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Things Your Wedding Planner Won't Tell You

Sujata Iyer Oct 13, 2020
If planning a wedding was easy, everybody would be doing it. But it isn't. So we seek wedding planners who will make our lives much easier by showing us the way. But are they being completely honest with us? Maybe not.

Research* says that:

  • Almost 50% women realized that wedding planning was not as easy they thought it would be.
  • 1 in every 3 brides-to-be hires a planner to execute her dream wedding.
*As per The Knot

Not all wedding planners are as glamorous as Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner. There are the kind who will help you plan your wedding, but not steal your groom.
There are also the kind who'll give you the dirt on some of the things that happen behind the scenes. Things that you, as a bride-to-be and a prospective client most definitely need to know about the wedding planning business; things an average wedding planner won't tell you.
Some brides-to-be are just super in the way they visualize, research, and plan things.
If you're inherently good at planning, organizing, multitasking, chances are you don't really need a wedding planner. Here's a quick test:
  • Do you have a flair for planning events?
  • Are you good at identifying and getting good deals for stuff you buy?
  • Can you handle crises?
  • Are you resourceful?
If you've answered 'yes' to most or all of these questions, then you might want to rethink your decision about hiring a wedding planner, because you might not need her.
And you thought your wedding planner's wall was decorated with framed degrees to plan your wedding. Pffft! Sure she may have a 'certificate' from an 'association/consultancy' that may entitle her to plan and dictate every aspect of your wedding, but she isn't armed with a hardcore degree.
That's right: your wedding planner does not have a degree because there is none. This makes it more attractive to people; unfortunately, it also makes it more susceptible to disaster. As of now, the profession does not demand one. Wait, does it?
Yes. Apparently, one of the occupational hazards of a wedding planner is that she can tell if your marriage will last. No, she doesn't have a time machine. It's got something to do with the way you, as a bride-to-be, conduct yourself.
And of course, the way you and your fiancé handle the pressure and stress that wedding planning brings with it. Another factor that helps her is the duration for which the two of you have known each other before the engagement. Just giving all the bridezillas a heads up!
No self-respecting wedding planner is going to tell you that she can't handle a problem. So there's little to no chance of her telling you that she can, like any other person on the planet, get utterly panic-stricken when faced with an unforeseen event.
A good way to gauge if she can handle a crisis is to give her hypothetical situations and ask her to come up with solutions. Here are some you can use:
  • The groom forgot the ring
  • The flower girl is down with the flu
  • A running kid managed to overturn the champagne tower
  • Your ring finger is swollen due to an allergic reaction
Isn't it extremely annoying when you're trying to work on something and suddenly have to abandon it for something else? Just for fun, let's say you're planning the wedding all by yourself. What if you're in the middle of the cake tasting, and you get a call from a friend who wants to talk about his pet turtle?
And next from a cousin who wants to brag about how her kid won the kindergarten fashion show? You'd be hassled, wouldn't you? Keep this in mind the next time you call your wedding planner. She may be too nice to tell you to zip it when she's swamped with work. Don't take it for granted.
Just because she's not saying it doesn't mean she's not thinking it. She's a consultant that you hired to help plan the most important day of your life; she's not your servant. Yes.
This is something that your planner will think of telling you if/when you:
  • Call her to pick up your dress.
  • Tell her to pick up your bridesmaids' dresses.
  • Ask her to sample the food while you get a mani-pedi.
Show her the respect she deserves.
Let's sheepishly admit that many of the ideas that you want to use for your wedding are not 100% original. You must have been at least a teeny bit (p)inspired while planning your wedding. Don't worry. If you won't admit it, neither will your wedding planner.
She'll give you a thumbs-up for every (feasible) idea that you suggest, with 'oohs' and 'aahs' at appropriate intervals. But she will never ever ever tell you that she's 'been there, done that'. Pinky swear!
Now, for all you brides who want your wedding to be a replica of your wedding board on a very popular inspiration website, your wedding planner will be a total angel. She'll patiently listen to all the details about what you want your awesome DIY wedding to be like.
What she probably won't tell you is that DIY weddings may not always be easy on the pocket. In fact, they can be much more expensive than a typical one. So you might want to do your own research about prices and deals and share them with her. Being a hands-on bride-to-be is one of the biggest advantages you can give yourself.
If you're going to be one of those brides-to-be who insists that her wedding planner answer all her calls and respond to all her emails, texts and IMs as soon as she sends them, you're going to have to do the same for her.
Understood that you may be contacting her for something important on most occasions, but when she's contacting you, it's probably to get back to you about something that you asked for. A delay in response from your end may result in your wedding preparations suffering and you having to settle for something hideous.
So, even though she may play it cool and respond sweetly when you finally call her back, she's mentally yelling at you. And who needs that? Just respond to her calls and messages ASAP and avoid the unnecessary drama.
Most, if not all, wedding planners charge clients according to the number of hours they spend with them for the preparations. And these hours too may be fixed. They may also include extra charges if you require them to be present at the venue on the wedding day. All this may be very clearly mentioned in the contract that you draw up with her.
But you may not realize when and how these hours will fly past, what with all the chats, rants, and anecdotes being peppered all across the preparations for the big day.
Keep up with unnecessary talking and you'll be left to foot a bill that's almost double of what you initially agreed to. 'Cos expecting her to keep reminding you that your hours are almost up is like expecting a lion to take permission before killing its prey.
There are some brides-to-be who can be really, really creative when it comes to planning the intricacies of the wedding. And then there are some who go so over-the-top that it becomes difficult to fathom from which crevice of the mind such ideas originate.
In such cases, a wedding planner has no choice but to ignore the unrealistic demands that you make. She knows the budget, she knows the kind of wedding you want, she also knows the best way to realize your dream wedding. And when you come up with something absurd, she'll hear you out, but will ultimately do what's best for the wedding. True story!
Every wedding planner wants to show her client that she's the best at what she does. This means, under no circumstance, can she make an error of any kind. Mind you, in the wedding industry an error by omission is more frowned upon than an error by commission.
So, if your planner happens to forget something, it's very likely (unless she can't bear the big blotch on her conscience) that she simply won't tell you about it. She'll cleverly have it included in the process but won't let you find out.
*Tip: To make sure that you don't end up paying for stuff that you didn't know you were paying for, maintain a paper trail of everything you order, purchase, get made, etc. Make sure you have all final decisions written down somewhere for quick reference.
Your wedding planner knows that this day is one of the most important days of your life. She knows that on this day, you're going to be surrounded by the people you love the most.
She knows how much they mean to you. But she also knows that your friends and family have the highest chances of posing problems or causing tension for her and the other guests at the wedding. The uncle who drinks a little too much; the niece who insists on holding the train of your gown; the aunt who refuses to sit at the table she's supposed to.
All these people are going to be handled by the wedding planner, and she's not going to like it. But she won't bother you about it. Bless her!
A wedding is such a vulnerable occasion. There are things just waiting to go wrong. The groom forgetting his ring, the caterer bringing the wrong dessert, the bridal bouquet wilting because it wasn't sprayed. Oh the horror! But you'll never get a whiff of all mis-happenings in the background.
Your wedding planner will take care of everything and leave you to take care of the expense that said mis-happenings caused.

*Tip: Keep a contingency fund that you can use for such unexpected events.
What wedding is complete without flowers, right? Your planner may suggest how your wedding simply must have orchids from Thailand and how it will add to the grandeur of the event. Or she may suggest that your bridal bouquet be made of a bunch of the most gorgeous tulips ever!
What she won't tell you is that sometimes, flowers are just not worth it. You can go for cheaper alternatives to flowers for wedding décor. It's just a matter of finding the perfect one.
It's true that any wedding planner worth her salt will have a list of vendors ready for every aspect of the event. But it's also true that this list will have her most preferred vendors at the top of it. Her reasons may be professional or personal. She may enjoy working with a particular vendor because he's good at what he does.
Another may be a distant relative. Yet another may be one of her friends. To make sure that you're not being ripped off just because your planner's vendors are all her best buddies, do your own thorough research and have a bunch of vendors of your own, at prices you're comfortable with.
Oh, did I forget to mention that her vendors generally ask for impossibly high rates? They do.
More often than not, if you haven't explicitly requested that the planner be present at your wedding, she won't be there. If it's not in your contract, then she might not be there, unless by personal invitation. Sometimes, even if she has a personal invitation, she just may not be able to make it because she has other clients to attend to.
What? You thought yours was the only wedding she was planning? Sheesh! She's just being nice and making you feel like the center of the universe, because she knows that that's what you want. *sniff*
Armed with this treasure of nitty-gritty that your wedding planner won't share with you will definitely make you a wiser bride. Remember these things while you plan your wedding - it'll make it easier and stress-free. Well, a little.