Remember that movie, (or maybe not. It came out in 2001) The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey? She meets him at a park (love at first sight), almost kisses him, only to find out the next week that he is getting married to one of her clients? She struggles with her feelings for him and I think you can probably figure out what happens even if you’ve never seen the movie… Well, you don’t have to worry about a wedding planner stealing your fiance from you since that was a silly Hollywood movie. So instead of stealing bride’s fiances, what does a wedding planner actually do?
As a photographer, I often get asked by brides, “Do I need a wedding planner for my wedding?” It honestly depends on your personality and what you’re looking for. More and more brides today are using wedding planners (or coordinators) to help plan their big day.
I personally did not use one for my wedding over seven years ago, but wedding planners were really a newer thing back then. Not many people used them, nor were there really many to choose from. As a wedding photographer today, I work closely with wedding coordinators/planners and enjoy doing so. Wedding coordinators are different, however, from venue coordinators. A lot of times venues provide coordinators that work at their location to help with the ins and out of the venue. They work for the venue, while a wedding coordinator is someone you hire at the beginning stages of planning and they walk with you throughout the entire wedding process. Very similarly to how I am with you the entire process, they invest into you and your wedding and help you plan it!
To help you out a little bit in your decision on whether or not you need a wedding planner, I have interviewed Brie Owens, of Brie Owens Events, a local wedding coordinator that serves brides in Athens, Atlanta, and the surrounding areas.
MM: What exactly does a wedding planner do?
BO: I do so much throughout the wedding planning process. One of the biggest things I do is help keep you organized. Weddings come with a lot of stuff to do, so having me helps keep it all together. I understand how important a budget is, so we sit down to make sure you keep to your budget with innovative ways to spend less. We know what things should cost and make sure you’re not paying too much for something. I have relationships with local vendors that can potentially help with your wedding. I also help you think of the things that you might not know you need to think about. For example, you might not think about welcome bags with itineraries for out-of-town family members so they know when and where to be for the wedding day.
MM: What are the benefits of a wedding planner?
BO: Having a support system that can help you throughout the whole process is key. I walk with you throughout the entire wedding planning up until your big day. I have had brides specifically call or text me and ask for help about stress with her mother or other issues over the wedding planning. As a third party, I can check in with mom and help out. You have a professional on your side to help you in any way. I keep you on track and touch base throughout the entire process.
MM: About how many times can I expect to meet with you before the wedding and what happens at those meetings?
BO: You can call, text, or email me whenever you need with questions or issues. I’m here to help in any way you need me. Depending on what package you get, you will see me anywhere from 2-5 times before your wedding day. We sit down together and discuss your planning progress timeline, vendor choices, I help you book meetings with other vendors, talk style and design, and wedding day timeline. I touch base with your vendors such as florists, cake designer, and photographer to make sure we’re all on the same page.
MM: What do you do the week leading up to the wedding?
BO: Up to this point, I have confirmed vendor arrival times, contracts, and assignments. The week of the wedding, I reconfirm and make sure there are no loose ends. We meet one last time to go over the wedding day timeline and any final details. The day of the rehearsal, I collect any personal items (DIY, guest book, signs, etc) so that you don’t have to worry about it the day of. Finally, on your special day, I show up at the venue with an assistant, orchestrating all vendors and ensuring everything is perfect. I troubleshoot if the need arrises so that there is no stress to you or your guests. I help you enjoy your day and make sure things flow smoothly!
If you’re interested in checking out Brie’s website or talking to her personally, you can check her out at Brie Owens Events. She would love to hear from you and set up a consultation to talk about your wedding!