Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner

By Jennifer; TeNeil Hartley Events Contributor

Amidst the engagement excitement, you’re probably eager, enthusiastic and a little overwhelmed by the months ahead.  The timelines and cost and details of planning a wedding can be a lot to take on, especially if you have a full-time job and ambitious visions for your big day. It is important that you are realistic about your abilities with both organization and availability when it comes to planning and executing your wedding.  Fortunately there are experts and professionals to assist with these tasks, and in my opinion, a wedding planner is a top priority in the wedding budget (which they can help you set!).


While I don’t want to add more to your plate, it is important that you find a wedding planner that suits you, so you can get the ball rolling with your wedding planning timeline.  Reach out to newly-wed friends, seek recommendations from your chosen venue (if you have one in mind) and do some online research.  Priority one, decide what type of planner you want, there are three typical wedding planner packages: 1. Full Service, 2. Month Of, and 3 Day Of.

If you are fine asking your parents and two good friends to go with you to the courthouse, exchange vows and maybe have a nice dinner out that evening, then you probably don’t need the help of a wedding planner.  Is your wedding a destination wedding, in a special venue, outside, inside or both? What about a rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, guest list, RSVP management, over-night lodging, reception, buffet, plated dinner, a cake, desserts, dance, a DJ, guest favors, guest book, photo booth, table numbers, flowers, candles, centerpieces, decorations, booking vendors, timelines to vendors, and paying vendors? It can be overwhelming. If you don’t work, have a very understanding boss that doesn’t mind you running errands and making and taking numerous calls at work, or you have weeks of accrued personal leave, then you might be able to put a whole wedding together. You just might be able to find the time to put this all together while still working, maintaining your relationship and enjoying your engagement, but a wedding planner could provide much needed stress relief and professional advice and assistance. Hiring a wedding planner will be one of the best wedding gifts you can give yourselves.  Deciding whether you need a Full Service Wedding Planner, Month Of Coordinator or Day Of Coordinator will depend on what you can comfortably and realistically handle on your own.

FULL SERVICE: A full service wedding planner can be a crucial investment, saving you time and money. To execute the seamless and beautiful wedding day you’ve dreamt of while maintaining your career and relationship, you may need help in the form of a full-service wedding planner.  Considering you should pick your date and venue almost immediately, your photographer at least nine months out, and your cake baker and caterer at least six to nine months out, a full-service wedding planner can be instrumental in laying the groundwork for your big day.  Additionally, you’ll want your theme and colors decided early, a guest count and a basic timeline on paper and a band or DJ retained as early as possible. Unless you can devote most of your free time to this cause, you need some help. 

For starters, a wedding planner will help you set your budget and stay on track.  They can guide you in a direction that is realistic and steer you away from unnecessary expenses and waste. Wedding planners have the contacts and experience to bring your dream to life, within your financial means.  In addition to knowing the quality and quantity of items you’ll need from linens and wine glasses to passed hors d’oeuvre’s and floral arrangements, your wedding planner knows the best vendors and the accurate costs of goods. Sometimes they even get discounts based on their rapport with vendors they work with regularly.  These relationships coupled with their knowledge of the business, can save you time, money and stress during the planning stages.  Best of all, they are familiar with your vision from the start and will follow though until your wedding day is complete, fulfilling your dream until the end.  As with any investment, you should take time to determine what level of assistance and type of planner you require, considering your timeline and other commitments.


MONTH OF: A month of coordinator will help with some of the last-minute planning challenges. You will still have to have made all the vendor contacts and wedding plans. A month of coordinator will start by reviewing all your vendor contracts and contact each vendor the month prior to your wedding to coordinate with and confirm arrival times and services booked.  The coordinator will be your vendor point of contact and coordinator on your wedding day and cover all the duties that a day of coordinator would.

DAY OF:  A day of wedding planner assists you on the day of your wedding, not in the planning process. This person will be focused on your day of priorities as outlined by you, to make sure everything runs smoothly.  They keep the wedding party on schedule, make judgments on weather and handle your payments, tipping, etc.  They will also handle the set up and styling of your escort cards, favors, guest books, table numbers, photo booth props, etc. and keep the usual hiccups from interrupting your time.  Your day of planner will often create a detailed timeline for your day, distribute it to all relevant vendors the week of the wedding, and ensure that this timeline is followed.  A day of coordinator will provide you and your partner some relief on the day of your wedding so you can enjoy every moment.   If you think this service sounds like a major relief, imagine what a month of or full-service coordinator can do for you!

This is a once-in- a –lifetime experience that creates forever memories. Don’t let wedding planning stress overshadow this wonder time in your life. You deserve the seamless and beautiful wedding day you are dreaming about and maintaining your career and relationship is a top priority.  If you can comfortably and efficiently do all the planning leading up to the month before or day of your wedding, then you should definitely consider unburdening the memories of your wedding day by retaining the month of or day of services of a wedding coordinator.

While there are a lot of decisions to be made, it is important that you don’t procrastinate when deciding what type of planning meets your needs and take action. Most wedding planners book up 9-12 months out for weekend dates, especially during prime wedding months (June-October). TeNeil Hartley Events offers Day Of, Month Of and Full Service Wedding Planning Packages, or can customize a package to meet your specific needs.  TeNeil Hartley Events brings experience and expertise to your engagement and the wedding of your dreams!

6 Things to Do After You Get Engaged

By Jennifer; TeNeil Hartley Events Contributor

Oh My God!  It finally happened, the moment you’ve dreamt of for years, and it was as romantic and thoughtful as you imagined.  So now that the partner of your dreams has proposed, all of those visions and plans for your big day have come flooding back, only now, you have to bring them to life…that’s a lot of pressure! Fear not, you’ve come to the experts!  Below is a guide to get you through the first couple exciting weeks and steps to ensure the perfect day you’ve always dreamt of.

Photo Credit:  Jake Holschuh

Photo Credit: Jake Holschuh

First things first, the ring!  Aside from adoring and gazing at your ring, it’s important that you insure it right away.  Perhaps your fiancé (oooh, isn’t that fun to say?!) has already taken care of this task, but if not, this should be a top priority.  This extra step will be crucial if ever your ring or stones need repair or in the unfortunate event that your ring is lost, stolen or damaged.  We recommend having your ring appraised by a certified gemologist (this service is often provided upon purchase of the ring) and then speaking with an insurance adjustor.  Make sure you are clear on what is covered and how long claims take, etc. before committing to an insurance company; oftentimes, you can add a jewelry rider to your existing homeowners or renter’s policy.

While on the topic of the ring, you want to make sure that it fits you comfortably, and if not, have it sized right away, especially if it’s super loose.  You’ll need a perfect fit for your photos which is why we also suggest a post engagement manicure!  As expected, everyone will be dying to see the ring and between show offs and photos, you’ll want your hands to look their best.  If you’re not into polish or manicures, make sure your hands look filed and groomed, at the least.

Speaking of photos, it is important that you and your fiancé are on the same page about your announcement style.  With social media reaching everyone and everything, all it takes is one congratulations on your wall or a picture that shows your ring without you realizing, and the whole thing is blown!  If you just want everyone to know right away, call your parents (and best friends) and let everyone else learn from the photos.  If you’re hoping to surprise everyone, an engagement party is always a fun way to kick things off.  One thing to remember, make sure everyone invited to your engagement party is invited to the wedding.

This next step is likely the most important- set your budget.  You and your fiancé need to make some decisions regarding the length of your engagement followed by size, date and time you’d like to have your wedding.  Obviously, if your wedding day plans are ambitious, you may need a longer engagement.  If you’re ready to get the ball rolling right away, you need to determine your budget, if your parents are contributing and what your priorities are for your big day.                 

Chances are, you’ve picked out an amazing venue for your wedding, and it’s likely that others think it’s fantastic too!  Once your budget is set, spend some time really discussing your vision for the day with your fiancé: Do you want a daytime, sunset or evening wedding?  Band or DJ? Buffet or plated dinner?  Once you get those wheels turning, as well as a ballpark headcount, you can narrow down a venue that can make these dreams come true, and then book it, fast! 

Between all of this planning and discussing, it also important that you enjoy your engagement and celebrate the reason you are doing all of this.  Don’t let the process of planning your wedding bankrupt you or cause rifts between you and your partner.  Remember, you have all the time you need and you’re in this together.  To avoid wedding planning stresses and roadblocks, we highly recommend hiring a wedding planner for the day of, month of or the entire process. Oftentimes, having a wedding planner can save you money in the long run, as they will likely know what and how much you need of everything from dance floor space and tables to wine glasses, tables clothes and dinner rolls; there is no guessing.  Additionally, they have relationships with the vendors which can be very helpful in the planning and day of to-dos.  More to come on this next time. 

 In the meantime, Cheers and Congratulations.