5 reasons to hire a planner
When my husband and I decided to organize our wedding in Barcelona, we thought it was the perfect place. The city has it all: beach, huge cultural life, even huger nightlife, excellent restaurants, and amazing weather. What could be wrong?
Being from Argentina and France, living in Switzerland, and having family and friends coming in from all over the world, we couldn’t think of a better place. (and it was).
The wedding was set for mid-August, a normally dry and hot month in the Catalonian city. We have chosen a lovely chapel in the highs of Montjuïc, with a breathtaking view over the city and the sea.
The reception will be held outside on the terrace overlooking the landscape and the dinner in a charming monastery just next to the chapel.
During August, they forecast between 20 and 27mm of rain in Barcelona…you see where I am going? The D-Day, just hours before I walk to the altar, while I was doing my hair and makeup, the equivalent of 2 months of rain went down in one hour.
Luckily by the time the celebration started, there were (almost) no clouds in the sky. However, the monastery was completely flooded. The canalizations have not supported the big volume of water and they broke.
Hence, 3 hours before the ceremony starts we have no place for the reception and no place for dinner. We have no floral arrangements, no linen, no tables, no chairs…everything was underwater.
Nonetheless, there was one thing we did have: an amazing planner. In a blink of an eye, she managed to re-arrange the whole wedding schedule: moving the reception and dinner to another location, hiring transportation for the guests and all that, smiling and being positive.
After the ceremony, all the 100 guests were set up in the shuttles for the new location and most of them did not realize that it wasn’t the original plan.
At that time, I have been in the industry for 10 years, and I knew very clearly that to organize my wedding in a foreign country, I would need the help and resources of a professional. I do not regret one second having left my ego aside and went ahead with a wedding planner. She did not only save the day, but she also gave me the confidence to keep going and start Brightside.
Having shared my personal experience, let me give you 5 more reasons why you should work with a planner:
One of the purposes, why it is convenient to hire a planner, is their experience. Many of the professionals in the industry have started their careers working in hotels, catering companies, or other event agencies. They have been trained and they have seen it all. And trust me, if, after all that, they decided to continue on this path it is because they love what they do.
A planner will be able to walk you through the global picture of the events as well as go into every detail. They will guide you in every step and decision you make, lighting the pro and cons of it.
Their background will be also there to anticipate any unforeseen and handle them smoothly.
This is maybe the most important reason why you should contract a planner: their network. Every professional event planner has a trusted group of suppliers, who have been tested and approved beforehand.
This point will save you hundreds of hours of research, negotiation, testing, calls, meetings, etc. A planner will be able to match your requirements with the perfect vendor for you.
Having a reliable network is crucial in our industry, but it takes a lot of time to build a relationship that works through the years. It is a daily task for us, the planners, to maintain these connections and make them work.
Probably the planner hails from the hotel, event, or tourism industries. This means that they have years of experience dealing with suppliers or, maybe, they have been on the vendor’s side somehow. The bottom line is that they know the margins, they know when there is truly room for negotiation without compromising quality.
I like to see an event planner as a Swiss Knife and maybe this is the most sharped blade of all.
Planning and organization skills
Any planner must have excellent organization skills. If you wish to organize your event by yourself but you do not know where to start, many professionals offer guidance to kick off the planning. It is basically, a meeting where you go through together the basic points you need to consider when planning any type of event, this service is usually proposed for couples when preparing for their wedding.
Naturally, you do not benefit from the whole talent package but you are good for a clean start.
Hiring a planner is an investment. You are investing in the management capabilities that a professional has, as well as a stress-free event.
The cost of collaborating with an agency, wedding planner, or similar, may vary, but it should be somewhere between 10% and 20% of your total budget.
A planner will manage your budget, save you money, negotiate for you, and propose alternatives so you get what you want.
When organizing an event where emotions are involved, it is always best to have a third party handling the financial aspects for you.