Early on into planning our reception, we got a glimpse of what can go wrong in the planning process, and I guess in a way, we were lucky because it led us to getting a planner. We experienced false promises made on the part of the original venue -- it turns out they did not have the capacity to have our event. They did not have appropriate staff OR facilities. They sold it to us anyway, citing later that they needed OUR MONEY to make renovations so they could hold events there in future, and we were lucky enough to get out of the contract. Fortunately we found another venue, but it was illuminating; we didn't know what we were doing! Most couples getting married have never planned a wedding before. Even very educated people are naive to this process and it's easy to get taken. So we didn't want to take any more chances. We needed to team up with experts who have done this process over and over and know what to do, what to watch out for, and how to avoid any other potential disastrous situations.
At first we thought everything was costing a lot, and considered if it was really necessary. Could we depend on ourselves or the venue to take care of everything? We have thrown numerous parties in the past, and they've been great. But we spent the time at those parties waiting on everyone. We were in the kitchen making food and drinks. We cleaned up afterwards. The parties were fun but they flew by, and our memories happened in the kitchen. We wanted to really enjoy our reception, as hosts and in a way, as guests. Knowing that the details were taken care of for us was our favorite part about having a coordinator step in to help us finalize the details and organize everything for that day. Knowing that someone was hounding our vendors, in a nice way, to ensure the day would go off without a hitch. Some vendors are not good at calling back and it was a pain since we both work full-time. It felt really good to hand that off to capable people who we trusted would get the job done. Everything was totally organized when the day finally arrived. We got to enjoy the day and not stress that it was going to be a success. We keep hearing from friends and family that it was the best wedding reception they've attended ever. My parents were in awe. Nothing was required of my family. No one had jobs. Everyone got to enjoy the party, including us.
If I could go back and change anything about our reception, I would have involved the planning team sooner. It was really stressful to change venues at the last minute. I think all the time, what if we would have had it at a venue that was not prepared to handle us but were planning to "wing" it? What the hell. That would have been a disaster! If we had hired a coordinator earlier, we would have found out about this issue sooner and stressed less about handling it. It also would have helped to have had someone look over contracts from an event point of view before we signed them. Our bar order included bottles of water even though we also had a water station set up five feet away. People who asked for water got a $5 bottle of Smart water and no one was directed to the giant water jug nearby. I didn’t think anything of this when we got the proposal so it would have helped our budget to have had someone in the business look it over before we signed on the dotted line.
Two words of advice to couples considering hiring an event planner: DO IT. Your wedding is too important (and too expensive) to be anything less than perfect. You will not regret it!
Written by our bride :: Hez Produced by :: Patrice Klaum
Images by :: R2 Studio