are your preferred vendors?
How many weddings have you planned?
Can you help us stay on budget?
Will you work with our vision for our day?
Are you a member of wedding associations?
Have you won any awards and in what price category?
Is wedding planning your full-time job?
If wedding planning is not your full-time profession what is your other employment?
How many years have you been planning weddings?
What is your payment policy?
Can you provide a full wedding day portfolio?
What Do You Charge For Travel & Accommodation?
How Will You Work Within Our Budget?
What Kind of Planning Do You Offer?
If Our Wedding Is Outdoors, Will There be a Contingency Plan in Case It Rains?
How Will You Communicate With Me?
How Many Wedding Clients Do You Take at a Time?
Do You Have Experience With My Venue?
What Is Your Approach to Problem-Solving?
Do You Have Any Wedding Planning Certifications?
Why Did You Become a Wedding Planner?
Is it worth hiring a wedding planner?
If you are very busy, unsure where to start from, get stressed, anxious, then yes, hire a wedding planner. They’re not as much as you think and well worth the investment.
How much do wedding planners charge?
The answer is that it depends on their skill level. Entry-level Alberta wedding planners will charge next to nothing, whereas a skilled, seasoned wedding planner will charge $7000 upwards. A lot goes into planning a wedding day and if you want a stress-free day, hire a seasoned professional and spend the additional funds. You won’t regret it.
What venues are available at Lake Louise for a wedding?
The most popular venue at Lake Louise is the famous Chateau Lake Louise which is located on the shoreline of Lake Louise and the Post Hotel in the Village of Lake Louise along with other top mountain wedding venues.
Do I need a wedding planner to plan a wedding?
No, you do require a wedding planner to plan your wedding day; however, it is a lot of work.
The question is, are you prepared for the task? If you have the time and love to meet with many wedding vendors and love organizing then you will love to plan your own wedding day. A professional wedding planner knows vendors, will organize your timeline, will listen to you, and create your dream wedding day. It is no small task to do it yourself but by no means do you need a wedding planner.
As a professional Lake Louise wedding photographer, I have got to see many weddings and find that couples who opt to hire a wedding planner relax and get to enjoy their wedding to its fullest. If you want a stress-free day, consider hiring a wedding planner.
Can I elope or marry in Banff?
Yes, you can elope and get married in Banff by filing for the correct paperwork and receiving a license.