A Wedding Planning Guide To Hiring A Planner

by Danielle Salazar January 29, 2016

It’s one of those things that people either love or hate to do —event planning. Regardless of what side of the spectrum you fall on, there are hundreds of details and decisions when it comes to a wedding and coordinators are there to help as little or as much as you need. However, there are a lot of questions that come along with the decision to hire some help. Can I afford it? How much will they actually help? What if I don’t like their vendors? The list goes on and on. That’s why we talked to Jen, a Senior Lead Planner over at Blush & Whim to get some insider info on the planning world. So if you’re up in the air about hiring a planner, here’s our wedding planning guide to why it’s totally worth it!

A Wedding Planning Guide to Hiring A Planner

Reasons Why Hiring a Planner Is Actually Life-Changing

  1. They’ll handle the not-so-fun tasks. Let’s face it, wedding tasks aren’t always fun. In fact, there are a lot of aspects that are stressful and time-consuming, especially the weeks leading up to the big day! Obviously there are the super exciting portions like choosing a venue, dress shopping, food tastings, etc., but there are also a lot of parts that will feel more like chores than fun.
  2. They’ll help focus your vision. With Pinterest and magazines and Instagram, etc. It’s easy to be flooded with ideas and colors and not quite know how to execute them into a final, complete look. Coordinators will help you hone in on what you envision your big day to be and make that vision a reality!
  3. They’ll majorly ease your stress. There are SO many decisions that go into planning a wedding and if you aren’t a good decision maker, you’re going to find this part to be dang hard. Let’s take your vendors for instance — there are tons and tons of options for every type of vendor you could possibly need. Not only do you have to narrow down that list, but you’ll need to negotiate, consistently follow-up, and really stay on top of them.
  4. They’ll save you time (in what can be a very long process.) While it’s super fun at first, most engagements are around 9-12 months and that planning process can seem like an eternity and can suck up a lot of your time. Wedding planners will help you save that time! You won’t have to waste hours upon hours researching vendors and venues, going to meetings, and making phone calls — they’ll do the time-consuming work for you and you’ll have more time to relax and just enjoy your engagement.
  5. They actually can save you money! This is huge for brides, because believe it or not, your planners want to help you not only create the wedding of your dreams, but a dream wedding that you can afford. They know the best vendors for every budget and are the ones who will negotiate, need be. So although a coordinator is another line on your budget sheet, they’ll help you save money in every other area overall.
  6. They have the inside scoop -- and are excited to share it! Coordinators are so incredibly knowledgeable and are 100% experts in their field. They know all the tips and tricks to executing the perfect wedding day and are excited to share that knowledge with you!
  7. They’ll help set your budget. Some people love the idea of coordinating their big day from start to finish, but have no idea how to create a reasonable budget to start. A planner can come in and help you determine how much to spend in each area and offer vendors to perfectly fit those budgets.
  8. They’ll allow you to be 100% present on your big day! This is SO super duper important and is appreciated by all brides everywhere! Having someone to handle all of the logistics the few weeks leading up to the big day or even just the day of will take so much stress off of your plate. They’ll be the point of contact for vendors, family members, in change of set-up and take-down, and handle and crisis that come up so you’ll never have to be bothered. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Reasons a planner might not be for you:

  1. You’ll have to relinquish control. For you type-A brides out there, this might be a difficult thing to do, and potentially even a deal-breaker. A friend of mine recently got married and was beyond overwhelmed with the amount of planning and decisions that were involved. When I asked why she didn’t look into hiring help, she simply said that she didn’t want to give up any control. In the end, she was pretty tired and stressed from the whole process, but that decision was important to her.
  2. It’s another line item on your budget sheet. Even though they can save you money down the road, it’s still an additional cost to add to your budget. Luckily, just like any vendor, wedding coordinators come at all price points, as well as their services so it’s totally reasonable to find one that fits your financial needs and style.

Our Q&A With An Event Planner From Blush & Whim

Q&A With Senior Event Planner at Blush & Whim

If you’re local to the Minnesota area, you might be familiar with Blush & Whim — a styling and event planning firm located in Minneapolis. If you’re not, you need to check them out! Their style is pretty, chic, and seriously picture-perfect! I chatted with one of their Senior Lead Planners, Jen, and asked her some questions not only about what they do, but about wedding planning, planning advice, and some fun wedding trends that she’s currently seeing. Check it out:

Q. Tell me briefly about Blush & Whim. What types of services do you offer to engaged couples?

Blush & Whim offers a variety of planning, styling and design services for couples. We offer full-planning, month-of planning, and event design packages. Blush & Whim is here to help bring the couples' inspirations to life for their wedding day. We are very passionate about making the perfect day for each couple!

Q. Can you give a general overview of how the 'full-planning' process work?

We help from start to finish from vendor meetings to design meetings to wedding day logistics. We're here to take the stress off of the couple so they can fully enjoy their engagement and wedding day! Blush & Whim works with each couple to make sure no detail is overlooked all throughout the planning process. On the couples' wedding day, we are the go-to people to ensure their vision comes to life!

Q. How can a bride determine if she's in need of a wedding planner?

Currently, I'm planning my own wedding and I know I'm going to hire some of my colleagues to execute my vision the day-of! Every bride should be able to feel stress-free and completely relaxed. You're getting married! Let this be one of the happiest & most fun days of your life! Also, hiring a planner is a great way to make sure your family can also enjoy this day along with you!

A bride should not have to worry about the little details of set-up to clean-up, checking on the cake delivery, directing early guests' arrival to their seats, and other details on her wedding day. Hiring a wedding planner is like hiring your own personal wedding guru. Your planner can help navigate contracts, recommend vendors that fit your vision & budget and offer invaluable advice as you go through the planning process.

Q. What is the most common question(s) you get asked by brides?

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “what do I tip my vendors?” Some vendors will include gratuity and service fees into their package price. A nice standard to go by is tipping 15% or more for any service where you are working with a single artist (i.e. hair/make up artist, entertainment, transportation driver, catering staff). For an officiant, generally a donation to the place of worship is customary. Overall, outstanding service deserves recognition whether in the form of a monetary tip or an online review on your vendor to show your appreciation.

Q. What are some wedding trends you're seeing for 2016!?

  • Greenery! Couples are looking for ways to incorporate greenery into their place settings, tablescapes, bouquets and more. I saw this trend start in 2015 and I definitely see this continuing for 2016.
  • Floral Chandeliers -- I'm also seeing amazing floral chandeliers! Who doesn't love feeling like you're in a secret garden while you toast to your newlywed status surrounded by family & friends!
  • Personalization -- Couples are looking for ways to make weddings more 'us.' Mix and match you and your fiancee's style to make the day completely 'you.'

Questions to Ask A Wedding Planner

As with any vendor, there are a number of coordinators out there so you’ll need to do your research on which one is best for you. Many of them have well established styles, vendor contact lists, etc. so you’ll want to find one that suits your wedding-day vision. Here are some questions you may want to ask your planner before taking the leap and signing any contracts.

1. Have you worked at my venue before?

2. How many weddings of my size and budget have you planned before?

3. What role do you feel I should play?

4. How much staff do you enlist to help?

5. How many weddings do you handle each month?

6. How often do you expect to meet with me prior to the wedding?

7. How do you charge? Is there a flat rate?

8. How do you keep in touch with clients?

9. Who are your preferred vendors?

10. Can you help us stay on budget?

11. Will you be with us on our big day?

For a full list of questions, from florists to dress shops, head on over to The Ultimate Wedding Vendor Question Guide!

Let’s Chat!

More than likely, you're in the process of planning your wedding and if you're reading this, it's probably because you've considered hiring a planner or already plan to do so. I'd love to know: What are your hesitations or deciding factors for hiring a planner? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!



Danielle Salazar
Danielle Salazar

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Measurement Guide

Taking Your Measurements

For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn't be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor. 

**Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it's not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.




Bust size: Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).

Waist size:  While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button.

Hip size: Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.

Choosing your correct size

Compare  these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5" (size 12), your waist measures 31" (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5" (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body. Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.