Modern couples are faced with the expectation of planning their own wedding, but wedding planning can be a stressful experience. Every little detail must be figured out in advance so you can tell family and friends and allow them to plan around the event.
Weddings should be a time for the couple to celebrate their union and party with friends and family; not a time of stress and worry.
This is where a wedding planner comes in. A wedding planner will help you negotiate with vendors, work out the small details with vendors, and make sure everything runs smoothly on the day of. All you have to do is tell them what you want your special day to look like.
Let Anticipation Events help guide you through the process with this in-depth article explaining what full-service wedding planner duties are and what you can expect from a planner who provides these “full-service” packages.
What Does Full-Service Wedding Planning Mean?
So, what are a full-service wedding planner’s duties and what does “full-service” mean when it comes to event planning? Furthermore, is a full-service package worth the money? 
“These days, couples aren't leaving their special day to chance. More and more are turning to wedding experts to ensure their big day goes off smoothly.”
-- Winnie Sun
Many couples say that hiring a professional to make sure everything goes smoothly helps take the stress away from the event. With a happier couple, guests are more likely to relax and enjoy the evening, and the couple themselves are more likely to look back on the wedding and call it a success, fondly remembering the fun had.
A full-service wedding planner should take care of anything – and everything – required for the wedding to go smoothly. You will still need to be involved in some parts of the planning process, such as signing paperwork for vendors and answering questions from friends and family, but the planner takes a lot of the weight off.
Your planner will check in periodically for updates, and occasionally a quick chat to get your approval on changes that may need to be made to the original plan. Otherwise, the planner will handle everything else, from securing the venue of your dreams to working with the caterer on the menu.
“Full-service” can mean different things to different wedding planners, so don’t be afraid to ask what their full-service wedding planner duties are during the initial consultation. The planner should be willing to give you an inside look as to what their services look like so you can compare and decide what you do and don’t need depending on the event size and your vision for the event.
Full-Service Wedding Planner Duties
A wedding planner’s duties may vary depending on the region, the planner’s individual process, and the type of wedding you are looking to create. Not all weddings need wine tastings or matched bridesmaid gowns, while others might need additional amenities to accommodate religious or cultural practices. Because of this, it is always smart to ask the wedding planner what their full-service package includes.
Your wedding planner may also ask about your wedding and tailor their services to your needs. This is especially common in the event of cultural and destination weddings where the typical services might not be the best fit.
Talking with your wedding planner about what services are expected and the total budget you have in mind is also important to help you understand what you can expect from the working relationship. Open communication also makes the planning process easier, as you learn how to stick to business hours and communicate through their preferred methods, and they can come to you and expect an honest Yes or No answer without any doubts attached.
- Vendor Selection
One of the main benefits of hiring a wedding planner is the connections they bring to the table. The planner will listen carefully to everything you want to include in the wedding, provide consultation about what might be unfeasible, and provide additional creative ideas based on what you’ve expressed interest in, and then they will turn to their list of vendors to select their recommendations.
The couple will always get the final say in hiring the vendors, but the planner will have the connections to be able to make an informed choice, hiring experienced vendors they have worked with before.
- Vendor Coordination
Once the couple has approved the vendor list, the planner will begin coordinating with each party and confirming dates, times, and putting together the itinerary for the day of. The planner will work with the vendors throughout the planning process to ensure they are ready for the big day.
When the wedding comes around, a full-service wedding planner duties include working with vendors to ensure everyone arrives on-time and provides backup solutions in case someone doesn’t show up.
- Décor and Design
A wedding planner’s job is to be creative and think outside the box, making the perfect event to celebrate the couple’s union – and a great party for the guests. Wedding planners are notorious for being able to work with an idea and truly bring it to life with the right ideas and a creative spark. As the client, you just have to let it happen; don’t smother your wedding planner’s ideas.
“Most planners are in the wedding business because they love it—and because planning events get their juices flowing. Sure, their job is to help execute your vision, but you might be pleasantly surprised (or totally blown away) by the new ideas they'll come up with if you give them some flexibility.”
-- Jaimie Mackey
By giving your wedding planner a chance and allowing them to bring their ideas to the table, you can expect them to do a better job, as they can fulfill their passion better and work with your base vision to create a memorable event.
What to Expect from a Wedding Planner
When you are working with a wedding planner, it is important to learn what you can expect from working with them. Are they bubbly and chatty, or are they practical and take time to get the job done right? A mix of both?
What about things you can expect from a full-service wedding planner’s duties? There are a few things you can expect from every wedding planner’s process, no matter how individualized the process has become.
You will learn a lot about what you can expect from your wedding planner when you first walk into their office for the pre-hire consultation. In this consultation, they will ask you about your wedding vision and you will have an opportunity to ask them about their process. If the two make a good fit, then you can begin working with the planner to create a wedding everyone will remember for years to come.
- Interview Questions
Every wedding planner and the client will need to go through an initial interview, often before they are hired, to learn more about each other’s process and vision for the event.
These interview questions are a great opportunity to get to know the professional who will be working with your event. Likewise, this is a great opportunity for the planner to get to know the couple and their must-haves and must-goes for the event.
There is no set list of questions that either party must ask, as it can change depending on the circumstances around the event or personal concerns.
- Budget Coordination
Talking about money might feel uncomfortable, but it’s a necessary facet of event planning. The planner will need to coordinate with you about your budget for the event. This helps the planner know what they have to work with to make the event unforgettable.
Normal, traditional weddings cost an average of $35,000 for most couples, so there is no surprise that some things in the event will have to go to make room for the must-haves. While the biggest cost will be the venue, it will be up to the planner to perform a balancing act between the venue, vendors, and any additional services for the main event.
- Planning Services
No wedding planner will work for free. Weddings take a lot of coordination and work to put together, and it is important that the planner can cover their costs, whether it is keeping their office running or their time spent on the event.
Expect to pay your wedding planner like you would any other vendor. You should also specify whether your budget includes the wedding planner’s fee or not. Some wedding planners ask for their fee split, half up-front, and a half when the event is over, while others prefer to receive it in one lump-sum at either the beginning or end of the event. You should coordinate with your planner about their preference.
After the event is over, the cleaning crew has made the venue spotless, and the couple has enjoyed their honeymoon, the event planner still has one big task in front of them to wrap up: testimonials.
For a wedding planner, a positive client review can mean the world. You can expect them to follow up with you after the event is over to get a testimonial from you and your partner.
Contact the professionals at Anticipation Events today to discover how we can make your wedding special.