Thursday, 14 July 2011

To Hire or Not to Hire - bringing extra help

It seems that the credit crunch has not managed to crush our appetite for weddings.  In 2001, the average UK wedding cost £14, 500.  In 2011, it cost £20,000!  With all this extra money to spend, would you consider hiring a wedding planner?

We've all seen the Jennifer Lopez movie where the flawless wedding planner pins the boobless bridesmaid's dress to perfection, calms the nerves of the jittery bride and revives the drunken father of the bride; all without breaking a sweat.  I can't guarantee that wedding planners are like that, but in principal, this is what we are for: to make sure your wedding day goes without a hitch.

Similarly, you have have seen Wedding SOS - where wedding planner extraordinaire Jane Dayus-Hinch comes along and grants 3 wishes to a desperately-in-need couple.  I suppose event planners are like fairy godmothers: we have the experience and the expertise to make your wedding dreams come true.

Unlike the over-blown and outlandish Franck in Father of the Bride, their job is not to steal the limelight or be the star of the show.  Planners, if you choose to have us there on your big day at all, should be invisible.  They are the oil that greases the cogs to keep everything ticking over.

Naturally, their services come at a premium.  They can offer assistance with everything from brainstorming ideas right in the beginning, sourcing suppliers, arranging and booking details, right through to ensuring things run smoothly on the day itself.  A good planner should:
  • be able to style.  To have an eye for how things look is crucial.
  • have a good Roladex of contacts.  Only having one supplier for something shows bad procurement; too many shows indecisiveness.  A select few is what you're looking for.
  • show you a portfolio of work.  Ideally, they will have worked with your venue before and so will know all in the ins and outs.  They should also have a long list of satisfied customers.  Word of mouth is by far and away the most reliable form of advertising.
The bottom line: hiring a event planner is like hiring a nanny.  Only hire one if you can afford to.  They will take a lot of stress away but they made end up taking a lot of the fun away too.

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