Wedding Planning: Hiring The Help You Need

Happy #WeddingWednesday! I’m so excited for today’s post, because it’s the first ever guest post I’ve had here on Olivia Shea Style, featuring my friend and amazing wedding planner Aaron Gregory, founder of Memory Lane Events here in Nashville! She’ll be talking all about finding a wedding planner to fit your needs and budget!

The biggest day of your life is approaching and you are feeling excited yet overwhelmed by just how many little details go into making your dream day a reality. You have big Pinterest worthy dreams and are wishing for a fairy godmother to show up at your doorstep to wave their magic wand and solve all of your wedding planning woes. While I can’t turn a pumpkin into a carriage (talk about cool party trick!) I can walk you through the different types of wedding coordinators to fit your need and budget to help you bring the most exciting day of your life together.

Even Wedding Planners Need Help You see it was less than a year ago I was in your exact position. I was 24, newly engaged and trying to get my business off the ground while also trying to plan my fairytale wedding. Even though I am a professional wedding planner, even I got extremely overwhelmed trying to balance everything on my own. At the end of the day I ended up hiring a Day of coordinator because even professionals don’t want to play wedding planner and bride on the same day. I was able to find my own vendors, design my own wedding and even create my own timeline but at the end of the day, I came to the realization that there was no physical way I could have enough time to set up all of my tables and chairs, decorate my venue and ceremony space and lead my own wedding rehearsal while having and makeup done and preparing to walk down the aisle.

Tossing the Baton As much as I hated to give up the reins (can you say control freak) I knew that it was necessary to help me destress and get everything effectively finished in a timely fashion without putting my bridesmaids and family members to work. My coordinator sent my bridesmaids down the aisle, led a full rehearsal the morning of my wedding while I sat back and relaxed. She even loaded my family’s cars at the end of the night with all of my decor and belongings so I didn’t have to break a sweat on my wedding day. This truly was the best money I put into my wedding. Just knowing someone else could take on all of the behind the scenes chaos was priceless.

Which Wedding Planner is for you? I have found that many brides are not aware that there are several different kinds of packages available for your wedding. To determine which type of planner you need you should first ask yourself, “how involved do I want to be in the planning process?” Are you a more hands on bride that likes to have control over what vendors you are choosing, down to the very last centerpiece? If so then you might only be needing a month of coordinator. But if the thought of even trying to find a venue, dress and theme for your wedding makes you start stressing like that scene in the parent trap where Elizabeth James has to see her ex for the first time in years, then you are probably requiring a little extra help and planning assistance. There is no one size fits all option when it comes to wedding planning and that is where my “A La Carte” menu comes into play. You can be as hands on as you would like but you can also reach out for help when you need it on tasks such as R.S.V.P. management, budget analysis or setting up and tearing down for your wedding. Nevertheless, it is important to know all of your options so that you can make an informed decision on which package best fits your wedding planning needs.

Spending Money to Save Money Often times the last thing you want to do is add any extra cost to your wedding. Everything really adds up when you factor in the catering, floral, venue rental, cost of the dress, etc. Finding out the true cost of a wedding can be a really overwhelming realization. Although it might sound backwards, spending money on a wedding planner in the beginning will ultimately help you save money and stay on budget. Often times planners know the tricks of the trade, they can honestly tell you what is worth spending your money on and what isn’t necessary. They work with vendors closely and are aware of when to book your venue and how to save thousands on your wedding day. You wouldn’t file your taxes without consulting a professional, so why walk through this wedding planning journey without an experienced professional? Overall having someone to lean on and guide you through this intense process will make your engagement experience and days leading up to becoming a Mrs. way more enjoyable for you and everyone around you.

No matter which route you take when selecting your planner, make sure that you take time out of this very busy process to enjoy the true meaning of why are getting married. No matter who your fairy god-planner turns out to be, make sure you and your partner relax and enjoy the most special day of your life. This is a crazy, stressful and at times overwhelming process, but is also SO worth it when your heart and your mind are getting married out of love. Having a planner that fits your unique couple needs is what will allow you to skip the stress and make everlasting memories with your significant other and wedding guests. So the next time you feel like you are drowning with a million wedding tasks to complete, remember: even professionals need help sometimes. It truly takes a village to make your wedding run smoothly, so do not beat yourself up about that. Just send out as S.O.S and your planner will throw you a life raft.

Aaron Shirley is the owner of Memory Lane Events a boutique wedding planning firm that specializes in creating moments to remember and turning your dream into reality. For more information reach out to Aaron today at