Do I Need A Wedding Planner & What Does A Wedding Planner Do?

January 22, 2020

Why hire a wedding planner, do I need a wedding planner and what does a wedding planner do? These are some pretty big questions and they 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 stress easily 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?

exquisite ballroom perfectly planned by a professional wedding planner

Weddings are an incredible event, and they do have a price tag, so it is 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 iPhone? Or what happens if your TV stops working? You will likely just go out and replace them. You determine right away that they 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.

If you think you need a planner

A quick disclosure, I am not being paid by anyone to write this article. I want to make it clear that not every couple needs a wedding planner, but I am here for all bride and grooms, so if you think you need a planner, I want to help you and give you my thoughts on the topic. I’m here for the right reason as I sincerely CARE. If you have questions, I’d LOVE to answer any questions you might have.

What does a wedding planner do?

Okay: when I meet a new couple for the first time pretty much every time questions materialize like, “what does a wedding planner do?”, “should I hire a wedding planner?”, “what are your thoughts on wedding planners?”, or “are they needed?” I often say, “why are you considering a
wedding planner?” The answers are pretty vague, like, “I’m not sure, my friends had one.” Or, “I was told to look into it, do you think they are worth it?” I do suggest a number of things and one is that they meet with at least 3 wedding planners and find the one that suits their needs best. Yes, it might add to the cost of a wedding by hiring a professional but again, what value do you place on such experience?

Side note: I know when I got married in Jamaica if it were not for the wedding planner I’m sure our day wouldn’t have gone so incredibly well. In all honesty, when it’s you getting married, there is SO much to do, and it can be overwhelming. A wedding planner made my wife and me much happier. They kept our vision yet told us when we were missing a few key details. She recommended what flowers to use, what cake we may like, where on the resort to get married in and where we should have our reception. She was awesome. She ran into a colossal hiccup during our wedding day. 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 us to love our day without the stress.

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’re happening.


Now for the details:

When looking for help from a wedding planner, there are a few options available:

  • Full-Service Planners
  • Event Designer
  • Day of Coordinator
  • A la Carte Planner


Full-Service Planners:

Full-Service Planners are (generally speaking) the ones who do it all for you from designing your event (Event Designer) to the tiny details of your day. Finding the right one for you can take time, or you meet the first one, and you love them. Some are chilled; some or not so chilled, some limit there their bookings to a few weddings a year. Listen to your gut when you interview wedding planners. Don’t be dazzled by the sparkles but look at the work you’ll receive in the end if possible.


Event Designers:

Think of it this way, if you were having a new house built from scratch you’d need an architect to design the building. They won’t (generally speaking) build the building, you’ll 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. How they do this one I have no idea, but they do it incredibly well. But, and there’s 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’ll do their best with what they have


A La Carte Planner

To me, this is where you go to a planner and purchase a checklist of what to do on your list. They likely will have their vendors and suggestions on it also. You might visit the planner in person, Skype, or phone for a consultation and they give guidance or a plan for your day.

You may be thinking, Geoff come on, nobody believes a wedding day is that hard and involves that much, how hard can it be? It’s not about being hard; it’s more about stress level, direction, how involved you want to be, or how present you want to be. For example, as Calgary wedding photographer, I have photographed bride and grooms who should have had a planner, and all day long I see in their eyes are “oh my gosh, I forgot to do this, oh my word, did the flower girls get their dresses.” You get the point; they weren’t present, and the photos will reflect this.

Honesty, love, heartfelt awesomeness wasn’t there which saddens me as I give everything and more to my couples and when they’re not mentally not emotionally present.

I believe all great wedding planners

So what happens then if you go with a wedding planner who you love, but you want to hire a service yourself, i.e., photography. I believe all great wedding planners aim to make your day easy so they’ll have preferred vendors, but no planner should not let you select your favorite artist to capture your day. If you run into problems with this, maybe the planner isn’t a great fit for you.

Another side thought: Recently, I was photographing at the fabulous, Lake Louise and I saw a gorgeous winter wedding taking place in the Victoria Ballroom. I noticed the photographer was capturing the most amazing ceremony, but no flash was set up at all (and I’m talking about basic on-camera flash). So picture this, the bride and groom have paid tens of thousands of dollars on a room with the Victoria Glacier as the backdrop. It was mid-afternoon, and the sun was beaming through the windows. Do you think that the bride and groom received any photographs with the glacier in their photographs? Maybe the bride and groom were silhouettes, which BTW would have been artistically impressive – for a few shots for sure. You might say, Geoff so what, I LOVE the natural look and not having the glacier in my wedding photographs isn’t essential. I understand but wouldn’t it be nice to have the opportunity given to you rather than have a photographer who only knows one trick. Point being, I don’t know if this was a referred photographer or not but such details are important to me, and they should be to you.



What I want for you! I intend to give you some insight into your day and your investment. If you stress easily, look at a wedding planner of some nature. They may not cost as much as you think. If you love planning, awesome. Enjoy it. Please though, delegate your wedding day event to people so you can be present in your photographs or perhaps a Day of Coordinator. It kills me to see my peeps think too much and therefore not be present during one of the most special days of their lives. Yep, it’ll come through in the photographs.


What I need you to do is to please SHARE this article, write below in the comments or drop me a note. I sincerely want to hear from you as I care.