To be honest, I never saw myself hiring or working with a wedding planner. I’m not exactly the “DIY” type, but I worked in event planning for a few years and deal with a lot of branding/communications in my current role. So, when my boyfriend p...
opped the question last December and we set our sights on a 10.10.2020 mid-sized beach wedding with a relatively simple vibe, I felt like I could manage coordinating the details and planning myself.
Fast forward to two weeks before our wedding date, when a series of unfortunate events saw our plans falling apart at the seams and I was deeply regretting my decision to “go it alone”. My fiancé and I found ourselves in the undesirable position of planning a wedding right during COVID, and for months, the two of us had been navigating one difficult decision after another with only the wildly-varied opinions of our family and friends, and a host of conflicting internet articles, to guide us. We planned, re-planned, dealt with dashed expectations and hurt feelings, and continued spending time, energy, and money when all were in short supply. Then, less than one month before our Oct. 10 wedding date, a hurricane hit the beach town where we planned to get married, and our venue and many guest accommodations were badly damaged. We were left scrambling once again and came very close to throwing in the towel on our special day.
Thankfully, right when I thought I might truly lose my marbles, I had the opportunity to book a “final walk-through” consult with certified wedding planner Mandy Martin, who saved the day in many ways. Because weddings are Mandy’s area of expertise, she was able to seamlessly and smoothly walk me through the timeline and logistics both for our big day and for key moments in our wedding week, and the resources provided to help us get organized made a HUGE difference in getting everyone on the same page. Thanks to Mandy, we suddenly had a master timeline and itinerary to keep everyone coordinated, and talking through the details of our events with her also helped to identify several gaps and holes in our planning; quick and sensible reminders from her about details like corkscrews and to-go pans for leftover cake took a few minutes on the front end and saved us hours of frustration, stress and/or lost product on the back end. I was also so grateful for the chance to have candid conversations with an industry professional about topics like vendor gratuities and potentially awkward day-of dynamics. All of my lingering logistical questions and uncertainties were resolved in a single planning consult with Mandy, and I credit Mandy’s words of wisdom and her company’s exemplary wedding week toolkit with giving us the access and insights necessary to come out smiling on the other side of our big day.
While I’m so glad we were able to work with Mandy in some capacity, if I had our wedding to do over again, a wedding planner would be one of the first decisions/investments we’d make. I significantly underestimated the learning curve and emotional stakes when planning an event that was so personal; I ultimately realized that I wanted to experience our wedding, not produce it. I couldn’t be more grateful for the help, guidance, expertise and clear direction that came our way and saved the day in the 11th hour, but for us, the moral of the story is – don’t wait until you’re completely in the dark to consult an expert; hire a professional on day one and avoid getting lost in the first place!