9 Things to Know If You Aren’t Hiring a Wedding Planner

Although wedding planners can be great at creating and executing the perfect wedding day, it is possible to do without hiring one if you have a less extravagant wedding and are more comfortable with going with the flow.

A wedding planner might not be the best way to spend your money planning a simple ceremony or reception. You can make the wedding planning process as simple or complicated as you want it to be. Many couples have beautiful, memorable weddings without the assistance of a planner.

Jamie Chang, Mango Muse Events’ wedding planner, says that not every couple requires or wants a planner. If you have a small budget, it is important to allocate your dollars efficiently. In most cases, it doesn’t make financial sense to spend a large portion of your budget on your wedding plan.


Jamie Chang, the owner and destination wedding planner of Mango Muse Events, is a San Francisco-based wedding planning and design company that organizes unique destination weddings. Over the past 10 years, she has helped couples all over the globe design their weddings.

These are some things to keep in mind if you don’t plan on hiring a planner for your wedding.

Get organized and keep it going.

Chang says that you will get many more emails than you would with a planner, but these numbers will increase exponentially if you plan your wedding. It is important to be organized with your emails when you are in the thick. It is important to organize your email so that nothing slips through the cracks. You should have a list of tasks that must be completed throughout the planning process. Also, keep contact information and add dates to your calendar. Many couples find it helps to have a separate email address for wedding-related communication. This allows them to keep their planning emails apart from personal emails that can quickly pile up.

Get in touch with vendors as soon as possible.

You can save money by not hiring a professional wedding planner to help you plan your big day. Wedding planners can tap into a wide network of vendors for last-minute events. You can book early to ensure you have the vendors you need and lessen stress in the weeks and months leading up to the wedding.

Plan for a few hours each week.

Planning a wedding is a job. If you don’t have the money to pay, you will most likely spend your time. Chang says, “You don’t want wedding planning taking over your life. But simultaneously you have to get stuff done.” You can dedicate an hour per day or a portion of the weekend to wedding planning. This will allow you to move forward while still being productive. However, it won’t take over your life.

Designate someone to be your day-of manager.

You can expect to experience some pre-wedding stress. There are many decisions, contracts to sign and emails to reply to. You can avoid stress on your wedding day by having someone else handle the last-minute decisions.

Chang explains that while they don’t have to do everything, you need someone to make your decisions.

The day-of manager should be someone you can trust to make the right decision without asking, such as a friend or family member. Except for an emergency such as a catering cancellation at the last minute or your officiant getting the flu, you should not be involved in any aspect of your big day.

Get advice from professionals.

Chang warns that you don’t want other couples to get your planning information. “That’s blind leading the blind.”

Couples may only be experts at planning their weddings. Wedding planners have experience with hundreds or even thousands of different weddings. Chang recommends following blogs of wedding planners and other vendors to get the advice and tips you need.

You can rely on your vendors for advice, referrals, and recommendations.

It’s a small industry, no matter where you are getting married. Many of your vendors have worked together on previous weddings. Your photographer or another vendor can help you find a cellist, live wedding painter, or other specialized vendors.

Chang adds that while you don’t want them to be abused or ask for anything beyond their scope of expertise, utilizing their assistance as much as possible will make the process more efficient and quicker.

Pay attention to contracts.

Weddings can be a significant investment. Many vendors will require you to sign a contract and sometimes a deposit. Before signing any contract, make sure you read it carefully. This will ensure you are fully aware of what you agree to regarding non-refundable deposits and cancellations.

Rely on your vendors.

Nerves are normal if this is your first marriage. Your vendors are experienced and have worked with hundreds of weddings each year, so they know how to make it a successful event. You hired them because they know what to do. If you need to be reassured, ask questions in advance. But trust that they are knowledgeable.

Follow the flow and be flexible.

You can’t predict or plan for everything that might happen on your wedding day. It’s best to take a deep breath and accept what happens. You might not be able to enjoy the most wonderful day of your life if you allow these small details to get you down.

Give your phone to another person one hour before the ceremony. Anybody trying to reach you one hour before the ceremony should know where you are or wait. Enjoy this special day by being calm and relaxed.

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