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What came first, the wedding planner or the venue?

Feeling like a hot mess at the beginning of your wedding planning journey? Can't begin to wrap your head around all the decisions you have to make? Don't worry, it's time to call in the big guns - a wedding planner! If you're clueless about where to start, a wedding planner can coach and guide you on the most important vendors to book first and help you think outside the boring wedding box to make your day unforgettable. It's an exciting time and so much to celebrate and plan for, but it can quickly become overwhelming!

Many engaged couples make the mistake of booking their wedding venue and other vendors before hiring a professional planner. Why is that a mistake you might be wondering?

There are a lot of factors and details that go into planning an event of this size, and it’s likely the first time you have ever navigated something like this. There are many choices and decisions to consider which can quickly lead to wedding planning feeling like your new full-time job. This is where planners shine! We have the expertise and knowledge of all the different venues and vendors that can best reflect your style, personality, and budget.

The venue is often the most exciting piece of the planning puzzle for couples, however, it’s also where we, as planners, see the costliest and biggest missteps made by couples. There are so many variables to think about when selecting your ideal venue and couples do not always realize the additional fees and upgrades they may need to add-on to have the wedding of their dreams! If you have a planner that knows what you are envisioning, we can provide guidance and expertise upfront on how to make each venue work for your style, as well as those associated costs. Some venues are all-inclusive, and some are not. Some have rentals included, while others do not. Some venues allow access for a limited number of hours and others give you access for the entire day. Planners break down the pros and cons of each venue to give you the full picture of the experience including cost comparisons of all the venues on your list.

Let’s dive into our top benefits for choosing your wedding planner before you officially secure your venue!

1. You'll have an expert on your side from the beginning.

When you hire a wedding planner before selecting your venue, you'll have an experienced professional to guide you through the entire process! A great planner will have a wealth of knowledge about different venues in your area and can help you narrow down your options based on your budget, style, and priorities. This can save you a lot of time and stress, as you won't have to wade through countless options on your own. They will have worked with many venues before and can provide valuable insight and feedback that you may not have thought to ask about. As planners, it’s our job to not only help you think through the smaller details but also look at the big picture of the entire wedding weekend to make sure it’s stress-free for you, your family and all your guests.

As we mentioned, not only will a planner help you narrow down your choices and present you with a curated list of venues that fit your aesthetics and budget, but there’s also the expertise and guidance baked in that factor in the entire wedding planning experience and some of your bigger picture decisions. Guest count is a huge factor in where you end up hosting your wedding, however, in the beginning stages of planning, you may not know quite yet how many guests will show up. Having a planner there to help you think through the logistics and statistics of guest RSVPs, what it might realistically look like if you have 100, 150, 200+ guests at each venue, and what that means for layout, extra rentals, and more.

2. Your planner can help you negotiate the best deal.

If you've already selected your venue, you may have missed out on the opportunity to negotiate with the venue from a position of strength. When you work with a planner from the beginning, they can help you navigate the booking process with the venue to get the best possible deal!

Depending on the venue and your event schedule, you may need additional time on the property for set-up, tear-down, or additional events. A planner can work with you to understand how much time you actually need onsite to make sure you have ample time to execute your event without feeling rushed or stressed. It’s helpful to know this so you are either factoring in the additional cost or not overspending on extra time you don’t need.

3. Your planner can help you avoid common mistakes.

If you've never planned a wedding before, it's easy to make mistakes that can be costly or time-consuming. When you work with a planner from the beginning, they can help you avoid common pitfalls and steer you in the right direction. They can provide you with expert advice on everything from vendor selection to timeline planning, ensuring that your wedding day runs smoothly and according to plan. A lot of these mistakes come from not fully understanding industry standards or even the verbiage in contracts. Having your planner review your contracts before you sign can help clarify important details, as well as ensure anything that may have been promised or mentioned during your site tour will be included when the time comes.

4. Your planner can help you stay within your budget.

Working with a planner from the beginning can help you establish a budget that is both comfortable for you and realistic based on your vision. This is a crucial part of the planning process because the venue will likely be one of the first pieces to secure after hiring your planner (and one of the most expensive!). It's important not to go "venue broke" right from the start by overlooking additional costs, such as additional or upgraded rental items, early arrival fees, late-night breakdown fees, and additional design production fees on top of any other “standard” costs associated with the wedding (photography, entertainment, floral, etc.).

A planner can help you navigate these potential pitfalls by breaking down the pricing of each venue and identifying any additional costs upfront. They can also help you prioritize your spending so that you focus on the elements of your wedding that are most important to you! This ensures that you get the most out of your budget without compromising your vision or overspending.

While there's no one "right" way to plan a wedding, hiring a planner before selecting your venue can be a smart move. With an expert on your side from the beginning, you'll be able to make informed decisions, stay within your budget, and plan a wedding that reflects your unique style and vision!

If you’re interested in working with a professional planner who will handle all of these points and planning details seamlessly for you, reach out to us today and set up a complimentary consultation!


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