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Have you ever been to a dance performance where the music comes to life because of the carefully choreographed movement of the dancers?  The choreographer interprets the meaning of the lyrics and expresses it through beautiful movement translated by the talented dancers; thereby, drawing the audience into an emotional journey.  A wedding planner is much like a choreographer in which they interpret the dreams of a bridal couple and design the movement leading towards a unique and memorable wedding.

I’m often asked, “Why do I need a wedding planner, I already have my vendors what more would I need a planner to do?”  Much like a dance performance, there is a stage, the music, the dancers, the costumes and the set designs so why would one need the choreographer?  Simple, a choreographer composes the sequence of steps and moves for a dance.  Selecting the vendors is just one step in that sequence.  An experienced wedding planner have learned the delicate balance and the personal nuances in designing a truly special wedding day.

Another common statement made is, “I have a family member or a friend who is going to help me coordinate the wedding.”   Would you ask a friend to choreograph a ballet because they’ve attended a few ballets?  An experienced wedding planner has gained certain skills and knowledge that come with planning hundreds of weddings while your friend may have only her own wedding experience or as a wedding guest to draw upon. Bringing a vision to life is a tricky business, and a professional wedding planner can help you incorporate many of the elements that inspire you into a cohesive and meaningful wedding. Since weddings are deeply personal by nature, conflicts can quickly arise between friends and family over wedding-related time expectations. A wedding planner can devote many hours to your event, since it is her job to do so.

Not to say that you shouldn’t have family and friends as part of the wedding planning.  I think they can be extremely helpful and add fun to the wedding planning.   However, on the wedding day, you should free them up to enjoy this day with you.    Let the professional stress about your big day not your friends and family. Hiring a day-of coordinator would handle the more complex task of managing the wedding rehearsal and the wedding day.

“I wished I had hired a wedding planner!”  is a cry I’ve heard too often as a wedding planner.    So, I ask them, “Why hadn’t they considered hiring one”?  The responses are similar in nature – save money.  I often inform bridal couples that an experienced wedding planner will generally save them money in the long run.  Planners know what different vendor services cost and can gauge when a vendor’s price is too high, offering too little, or just too good to be true.  They have worked closely with most of the local vendors so they can recommend quality vendors as well as guide you away from those who would not be a great fit.

Another common statement is “Our venue provides a wedding coordinator”.   Much like a choreographer, who works in tangent with the producer, so does the site (wedding) coordinators and the professional wedding planners.  A venue’s site coordinator is typically the couple’s main point of contact concerning the venue.   They are to handle the logistical matters for the venue such as monitoring the venue staff, ceremony/reception site set-up, managing the catering timeline, and ensure no damage to the venue.  Basically, the difference between the two is the site coordinators represents the venue and a professional wedding coordinator represents the bride & groom.  While these site coordinators are extremely valuable don’t expect them to take care of all your wedding planning needs. In fact, most site coordinators prefer partnering with a wedding planner – when both are working together then your wedding can be a stress-free one.

So indeed, a wedding is much like a beautifully choreographed dance.  If your professional wedding planner has choreographed it carefully, then you will be stress-free and be able to enjoy all the little steps you took on your wedding day from the first time you see each other, your wedding kiss, the toasts by family and friends, from your first dance until your last dance of the evening.  So, when considering the option of a wedding planner, envision how you want your wedding to look, with or without the choreographer.  Either way, I sincerely hope you have a magnificent wedding journey.

By Marlene Woodard

A Planned Affair, Designers of Memorable Events

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