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Can You Handle Your Wedding Schedule Yourself, or Do You Need a Wedding Planner?

There is no hard-and-fast rule that says “under these circumstances, you need to hire a wedding planner.” It’s a very individual decision that depends on your lifestyle and your budget.

The average wedding takes approximately 250 total hours of planning. After you’ve decided what kind of wedding you want and budgeted for your wedding expenses, you have to find, hire and follow up with a legion of vendors, as well as the bridal party. This can be very overwhelming, especially if you already have a full schedule with your work and other obligations. Your engagement doesn’t signal a cessation of whatever life activities and obligations you had before, and the world isn’t going to stop for your wedding.

Take a realistic look at your life and commitments outside the wedding, determine if you have friends and family who are capable of assisting, and decide if it’s possible for you to spend the time that will be necessary to plan the wedding. Be brutally honest with yourself. If you just don’t see your schedule allowing the time it will take to plan your wedding, a wedding planner might be a good choice. A wedding planner doesn’t mean you won’t have to spend any time on your wedding; it just means you won’t have to spend as much time yourself.

The other consideration is the level of stress you might experience. Having a wedding planner won’t eliminate the stress of pulling off one of the most memorable days of your life, but it will go a long way to reducing it. Most people plan one wedding in their life (okay, maybe two). A professional does an average of 30 weddings a year, and over a career may have planned hundreds of weddings. It is a wedding planner’s job is to know what needs to be done, the best people to get it done, and to make sure every little detail is carried out as it should be for your important day. You, on the other hand, can relax somewhat, confident that someone who has more experience than you will ever have is taking care of you.

You might also want to consider a day-of-wedding planner. Rather than assisting with planning and coordinating the entire event, this type of planner makes sure the actual wedding day goes smoothly and costs less than a full-service wedding planner.

There are a few other advantages to hiring a wedding planner:

An experienced wedding planner will have relationships with vendors who provide services to brides. Sometimes, they are able to get a discount for their brides.
A wedding planner may also be able to get your wedding date scheduled for an otherwise “impossible” venue; again, because of relationships with key people.

The decision regarding who will plan the wedding, or help plan it, is one that needs to be made with clear understanding of what is involved in a wedding and what you can expect from a professional. I suggest you talk with friends or relatives who have experience with both, evaluate your own situation, and then make your decision.

Are you newly engaged and confused about the whole wedding process? A wedding planning book can be a big help. From discount wedding gowns to making sure your wedding is memorable for the right reasons, getting the right information is an important step to a stress-free wedding.

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