Why Choose Your Wedding Planner Before Your Venue

Feeling like a hot mess at the beginning of your wedding planning journey? Can't even wrap your mind around all the decisions you have to make? 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 traditional wedding box to make your day unforgettable. It's an exciting time-There is so much to celebrate and plan for, but it can quickly become overwhelming. Details such as the location, date, guest list, and color scheme all need to be considered. 

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

There are a lot of factors and details that go into planning an event of this size, and it’s probably the first time you, as a couple, 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. It is our full-time job! We have experience with 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 being made. There are so many variables to think about when selecting your ideal venue, and couples don’t always realize the additional fees and upgrades they may have to add on to have the wedding they want. If you have a planner on your side  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 warning you of those associated costs. Some venues are all-inclusive, and some are not. Some venues allow access for a limited number of hours, while 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.

Photo Credit: Cait Bourgault Photography

Let’s dive into our top 4 benefits for choosing your wedding planner before you officially secure your venue. 

  • 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. 

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 will 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. 

You may end up falling in love with a venue, but the location ends up being further away and requires more thought and money towards transportation and accommodations. Your planner will have a better idea and knowledge of the cost of transportation, the best hotel options, and thinking about where your other weekend festivities will take place. What does this experience look like for your guests? How will a further out venue affect your hair and makeup schedule - will you need to get ready offsite, add more time/arrive earlier to the venue? We know how to answer all of these questions, and more!

  • You'll be able to plan your wedding with a cohesive vision in mind.

When you choose your venue before your planner, you may find yourself having to sacrifice certain parts of your wedding vision around the limitations of the space. This can lead to compromises and a less cohesive overall look and feel. However, when you work with a planner from the beginning, they can help you select a venue that aligns with your vision and can help you bring your dream wedding to life. 

Photo Credit: Lindsay Vann Photography

If the design is of importance to you for your wedding day, there are a lot of logistics that need to be considered, starting with the venue. When you book with your planner first, they will help you come up with a cohesive design and options to consider. When you are touring different venue options, your planner will have a good vision of what it could look like. Understanding what the time constraints are for each design vendor is imperative to know when securing a venue. Most venues only allow access the morning of your event, so if you have an elaborate design production, you may need to have access to the venue the day before, or even the day after for clean-up. Having a planner to help navigate these logistics and communicate with your venue and vendor team can be a huge relief and benefit to setting up your event for success from the beginning.

  • 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. 

  • 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 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 (outside catering, photography, music, florals, 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.

Photo Credit: Golden Aura Photography

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 touchpoints and planning details seamlessly for you, reach out to us today and set up a complimentary consultation!

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