Reader Question: “Is it better to prepare most of the wedding by yourself, or is it better to hire a professional?”

Today’s reader question comes from Steve who posed the question “Is it better to prepare most of the wedding by yourself, or is it better to hire a professional?” Professional in this case would be referring to a wedding planner who would take care of the planning and the details for you. Here is what we concluded:

Doing the Wedding Planning Yourself

There are plenty of resources out there to help guide you in planning your own wedding. Some of these resources are books and binders that you can buy to help you stay organized. Other resources are free and can be found with a simple Google Search on what you need to do, and when to do it to stay on track with your planning.

Finding information is not the hard part. Finding out whether or not you have enough time to put into planning is the hard part. Having never planned a wedding before, there are sure to be things that you either a.) didn’t think of in the beginning or b.) took way longer than you anticipated.

Things can, and will, go wrong, and you should always plan for 50% more time than you originally plan for things to take.

I planned my own wedding with my wife. We also made many of the items that went into it (center pieces, programs, etc). One part of my right-hand ring finger went numb for 4 months from all the cutting that had to be done.

With that said, there is a sense of pride in saying that everything was done by you and your future spouse. The deciding factor is whether all of the time you have to spend on it is worth the money that you saved, because if it isn’t, you may as well hire a planner.

Here’s some math to help you decide.

Figure if you are paying a wedding planner $2,000, but you save 200 hours of your year in planning, arranging, creating, and preparing, as well as finding, contacting, meeting, paying, and verifying your other vendors.

Is your time worth more than $10 an hour ($2,000/200 hours saved)? If it is, then see the next section.

If you do want to go it alone, Real Simple has a fairly extensive wedding planning checklist on their site if you decide this is the route to go. You can read the checklist on this page.

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Hiring A Wedding Planner

If you decide that your time is worth more than you would pay a wedding planner, it is definitely worth hiring one.

Not only do they find and hire your vendors (with your input of course), but they also take all of the hectic planning, prepping, and executing and put it into play for you. This can help save your nerves and your sanity as all of the details of planning a wedding can become very overwhelming.

Not only will you save time, but your wedding will probably be better organized, and look better to boot.

Sorry, it’s just the hard truth.

Wedding planners do this for a living, have probably done dozens, if not hundreds of weddings before, and they know what works and what doesn’t. They can also help you set up a wedding budget, and stay on budget (something that is harder to do on your own).

While you do hold final decisions and authority over what happens, it is a really good idea to heed their warnings and listen to ideas they have for improvements. They have been there and done that.

Lastly, wedding planners often have connections with vendors and get referral discounts for suggesting you hire them. They pass this savings on to you, so you often save near as much on your other vendors as you are paying your wedding planner.

That’s time and money saved!

The Knot has a list of 5 steps that you can take to hire a wedding planner. You can read that article here.

The Best Solution For Planning

Ultimately the decision is up to you, but in the end I think it would be worth it to at least shop around for a wedding planner.

They will save you time in planning and headaches, and money on the other vendors you hire, as they can often broker deals or already have deals with these other vendors.

With that said, make sure you price compare between wedding planners and get the best deal for the best quality of service. Not all pricing plans are created equal.

Do your research online and look for great reviews while you are at it. It is the most important day of your life, so you want some proof that the planner can pull it off.

My answer to Steve’s questions would probably be to hire a wedding planner.

Just like hiring an accountant or a tax professional, sometimes it is just best to leave it to the pros.

Thank you for the question Steve! Now we would like to open it up to everyone else!


Sound off in the comments below!   Have your own question? Be sure to comment below!