Hiring a Wedding Planner | Washington DC Wedding Photography + Wedding Tips

Jenny Preston is a wedding planner and designer with Port + Palm Co. I have had the pleasure of working with her on several weddings and editorial shoots. She is simply the best! Here, she shares with us why a wedding planner is key to a smoothly run, beautiful wedding!

 

SO YOU DON’T NEED A WEDDING PLANNER, EH?

When someone says they don’t need a wedding planner, I cringe a little. I promise you it isn’t just me cringing; your photographer will cringe and your family will become slightly panicked. When I hear this comment I normally follow up with a question like, “How do you imagine your wedding day? What are you doing that morning and the night before?”

I usually get answers that include everything from, getting my hair and make up done with my bridesmaids, sleeping in and eating a big breakfast, sipping champagne in a beautiful hotel room, to enjoying a delicious rehearsal dinner with my wedding party. The answer, “managing vendors, decorating my venue, counting every chair and place setting, unloading vintage furniture from a truck, showering at the last minute, and throwing my hair in a ponytail,” usually doesn’t come to mind.

With the dawn of Pinterest, the growing number of bridal magazines and wedding blogs, a wedding planner seems obsolete. While these tools are wonderful to help you determine the style of your wedding, teach you how to make your own decorations, or even help you find a dream vendor, I promise you Martha Stewart and her team of designers are not rolling up to your venue the day of your wedding to manage your vendors, create the perfect tablescape, or distribute a timeline of events for you and your family. Unless your Kate Bosworth, your wedding planner will do that.

YOUR WEDDING PLANNER IS YOUR BIGGEST FAN

Your wedding planner is there to support your vision, make sure your vendors are providing the right products, and keep everyone on task and on time. Sometimes the most “DIY” weddings are the ones that require the most set up time and the most assistance from a wedding planner or wedding designer the day of the wedding.

I recently planned a gorgeous backyard wedding with a bride who was incredibly hands on and involved in the planning process. I was there for support and guidance for a year leading up to the wedding day. If she needed a vendor, I found her options and provided her with quotes, and then negotiated. I kept her budget in check whenever possible, I did a mock tablescape with her, and we cut escort cards, went shopping for vintage centerpieces, and I had my fiancé sanding a paint splattered ladder for her escort cards to hang from the week before.

I was on site first thing in the morning, and was the contact point for every hired vendor from the musician to the caterer. While I was in my overalls directing the rental company, she was getting her hair done; while I was setting her centerpieces, she was getting her pictures taken with her bridesmaids; while I was dealing with a plate shortage, she was saying, “I do” to the man of her dreams, and while she was hopping into her getaway car, I was dispersing tips to the musician, photographer, and catering staff.

YOU HAVE BEEN DREAMING ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DAY FOR YEARS

It is a day that is all about promising a lifetime of love and understanding to another person, and spending that picture perfect day with the people you love most. Do not spend your day yelling at the catering staff because nobody is serving water to your guests. Spend it soaking in every moment, every beautiful thing, and let your wedding planner make sure everyone is properly hydrated.