Which comes first: hire a planner or book a venue?

If you’re newly engaged, you may be wondering what wedding planning task to tackle first: hire a wedding planner or book a venue? (This is of course after figuring out your wedding budget and estimated guest count.) There’s really no right or wrong answer to this—it comes down to your budget, priorities and time you have to plan.

For example, if you have a specific venue in mind or think you’ll have the time and energy to find the venue on your own, you can book a wedding venue first. On the flip side, if you have no idea where to begin with the venue hunt and/or don’t have the time to research venues, you should consider hiring a wedding planner first.

Most wedding planners offer services that fall into three main categories: wedding management (a.k.a. wedding day coordination), partial planning (securing some vendors and/or planning services while other tasks are completed by the engaged couple) and full planning (securing a venue and all vendors after the couple is engaged).

You first need to determine if you’re looking strictly for a wedding manager to coordinate the logistics of your wedding day or a wedding planner to help you plan out the details. The primary means you and your partner will take care of most of the planning yourselves, while the latter means you need help with planning, but the level will vary based on your specific situation.

It’s important to note that hiring a wedding planner comes at a price. Generally speaking, wedding coordinators are becoming a necessary expense to consider in the wedding budget, but planners are still seen as a luxury expense. Depending on the level of planning you need help with, hiring a planner can get costly because wedding planning is a time-consuming and stressful process. This is certainly true when you don’t know which vendors to work with, and this is especially true when securing a venue. The venue search and selection alone is a lengthy process between the venue tours, determining what’s included in the rental fee and calculating the total cost per guest if catering is in-house.

It’s simply a complicated and daunting task to find the venue, so expect to pay high fees to your planner if you want (s)he to help you with this. However, the pricey con to hire a wedding planner will be overshadowed by the peace of mind and hours you’ll save by hiring an experienced professional who will take the burden off your shoulders. Planners have a large network of venues and vendors they work with, so they save their couples an invaluable amount of time by presenting locations and services that specifically fit their clients’ budgets and needs.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you and your partner to decide whether it’s best to first hire a planner or book a venue. Consider your budget, priorities and time you have for planning before making the decision.

Sunday, May 30, 2021


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