It was a party on a Friday night. I was dancing. I was not looking to meet anyone special that night. But I did. I did not know I would meet someone who had such a strong role in my love story. Through the crowd they found me. It was a match made in heaven. That was the night that I met Abi Nowlin…who would eventually become my wedding planner.
I have been working with an amazing wedding planner Dallas duo (Karen and Abi) from a company called RK Meetings and Events for the entirety of my engagement. I was originally planning to start down the long road of doing it all myself but (PRAISE DA LAWD) they saved me from my foolishness and a number of mistakes along the way. Read one of my favorite blog posts I have ever written if you are interested in some of the best wedding advice I have curated for you guys! The wedding ceremony is something that most of us dream about our whole lives. Because of this, we think that our daydreams of the flowers, the food, the laughter, the band, etc. are all figured out. Even if you have strong preferences from your years of planning, you have no idea of the logistics that go into executing the big day of your dreams. You. truly. do. not.
I am going to share with you sisters the million and one (or top 4) reasons you need a wedding planner. Scroll down if you want to see our save the dates from Minted. I absolutely LOVE Minted and the process we went through to find the perfect paper goods. I also ordered the table numbers, escort cards, and wedding invitations that fit the same theme. So excited to show you guys!
BUDGET. Whoever said Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems (Notorious B.I.G) clearly had never planned a wedding before because I’m telling you that Mo’ Money equals a flippin’ awesome wedding. Planning a wedding is like buying a house like I talked about yesterday, you will always want just a little more budget. When I first started asking you all advice on weddings, the wisdom shared was to have a wedding but not to have a wedding that broke the bank. It was a special day but so was having the extra income for a down-payment or a future later on too. If I am left to my own demise I would have paid little attention to a budget. I am not fiscally irresponsible but I also really like nice things that I have put my mind to spending money on. My wedding planners have been angels in talking me off the ledge and making sure that I focus on my future with Jordan financially instead of just the first step at the ceremony.
They decided my budget, they show me only three options in that budget, etc.
SOURCING. When you set a number with your wedding planners they are the ones that hold you to it. Every vendor comes with a series of tradeoffs that mostly come down to price. One caterer may cost you a fortune and another may be within your budget. One five-piece band may be affordable and the other may not be. The difference is usually in what you perceive to be quality.
I have found that my wedding planners are incredibly good at leveraging their network to know which supplier is the best quality in my budget. This seems like a simple thing but imagine the legwork that would go into figuring this out yourself. You would have to spend at least five hours googling and double that on the phone getting quotes. Trust me, no one believes in putting pricing directly on their websites and everyone is a hustler with a pitch in this industry.
MEDIATION. When Jordan and I started planning our wedding, I thought it would be our vision. I did not imagine that our vision would only be a third of the collective vision when you factor in all the other opinions from others. There is so much pride in a wedding in a very good way. There is pride that the Father is handing over the bride. There is a pride in the friends coming to see. There is a pride in the food, the drink, and the music. The wedding ceremony is something that everyone wants to be proud of because they would demand nothing less for their son or daughter. This is a great sentiment, but the problem is that what you find pride in may be a matter of perspective. Mother in law may want to focus on the flowers and actual mother may want to focus on the boos. Wedding planners are a lot like CEOs in the sense that they have to bring very different opinions and perspectives onto one page. This requires a finesse in the art of mediation.
Wedding planners are constantly navigating landmine topics that only can be seen from experience, always defusing arguments, and always fighting for the cause of consent between parties. Don’t be a hero and think you can do this yourself because you will come out with bruises and scars… probably from your mother-in-law.
TIME MANAGEMENT. There is a software that RK Meetings uses called Aisle Planner. It basically is a running checklist that then builds into a chart to show you how close you are to completion. When I login to my dashboard right now, I see that I have only planned 20% of my wedding with four months left and I am roughly 6 weeks behind schedule. Yes, this is very scary. If I was alone in this adventure then I would be in a constant state of tears and fears. With my wedding planners with me, I am able to avoid the tears. I still have the fear because they instill it in me because I need it like I need the fear of God. But they are also the ones to extend grace and solutions at every checkpoint.
No matter how many deadlines I miss, they are always updating their solutions for me. They are always showing me a way out and never letting me feel that I have ruined everything. I’m sure there is a point where the options are totally gone but they have never let me get there. If you are either extremely busy already or are just not a very diligent planner then you need a wedding planner. It is a necessary dose of accountability no matter how excited for the day you are.
I could not have survived without RK Meetings up to this point.
I know this is a day that you have thought about your whole life, but do not hesitate to ask for help. It is easy to try and balance the budget between nicer flowers or a wedding planner. I would urge you to think about it differently than that. I would weigh a wedding planner against things like your sanity, your relationships with in-laws, and even having a wedding at all.
I am not even sure if I would be having a wedding if I had made a different decision.
Karen is telling me I still might not if I keep missing my deadlines.
Boy, do I love her.