In the past, when families lived close to each other, mothers, aunts and other extended family members were your wedding planners. Today our world is a lot more complicated and planning a wedding on your own can add a lot of stress to an already busy life. Enter the wedding planner. An unbiased resource to help you get thought one of the most daunting and important events you will ever create.

About two years ago, I posted a blog about the various types of terms you may come across when looking for a wedding planner. Since then, the wedding planning business has been evolving and I wanted to update you on some changes you might be seeing and hearing.

1) Wedding Management is starting to replace day-of or month-of coordination. This is because, honestly, it is almost impossible to just show up on the wedding day and pull off a great job. Planners need to create timelines, ceremony line-ups, develop contingency plans, and want to be knowledgeable about all of your vendors and expectations. Usually, all of this can be done one month before the wedding, but not just on the wedding day.

2) No packages or customized packages are replacing cookie-cutter full, partial and day-of packages. All couples come to a planner with different needs, wants and expectations. Some couples may have most of their vendors, some have none. I always try to meet my couples where they are and price my services accordingly. No planner wants to charge you for work they don’t do, but they also want to get paid for the work they do.

3) Client” and “Couple” is replacing “bride” and “groom” in everything from websites to company names to contracts. Planners who offer services to LGBT couples will most always use those terms in all marketing to be inclusive. Also, this industry has been all about the Bride for so long, when there are so many Grooms that want to be a part of the planning process. The term Couple is more reflective of the fact that the wedding in about both of you.

4) Preferred Vendor Lists used to be a go to resource for a lot of couples. While these can be a shortcut for you to find some great vendors, many couples these days are looking for something unique and don’t want to have the same vendors as everyone else. And, while most of the time there are excellent vendors listed, they might not be the right fit for you. And you should be aware that there are many lists anyone can pay to get on. A good planner will have many vetted and reliable vendors in each category that they can choose from to fit your style and budget.

5) Friendor or Vendor Clauses in contracts. This is really to protect the client from no-shows or other wedding day disasters. We all want to try to keep your wedding within budget, but hiring friends to save money is really a gamble, unless they actually perform that service for a living. Planners should always recommend that you get signed contracts from all your vendors, no matter who they are. In the end, you might be disappointed on your big day and lose a friend.

Hiring a wedding planner is a relatively new concept and is constantly evolving as planners adjust to what their couples need and want. The most important thing is to find a planner that understands your desires, with whom you can communicate openly, and that you can trust to execute your vision of the perfect wedding day.

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