Here is another edition in our Ask an Expert Series. Sarah Hawley is a longtime personal friend of mine. We have recently reconnected at Bridal Shows and I asked her to explain some of the services that are offered by a Professional Wedding Planner. She is based in the London Area and her portfolio is steadily growing. The photos featured in this blog were taken by Ben Benvie Photography and are from one of her weddings.
What are Consultation Services? ~Consultation Services should consist of a complimentary phone “interview” to assist the coordinator plan for your initial appointment. Since consultation services are charged on an hourly basis a pre appointment interview can help direct what your needs are more specifically and is a more efficient use of everyone’s time.
With one session, or multiple sessions throughout your planning, consultations can cover any wedding related topic you may wish to discuss from budgeting to guest list management or seating plan assistance.
~Consultation services can benefit couples who want to plan their own big day but are unsure of where to begin, or get overwhelmed at some point throughout the planning and need a little outside assistance.
Weddings come with a lot of opinions and emotions. Diplomacy isn’t always easily achieved. Seeking outside, professional advice can help navigate these situations and help to find solutions and compromises that sometimes are overlooked in an emotional situation.
“Day of” Services:
What are Day of Coordination Services?~Day of, or Month of, Coordination Services include a meeting with the coordinator in the weeks leading up to the Wedding. The intention of this appointment is to give the coordinator a picture of your plans, vision, details of the day so that on the day of your wedding the planner is ready to be your eyes and ears when it comes to the details so that you can enjoy your day. The coordinator is then available at the ceremony rehearsal, for set up on the wedding day, ceremony and reception.
~EVERYONE. A day of coordinator should be considered an essential service. It is an “insurance” policy of sorts. Armed with necessary paperwork, contact information, décor details, and an emergency kit, your coordinator is ready to advocate for you should anything go amiss.
Having family on hand to help out is great, but it is unfair to rely on them when they are in attendance to celebrate with you, not to work for you. They aren’t generally trained to notice little things amiss, or how to amend an issue quickly and quietly without troubling the bride and groom.
My personal wedding regret is not having someone in this role for me – and partially why I became an Event Planner. Nothing went tragically wrong by any means, but there were questions that I would have much rather had someone else on deck to handle so that I could just relax and enjoy the day – and my new husband!
Full Coordination Services
What is Full Coordination Service?
~This is sort of a combination of Consultation Services and Day of Planning and can involve arranging and attending vendor appointments as well. Your coordinator is on deck to help you every step of the way.
~People are busy, engaged people are spectacularly busy. Engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties…work, and family. Having full wedding coordination minimizes the amount of legwork and research that a couple has to do. While some find this part of the fun – others may not enjoy it as much. It means help with the things you need, when you need them and advice throughout the entire process. It also means that your coordinator on the day of has had a hand in your day from the beginning.
The important thing to consider is your needs. How much assistance do you want? How much help do you need? Any package should be customizable to suit your needs, so talk to planners, ask questions, and find a good fit for you and for your day.
For more information on packages and what can be included take a look at my website www.sarahhawley.ca.