It’s engagement season! This is likely your first time planning a wedding, and although you think you know what you’re doing, having someone guide you will make life much easier. This is why I decided to interview Jessica from J. Robertson Events! Jessica chose to talk about the importance of a wedding planner, and I couldn’t agree more with everything she had to share! If you’re more of a visual person, you can watch the replay on Instagram or read the short version (and skip our live bloopers) below. Ok! So let’s get to the questions!
So in your day of coordination, you’re typically planning your event or your wedding pretty much the whole way by yourself. Then we (a planning team or individual) would enter closer to your wedding day to take over. I don’t offer day-of coordination. I think it’s easier to do what we call a month of coordination. We come in about six weeks out we start to fine-tune, cross your t’s and dot your i’s, all of the things you may have forgotten. And then we can confidently take over and, obviously, show up on your big day and have everything you want. A full-service planner starts a year out or even 18 months out, which is a higher wedding planning process. It’s from start to finish, so there is a pretty big difference there.”
If you’ve taken a peek at my contact form, you might have noticed I ask who the wedding planner is. During our consultation call, many of my couples tell me their “planner” is their venue coordinator. It is NOT the same thing, and I love how Jessica explained the difference.
“A venue coordinator, adversely, is truly only going to bring to life things that have been promised to you in your wedding venue contract. Let’s take a resort setting; for instance, they will probably offer you catering, sometimes your cake is included, chairs, tables, and the four walls in which your event will take place. Those types of things are what your venue coordinator is making a priority. They are not going to help you with your invitations. More often than not, they are not going to place your menus and your favors or clean up at the end of the night. They are not going to touch your personal items. One, because then it becomes a liability, and two, that’s really not their job. They were hired to provide you with an outstanding venue and that everything that was promised in your wedding contract comes to fruition.”
As a photographer, I get to witness pretty much your entire wedding day, and I have noticed a common thread when there is a delay in the timeline. I was so curious about Jessica’s thoughts on this next question and wondered if we shared the same answer.
“I think this is no fault of the vendor team that I am about to mention; however, more often than not, hair and makeup put us so far behind! Again, I don’t think that is any fault of a hair and makeup team. I truly think it comes from timeline misguidance, and sometimes when you don’t have someone else owning your timeline and making sure that it’s planned perfectly and two that it’s happening on your big day the way it should. I think it’s very easy to fall behind. I think it’s easy not to know what is supposed to happen or how much to a lot for. When I create a timeline, and I’m sure you do, too, I add buffers. So if hair and makeup are running late, I need XYZ amount of time to put makeup, get into your dress, and do the first look and all of the things that come in between each specific event. I think a lot of times we see that happen as a chain reaction from a poorly planned timeline. So you don’t know what you don’t know. The second thing that tends to put us behind is when people who are supposed to be in certain photos are late or don’t know where to be…Also, if your timeline is running behind, it’s ok! It’s all going to work out.”
“I personally think it is super important to hire a planner; the sooner, the better. Right off the bat. In my personal preference, I would say everyone should hire a wedding planner before they even find their venue. I think people get fixated on having to lock in their date and venue, and that’s great; that’s totally fine. But there is so much value in hiring a planner prior to anything else. If you walk through your vision together, we can help you pinpoint the venues that are going to help bring that to life and are the best fit for your budget and, your date, the time of year. There are so many factors that once they’re solidified, that piece of the puzzle is completely off the table for us, and we’re just working with what we’re given from there. Which is not a bad thing. It’s going to be fine!”
Those were the four main questions that we went over. Of course, we chit-chatted about other things that would take ages to turn into a blog. We even talked about starting a podcast and one of our live viewers (hey, Christianna!) gave us the PERFECT name for it: Coffee and Carats. We’re not making any promises, but we love the name!
An incredible question that was asked during the live was related to the pros and cons of a first look, but I have a blog post about it that you can find here!
I hope that you not only learned something new but that you had fun! Towards the end of the live we both shared a special promo for those who are interested in hiring one or both of us! But for that, you’ll have to watch the replay. ?
Got a sparkly ring on your finger? I only take ten weddings a year, and 2023 is booking quickly! Let’s chat and get you in the books!