May 4, 2019 | The Wedding Planner Guide

Unfortunately, it’s one of those things, where if you aren’t in the industry and not really familiar with wedding planning, that booking a wedding planner with a variety of different services available, can somewhat seem very daunting.

  • What service do you need?
  • When do you need it?
  • What happens if you wait too late or book too early?
  • What does a wedding planner actually do?
  • How much do they cost and why do they cost what they do?
  • Should I hire a wedding planner and how can they actually help me?

Over the course of 5 blog posts. I’ll be answering these questions for you, giving you the tools, you need, in order for you to make the right decision for you as a couple.


1. What does a wedding planner do and what services do they offer?

2. Why should you hire a wedding planner and how can they help you?

3. How much does a wedding planner cost and why does it cost that much?

4. When should you hire a wedding planner and when can you hire one?

5. What to look for when hiring a wedding planner and what questions should you ask?



So, let’s start off with the first question – what does a wedding planner do and what services do they offer?

The definition of a wedding planner is someone that plans weddings, but that’s not really what it always entails – as it’s so much more than just planning!

There’s a multitude of different things a Wedding Planner does, and it’ll all be dependent on who your wedding planner is (as not all wedding planners will offer the same things) and what service you’re looking for and when you need them from. Most Wedding Planners offer 3 – 4 different services; Full Planning, Partial Planning, Final Weeks and On The Day, with others offering additional services such as Styling + Design and Consultancy.

I’ve broken down each package that most Wedding Planners offer, to give you a better idea of what they actually do and what services they offer.




What is it?

This service is pretty much the full package, the top package, the most comprehensive package.

This service will pretty much include everything! The design concept, all the planning from start to finish, on the day management, research, booking and managing of all suppliers and the venue, financial and budget management, RSVPs, table plans, accommodation and travel arrangements, etiquette information etc.

Pretty much everything you need to plan a wedding, without actually having to plan it yourself.

Remember you’re the main focus, so everything will be directed by yourselves and you have the final decision on everything, it’s just that you’ll have someone doing it all for you! Reminding you when you need to do things and getting all the boring and mundane tasks done for you, like researching suppliers, visiting all the potential venues signing contracts and making sure everything gets paid and booked when it needs to be.

A full planning service is pretty much like your best friend/personal assistant/stylist/project manager, combined with a walking and talking encyclopaedia of wedding planning.


When can you book?

This package is bookable from the beginning of your wedding planning journey, which could be anywhere between 8 months or 2 years! It really all depends on when you’re looking to start planning and when you’re looking to get married. And don’t worry if you’ve already booked your venue, you can still book a full planning service. There may even be a little bonus because you have!


Who is it for?

Anyone. You don’t have to be rich and famous to hire a wedding planner nowadays. You could have a very demanding job and active social life, that you just don’t have time to organise a wedding; you could be looking at having your wedding in an area that you cannot easily get to or don’t know, like another county or country; you may just want some help and guidance throughout the process; you may just not be very good at organising and need someone to do it for you; you may not even want to organise it or like organising things! The reasons are endless! Outsourcing is a very big part of everyday life nowadays.

Top Tip:


Always check to see what’s included in this package before booking. This package does pretty much include everything but remember that their everything may not be the same as your everything, and one Wedding Planners everything may not be the same as another Wedding Planners everything.


For example, you may come across a Wedding Planner that will offer unlimited hours on site on the day of your wedding and others that only offer 9 hours, with the additional hours chargeable or you expect that your wedding planner will arrange the after-wedding brunch, but it’s not actually included in the original package.



What is it?

Partial wedding planning is a partial wedding planning service but what’s included will differ depending on who you’re booking with.

Most Planners will expect you to have already booked your venue, confirmed your theme of your wedding as well as the design concept and have already booked most of your suppliers.

You’ll also have a limited amount of consultations available and a limited number of additional suppliers they will book for you.

This service, will include managing and planning the rest of your wedding, literally picking up where you left off; researching and booking any suppliers that you haven’t yet booked, making sure that all the contracts are signed and everyone is paid when they need to be, advice and etiquette information, full venue and supplier management on the day, making sure that everyone has all the information they need and ensuring that everyone is where they need to be and when on the day.

Most Partial Planning services will include On The Day Coordination and Management.


When can you book?

This is normally bookable between 4 – 8 months prior to your wedding date, however, depending on the package and what you need doing and of course availability, the timeframe can vary.


Who is it for?

This service is for couples that have already started their wedding planning journey but have hit a wall (or are freaking out a little) and need help with organising the rest of their wedding.

Top Tip:


Most Partial Planning Packages are bespoke, as they’re all created on what you need as a couple – what you’ve already organised, how long you’ve got left, how much help you need and where your wedding will be taking place.


Make sure you check to see what’s included and to ask if there is something that you’re unsure of or need additional services, that may not already be included.



What is it?

This is a water-downed version of the Partial Planning Service.

Planners will have expected you to have planned the majority of your wedding, have your venue booked and confirmed, your catering confirmed, your beverages confirmed, all your suppliers confirmed, all your attire booked and confirmed.

This package usually includes all those last minutes bits you need doing before the wedding – picking up with suppliers and making sure that everyone has everything that they need and when they need it by, creating schedules and event sheets for everyone, assisting with wedding favours and of course On The Day Coordination and Management.


When can you book?

1-3 months prior to your wedding.


Who is it for?

Couples that have pretty-much planned everything but need an extra pair of hands closer to their wedding to help with those last-minute bits.

Top Tip:


Always check to see what’s included in this package before booking and when you’re able to book it, as every Wedding Planner is different depending, on the services that they offer.


If they’re a Wedding Planner that only books On The Day then you’re able to book a lot sooner than if they are a Wedding Planner that also offers Full Planning.



What is it?

This is when you have someone running the entire day for you – they’re the main contact for all suppliers and the venue and will ensure that everything is set-up to the exact specification that you require.

They make sure that everyone is where they need to be and when – for example, speeches, moving guests from the reception to the breakfast, getting the correct people for photos, making sure the food comes out when needed, first dance, cake cutting etc.

Think of them as your very own conductor, making sure everything happens when it needs to happen.


When can you book?

2 weeks to 2 months prior.


Who is it for?

Couples that have planned everything but need someone to run it on the day and ensure that everything is set-up correctly, leaving themselves and their bridal party to enjoy the day, as they should, without having to worry about anything.

Top Tip:


Always check to see how many hours are included and if they will ensure full breakdown on the night.


Most planners will offer a full set-up and management on the day but only for a certain number of hours, which may mean if you need them to assist with breakdown or ensuring that hired items get back to the companies they are from, then you may need to add on additional hours.


Also be aware of booking this service especially if you’ve got a marquee wedding! Marquee’s normally need at least a 2 day install, so any planner that only offers an on the day service for this type of wedding, may not be as experienced as you think they are!



What is it?

This service is when you hire a stylist to design and style your wedding.

This service comes in different “levels” depending on the stylist/planner and what they are offering.

The main objective of this service is to design your wedding and to put together mood boards and ideas, by taking your vision, your character, your personality and your story.

Additional services will include sourcing suppliers that will fit within the same style and theme they have created for you, and then managing the set-up on the day.


When can you book?

Normally towards the beginning of your wedding planning journey, when you need help creating the design concept but stylists can be flexible, so as long as they’ve got availability I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to book.


Who is it for?

Couples that are planning their wedding themselves but need help with creating a design concept and theme.

Top Tip:


Make sure that you’ve check what level of service you’re booking and make sure you know what you need from this.


Mood boards are great, however hiring someone to research the suppliers for you and set everything up on the day in the same style as discussed and confirmed from the beginning may be something you need more and sometimes it’s better to have the same person throughout.



What is it?

When a planner offers bundles of time, for your use as and when you need it in order to assist with the planning of your wedding on a consultant basis, whether this is at the beginning stages of your planning journey or during it.


When can you book?

Pretty much anytime you need help.


Who is it for?

For any couples that wish to plan the wedding themselves, but just need some guidance or help.

Top Tip:


This service can work out quite expensive if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for help with.


Make sure you’ve got a good understanding of what you need help with before deciding on booking any service, this way you can ensure that you book the right service for what you need.


Remember “wedmin” can take a lot more time than anticipated so remember to factor that in if you’re buying bundles of hours.

Hello and welcome to my blog!

A collection of tips, tricks and advice, perfect for those planning their wedding or party.

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+44 (0) 7496 702178

© By Siobhan Louise

Siobhan Zulch trading as By Siobhan Louise

Photography Credits: Lightburst Photography, Brand Studio Co, Anneli Marinovich Branding

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