bride above a beautiful wedding reception

Refreshingly Elegant Ideas for a Spring Wedding

Spring in Wisconsin is a time to celebrate—and these beautiful ideas for a spring wedding certainly do that! The snow is gone, the weather is warmer, and you can almost feel the spirits of guests raise with the temperatures. If you’re looking for ideas for a spring wedding that are as sunny as the weather, this list of tips can kickstart your wedding planning.

Choose a venue that makes an impression

The exterior of your wedding venue makes as big of an impression on guests as the weather—-and we can’t control that (especially in Wisconsin!). Couples can control guests’ first impression by choosing a beautiful wedding venue. For an extra elegant spring touch, choose a wedding venue with exterior lighting that gives guests something to talk about even before they step in the door. (Use these tips to choose the Milwaukee venue that’s right for your special day.)

floral centerpiece with tall gold vase and lilies

Look for spring bloom ideas

Floral touches are an expected spring wedding idea, but that doesn’t mean flowers can’t arranged or included in unexpected ways. For a one-of-a-kind presentation, ask your wedding vendors for new and fresh ideas that feel as unique as you are as a couple.

floral bouquet on table with sparkling back drop: outdoor touch for summer wedding

Think green

Spring is a time to celebrate green grass after a long, cold, and white winter. For a new, fresh outlook, couples should look for ways to include greenery in centerpieces or in other décor that spruces up the space—and make guests look forward to the real thing.

couple cutting cake on wedding date

Include fresh tastes in your wedding menu

A spring wedding menu demands fresh ingredients, giving guests a taste of the fresh air and beauty that is to come. This is a time to consider dishes with fresh fruits and vegetables, though couples should be careful to avoid serving too light of a meal that doesn’t fill guests up.

In addition to ingredients, a spring wedding is also the perfect setting for beer and wine tastings. For a truly local feel (along with these other ideas for a wedding with a local flavor), consider adding a tasting station with local ales and wines—ideally with ingredients that are as fresh as spring. Couples can also give guests the same experience by sending home small bottles of their signature drink.

beautiful wedding day after couple organizes wedding planning

Bring the outdoors in

If you truly want your wedding to feel like a celebration of the outdoors, try to bring the outdoors in. Couples can establish this atmosphere with topiaries and beautiful walls of greenery that make guests enjoy the beauty of the outdoors without the chill of a spring night.

outdoor picture of newlyweds at Milwaukee wedding venue

Be open to outdoor photos

Spring weather in Wisconsin can be unpredictable. Some days it snows, while other days the temperature swells—but that doesn’t have to ruin beautiful outdoor photos. When planning a spring wedding, do your extra due diligence by packing for any weather. (Use these tips for preparing an emergency wedding day kit.) A shawl can be a stylish touch in photos or a way to warm up after a stunning outdoor photo. If the weather looks rainy, an umbrella (for just you or for your entire wedding party) can be a perfect part of a one-of-a-kind spring wedding photo.

bride and groom dancing at summer wedding reception in beautiful wedding venue

How to Find THE Milwaukee Wedding Venue of Your Dreams

The Brew City is full of beautiful wedding venues. How are you supposed to find the right Milwaukee wedding venue that fits your vision and pocketbook? One of the first lessons of wedding planning is that you can’t always judge a book by its cover. Some of the most beautiful wedding venues can provide the perfect backdrop without breaking your wedding budget. The second lesson is that you should expect to allocate 40% of your budget for the wedding reception (i.e. wedding venue, caterer, etc.)

All these wedding planning lessons can make finding the right Milwaukee wedding venue seem like an overwhelming puzzle. Fortunately, this guide can help you through the process and help you find the right wedding venue that is the perfect setting for your wedding day.

Set a budget.

Before you start looking for a wedding venue, it’s important to set criteria for your search. You can do so with a conversation with your fiancé. This is the time to state anything you really want at the wedding, and discuss important details like the location, date, and how you’re going to pay for it. (Use this list of wedding planning questions to guide your discussion.)

Research, research, research.

The next step is to research local Milwaukee wedding venues. Fortunately, this step can mostly be done online, on websites and social media. However, there is a note of caution that comes with this step. Though pictures on the website and social media look great, never book a wedding venue without seeing it in-person. This is your time to ask questions and schedule a showing.

Interview your potential wedding venues.

If you want to narrow down your prospects, contact each Milwaukee wedding venue with these questions:

  • Is the venue available on this date/during this month/in this season? (If you don’t have a set date, it can be easier to find a wedding venue with available dates during your desired season or month.)
  • Will my wedding be the only event at the venue?
  • How many guests does your venue accommodate? Is there space for a ceremony and reception? If so, will my guests have to wait before the reception?
  • What is the venue rate? What does the venue rate include (i.e. equipment, staffing, etc.)? Is there an overtime fee if the reception goes beyond a certain number of hours?
  • What services are covered by the venue rate?
  • Does your venue offer wedding planning services?
  • Does your venue carry liability insurance? (This can be important in case a guest is injured.)
  • What is the wedding venue cancellation policy?
  • Can I bring in a wedding caterer or photographer? Or does your venue require us to use certain vendors?
  • What is the venue alcohol policy?
  • Is there convenient parking near the wedding venue?
  • Is the wedding venue handicap accessible?
  • Are there local accommodations for my guests (i.e. hotels, inns, etc.)? How far away are these businesses?

Review the contract.

After interviewing your potential wedding venues, it’s time to tour your wedding venue (with this list of wedding venue tour questions) and review the contract. Once you’ve signed the contract for your favorite Milwaukee wedding venue, the fun next step can begin: envisioning and planning the day of your dreams.

wedding day at a reception hall with bride and groom dancing after wedding planning

When to Start Wedding Planning (and Where to Start)

“When do I start wedding planning?” is a wedding planning question that inevitably pops into your head—sometimes even before you’ve uttered yes! Even if you don’t ask the question, get ready for a barrage of questions from friends and family.

When to Start Wedding Planning

The best answer to the when question is when you’re ready—but with the disclaimer that if you wait too long you may not get your ideal date, wedding venue, or vendors. Planning your big day starts—surprisingly!—with a conversation with your fiancé.

Do we have a special date we want to get married on? Or a time of year?

The good news: you don’t need to have a set date before you start contacting venues and vendors. Some couples have a date in mind for months or years before they get married, while others set the date based on venue and vendor availability. If you’re in the latter camp (no date), you can use these tips for setting a wedding date or contact wedding venues and ask for open dates.

Either way, this is your time to discuss not only the date but how long you want to be engaged. There are some advantages to a long or short engagement. A long engagement gives you plenty of time for wedding planning, while a short engagement gets you down the aisle and into wedding bliss quickly (use these tips if you’re getting married in six months or less).  

Where should we get married?

Just as important as the date is the where of your wedding; this question can start as broad as choosing between a destination or hometown wedding. Once you’ve narrowed down the city, it’s time to start thinking about wedding venues in your desired location.

What is our wedding budget? How are we going to pay for our wedding?

A wedding budget gets your wedding planning kickstarted off on the right foot, giving you and your fiancé the chance to discuss your finances and financial means. This is also your chance to make sure you are allocating money for big-ticket items that make a big impact on guests (i.e. venue, food, entertainment); a wedding budget checklist can be a big help during your discussion.

Do we want a large or small wedding?

Your guest list count doesn’t need to be final, but an estimated guest count is big part of choosing the right wedding venue and setting a wedding budget. Because of the implications on budget, it’s okay to flip flop these questions and decide on how many funds you have first—and how much you want to spend on each guest.

Do we want to plan the wedding ourselves? Or do we need help?

There is no doubt that wedding planning is a big undertaking, so it’s a good idea to decide on how much of it you want to tackle yourselves. This is an opportunity to review your available time and support system, and decide if you need a full- or part-time wedding planner or can take the wedding planning checklist on yourselves. If you decide you want wedding planning help, it’s time to decide if you want to hire a wedding planner from your wedding venue or a professional with an independent business.

What is our style? What do we really want from our big day?

Your style as a couple gives you direction as you plan—and your discussion gives you the chance to get on the same page about it! In addition to the wedding style (i.e. elegant, traditional, rustic, casual, natural), this is your opportunity to voice any preferences you really want on your big day. Your fiance’s answer may surprise you!

First Wedding Planning Steps

Once you’ve discussed the important details, decide if you want to start wedding planning now or in the future. If you’ve decided on a long-term engagement, start booking the big details now (i.e. venue, caterer, entertainment). You can get to the rest of the checklist later!

Get organized.

The very first step is to get organized, with a binder or paper-free. Either way, take a few minutes to kickstart your wedding planning with the app, wedding checklist, deadlines, and tips that keep you organized as you plan your big day.

Set a date.

Your wedding date is a core detail that is going to be brought up with almost every vendor, so it makes sense to set a date as soon as possible. This can be done by using a special date (i.e. when you met, a signature family date, your first kiss, etc.) or contacting venues to see what dates are available.

Research and choose a wedding venue.

The process for choosing a wedding venue is worthy of a full multi-step venue guide, especially because the wedding venue is the foundation of all your other details. Once you’ve decided on a location, it’s time to search for wedding venues near you (or in your chosen location) and narrow down the options based on style and the venue’s answers to your wedding venue questions.

Start interviewing vendors.

Some wedding venues require that you use certain vendors, while others have an open vendor policy that allows you to choose your favorite caterer and vendors. If you need recommendations for vendors, don’t hesitate to ask the venue staff and start contacting them with vendor questions.

wedding reception with MR & MRS letters in front of a shiny background at a rainy wedding

10 BIG Wedding Planning Questions Answered

Wedding planning is an effort that comes with a million questions. What kind of dress are you going to buy? Who’s going to stand up in your wedding party? While we can’t help you with those details, we have put together a list of the most common wedding planning questions that we hear time and time again as we help couples plan their big day. These answers can get you started planning the day of your dreams—and enjoying the process!

What is the first step in wedding planning?

Congratulations on your engagement! The first step of wedding planning is surprising to many couples, because it doesn’t involve shopping or scheduling a wedding venue tour (those important steps come later).

The first step of wedding planning is a discussion with your fiancé. This is your time to voice any preferences you have for the big day, and to ask these important questions (i.e. location, finances, style, date, etc.)

Should we hire a wedding planner?

Contrary to popular opinion, there are three answers to this question: yes, no, and a little bit. The first answer (yes) is perfect for couples who don’t have time to plan. The second answer (no) is typical for couples who feel they have it covered—either alone or with friends or family. The third answer is perfect for couples who need part-time help with details, either with an independent planner or a convenient venue wedding planner.

How can I keep my wedding planning organized?

Every couple has a different system for wedding planning. Some couples use wedding apps, while others use a wedding binder filled with free wedding printables. No matter what the method, the key to organized wedding planning is to have a great wedding planning checklist, wedding budget spreadsheet, and the time to track your progress and expenses. (Other tips for efficient wedding planning can be found here.)

What questions should I ask wedding venues? How should I book a wedding venue?

The wedding venue is the crux of wedding planning—after all, that’s where most of your big day takes place! The wedding venue is the background of your big day, so choose the site carefully! Because the decision is so important, it’s important to interview each wedding venue to find out the availability, cost (including additional fees), venue capacity, and any other important details (such as parking!)

Because this contact is so important, it’s important to ask 20+ questions that get you the answers that help you decide whether to schedule a venue tour.

Never book a wedding venue without seeing it in-person. Unfortunately, online pictures don’t always tell the whole story. When touring, couples should ask to see every space, including the restrooms, changing areas, and parking spaces (which are incredibly important to guests!) From there, couples can use this step-by-step venue booking guide.

When should I book my wedding venue?

Because the wedding venue is so important, it should be one of the first reservations you make. A wedding venue should be chosen and confirmed AT LEAST 12-14 months before the big day. If time is tight, you may still be able to find an open date, especially if you consider a weekday or Friday night (these dates may be more affordable as well). If you would prefer to hold your ceremony and reception at the venue, ask if there is space for both.

When should I hire a wedding caterer?

Once your wedding venue is booked, it’s time to choose key wedding vendors, including the wedding caterer. Some wedding venues have an in-house caterer that they require couples use, while others have an open vendor policy. This policy allows couples to use any wedding caterer as long as they are licensed and carry insurance.

When should I send out invites? What information should I put on my wedding website?

Typically, a save-the-date wedding invite should be sent out six months before your big day, but the actual invitations don’t go out until a couple of months before. Any additional information about the wedding day can be published on a wedding website, such as local hotels and parking information. More wedding website tips can get you from start to publish.

How long is a wedding reception?

This is one of the common wedding planning questions. Most wedding receptions last 4-5 hours, and revolve around a few simple wedding reception planning steps.

Milwaukee wedding venue with snow

How to Make the Best of Snow on Your Wedding Day

Planning a winter wedding? Don’t get left out in the cold. Winter weddings are incredibly beautiful, but they do come with the risk of snow (especially in Wisconsin!)—and it’s always best to be prepared for it! If you’re planning a winter wedding, use these tips to make the most of snow on your wedding day.

Choose a venue with (really) close guest parking.

Parking doesn’t need to be at the top of your wedding venue checklist, but it should be in the top five. When planning a winter wedding, look for venues with close parking lots or shuttles that can make it easy for guests to get to the venue without ruining their dancing shoes (or freezing!)

Equip yourself and your attendants with adorable winter weather gear.

Winter weather may seem like a negative, but it can also present an incredible and memorable opportunity. While snow on your wedding day may drop your guest count, a fresh snow fall can also make for incredible winter weather pics! To get the best winter wedding shots, tow out your favorite winter weather gear: elegant shawls, scarves, jackets, colorful blankets, and umbrellas. Even sleds and snowboards can make a winter wedding photo unbelievable!

Give guests the chance to cozy up by a fire.

A cozy fire is a wonderful way to welcome guests who are willing to venture out in the snow for your big day. If a fireplace isn’t on your wedding venue checklist, add it! A cozy fire is the perfect way for guests to warm their hands and mingle before dinner.

Create a warm glow.

A winter wedding isn’t complete without lighting. A winter wonderland theme practically demands the shine of a fresh winter snowfall. A warm and cozy winter wedding theme could include soft lighting, crystals, projected lights, and uplighting. (Ask a wedding venue planner for lighting recommendations.) With the right décor (and venue), guests are going to get so caught up in the magic of winter they’ll forget about the snow outside.  

Plan a wedding menu with hot cuisine that warms guests up.

A wedding menu is always a chance to establish a seasonal atmosphere, and a winter wedding is no exception. This is your chance to warm guests up with the most scrumptious wedding dishes: traditional cuisine for a holiday wedding, comfort foods for a cozy treat, and appetizers that give guests a taste for the main course.

Give out cozy wedding favors.

Just as a cozy fire sets the stage for a winter wedding, the right wedding favor is a detail that makes a final impression. Perhaps the best part are all the options for winter wedding favors: snuggly gloves and blankets, hot cocoa kits, holiday ornaments, coffee mugs and custom blends (plus these winter wedding favor ideas). (A wedding venue planner can point you to local businesses for a local flavor.) The right winter wedding favor can leave guests with a warm and cozy feeling as they head out into the snow.

bride and groom at wedding reception planned in short time

12 of the Very Best Wedding Planning Posts of 2019

We could all use some help with wedding planning—especially with such a long wedding planning checklist to tackle. Even the small wedding planning tip (or idea) can be a big help!

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best wedding planning tips of 2019. These “how to” tips can get you through every stage of planning your big day (including keeping you sane throughout the process!)

How to start planning the day of your dreams…

How to organize your wedding planning…

How to avoid some of the worst wedding planning mistakes…

How to decide if you need help…

How to make sure your wedding venue checks off all the boxes (and how to reserve it)…

How to make sure you’ve found the right “one” during your wedding venue tour…

How to have fun even when you’re stressed…

How to choose the best vendors to add to your wedding team…

How to add a local Wisconsin flavor your guests’ll savor…

How to add a little fun to your wedding reception…

beautiful wedding day after couple organizes wedding planning

Step-by-Step: Where to Start Wedding Planning

Planning your wedding is a journey that can takes a million turns…but they all lead to a wonderful big day. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide that (hopefully) makes those turns not so curvy and helps you enjoy the ride.

Step 1: Sit down and talk with your fiancé.

Every couple gets excited about different details…the dresses, tuxes, wedding menu, décor. The list could go on and on. But before you head to the store or start scheduling meetings, take a step back.

The first step of wedding planning—-where you should really start planning your wedding—is a conversation with your fiancé. This is the time for you to discuss your wants (“what is one thing you want in our big day?”) and important details (“what time of year do we want to get married?”), such as the location (city and state), date/time of year, size of the wedding (large or intimate), and budget.

The latter should involve a lengthy discussion of how much you both have for the wedding and how you intend to pay for it. This part of the discussion may lead to talks with other family members or friends that have expressed interest in contributing.

As you discuss the wedding budget (this wedding budget worksheet can help), ask yourselves how much time you have to devote to wedding planning. If the answer is “not much,” make sure you allocate funds to hiring a full- or part-time wedding planner. (The pros and cons of hiring a wedding planning may be helpful in your decision.)

Step 2: Choose a wedding venue.

The wedding venue is the backdrop for your big day; it sets the tone style wise for nearly every other detail. Before you start visiting wedding venues, ask yourself what style you prefer (i.e. rustic, historic, elegant, modern) and what date or time of year you want to get married.

If you don’t have an exact date, don’t stress (and read through these tips for choosing the right wedding date). In some ways, having a month or season in mind can actually help you find the right wedding venue. Once you and your fiancé have decided on the time of year (and year), you can contact wedding venues and ask them what dates are available during your preferred time period.

In addition to style and date, you and your fiancé should also set criteria for your wedding venue (this wedding venue checklist is helpful). You don’t want to choose a wedding venue that is too big or small, so it’s helpful to have an estimated amount of guests in mind. You should always tour wedding venues before signing on the dotted line, but make sure you ask these wedding venue questions and look for these important details during the tour.

Step 3: Get organized.

Once the biggest details are confirmed, the next step is to organize yourself for the next steps of wedding planning. If you are hiring a wedding planner, this is the time to choose a wedding planner; many wedding venues offer full- and part-time wedding planners that can handle as little or as much of the planning process as requested. The major advantage of hiring a venue’s wedding planner is that the professional is intimately familiar with the venue and local wedding vendors.

If you are taking on the wedding planning yourself, this is your chance to decide whether to use digital or printables (in a binder)—or a combination of both—to manage your wedding planning checklist and deadlines. When a digital approach is your top choice, this list of the best wedding apps can help you choose the app to download. If you prefer paper, it’s time to start downloading these wedding planning printables and establish the system that gets you from planning to enjoying your special day.

wedding day at a reception hall with bride and groom dancing after wedding planning

How long is a wedding reception?

Planning a wedding reception timeline is about piecing together all those wonderful details into the perfect wedding day timeline. It starts with “how long should our wedding reception be?” (a reception should last 4-5 hours) and ends with an amazingly coordinated wedding reception that fits your unique style.

How to plan a wedding reception

Choose the right wedding venue

A spectacular wedding reception starts with an amazing backdrop, though the amazing shouldn’t end there. The right location comes with a wedding venue checklist that should be checked off. You should plan on asking wedding venue questions about:

  • Availability (use these tips to get a wedding venue if you don’t have your heart set on a particular wedding date)
  • Location (city and area)
  • Style (that matches who you are as a couple)
  • Parking/access to parking (for guest convenience)
  • Interior space for the estimated guest list
  • Spaces for wedding day (restrooms, wedding party suites, etc.)
  • Venue staff availability (for pre-planning and managing activities night of)
  • Cost (ask about amount of time included, overtime fees, and extra charges)
  • Insurance (just in case of an emergency on the wedding day)
  • Vendors (whether there are required vendors or if the couple can bring in their favorites)

If you need wedding planning services (either full or part-time), this is the time to ask if the service is offered and the cost. Remember to always ask about the best way to contact the venue. Wedding planning is full of pre-wedding day calls and e-mails; it’s important to choose a wedding venue that responds quickly to your routine—and emergency—calls.

Start with a wedding day timeline

Every wedding day is different, but there is a general wedding day schedule you can use to start planning your big day:

  • Cocktail Hour
  • Dinner
  • Toasts
  • Cake Cutting
  • Wedding Dances (Wedding Party Announcement, First Dance, Mother-Son Dance, Father-Daughter Dance, Etc.)
  • Last Dance
  • Cake Cutting

Select the right vendors

The next step in planning a wedding reception is to start selecting the wedding vendors that can make every part of the reception come to life (and capture every moment of it!) Typically, you should book the following vendors:

  • Décor
  • Equipment Rental (such as tables and chairs if the venue does not provide it)
  • Florist
  • Caterer
  • Photographer (and videographer, if desired)
  • Bakery (for cake, if caterer does not provide)
  • Entertainer (band or DJ)

Selecting the right vendors is process; as tempting as it may be to Google and hire vendors, resist the urge. Choosing and hiring wedding vendors requires research and an in-person contacts. As you look for wedding vendors, always be diligent about watching for these red flags:

  • No business address
  • Delay in responding to calls or e-mails
  • Asking for full payment up front (when the charges are substantial)
  • Reluctance to provide customer testimonials or proof of satisfied customers

Be cautious about hiring wedding vendors that you don’t have experience with, such as friends of friends or family members. As well meaning as your friends may be, “my brother can cut you a deal” is a risk that often results in sub-par service.

Contact every potential vendor with a list of questions:

  • What services do you offer?
  • What is included in the quoted cost?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • What is your business’ back-up plan in case of an emergency?
  • Do you carry insurance?
  • How should we contact you in the future?
  • Are there any deadline we should be aware of?

If you need assistance finding local vendors, don’t hesitate to contact your wedding venue. An experienced wedding staff member can recommend local wedding vendors that have delivered fantastic services to other couples in the past.

Coordinate the details

Once you have hired your vendors, it’s time to coordinate the details that turn your vision into the wedding reception of your dreams. This is the wedding planning step where you start setting a wedding day schedule, checking off steps on your wedding planning checklist, and looking forward to a very special and spectacular big day.

wedding pictures from beautiful wedding done by wedding vendors

7 Must-Have Free Wedding Planning Printables

A wedding planning binder can be a powerful tool—and an organized one too, with these free wedding planning printables. If you want to tackle every part of your wedding planning—or just select parts with the help of a part-time wedding planner—these sheets are the perfect way to start turning ideas into the day of your dreams.

In addition to these wedding planning printables, couples should also add pockets to the binder for ideas (i.e. pictures of dresses, cakes, etc.), wedding vendor contracts, receipts, and contact information. This is where organization counts! Every item should be arranged so that everything is easy-to-find when needed.

Wedding Discussion Questions

Always use this list of questions FIRST! These questions are the perfect first step that can guide every wedding planning decision. Print out this blog post and write down you and your fiance’s answers (some of those answers might surprise you!); you’ll love to have those answers on-hand as you navigate through the wedding planning process.

Wedding Planning Checklist

A wedding planning checklist is the ultimate step-by-step guide that gives you an idea of when to contact vendors. This can be incredibly helpful as you decide what needs to be done next. If you use a part-time wedding planner, this checklist can help you divvy up tasks and assign deadlines.

Wedding Planning Checklist from Real Simple

Wedding Budget Worksheet

A wedding budget is often one of the most overlooked steps of wedding planning (which is why couples tend to make these wedding budget mistakes). It doesn’t have to be, especially with this wedding budget worksheet that helps you track expenses and stay within your wedding budget.

Wedding Venue Checklist, Tour Checklist & Questions

One of the most important first wedding planning decisions is choosing a venue and ceremony site. In some cases, this location may be one venue (use these tips for choosing the perfect ceremony and reception venue). The wedding venue is the foundation of all those other wedding details, which is why it’s important to select the perfect backdrop for your big day.

As you contact wedding venues, use this list of venue questions that can help you select the sites that fits your timeline, style, budget, and vision for the day.

Never choose a wedding venue without touring the site. This Wedding Venue Tour Checklist is a great aid to make sure you have found a venue that checks off all the boxes.

Wedding Reception Timelines

These wedding reception timelines can be a great start to setting a wedding reception timeline. You can use any of these wedding reception timelines, or customize it into the wedding day of your dreams.

3 Sample Wedding Reception Timelines from Lover.ly

simple elegant wedding centerpieces with silver vases and purple roses

8 Pros and Cons of Hiring a Wedding Planner

If you’re not sure about taking on that long wedding planning checklist, this list of the pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner is for you. A wedding planner can be a huge asset during wedding planning OR take away all the fun of planning your day you’ve always dreamed about.

If you’re a list-maker (and if you’re planning a wedding, you have to be), this list can help you decide whether to add a wedding planner to your team or organize your wedding planning and get ready for the next step.

Pro: A wedding planner can take on as much of the planning—or as little—as you want.

It’s one of the most common wedding planning myths—and misunderstandings—that can get in the way of hiring a wedding planner. Many couples believe that hiring a wedding planner is an all-or-none proposition; the truth is that many wedding planners can take on as much or as little as the couple wants. To make sure that your preferred wedding planner is willing to take on the task on a part-time basis, ask them if they provide full- and part-time services during your first meeting.

Con: Not everyone wants to let go of the planning.

Before hiring a wedding planner, ask yourself, “Do I enjoy planning events? Have I been looking forward to wedding planning?” The answer is different for everyone. Some couples love to dive into every detail of wedding planning while others prefer to dabble in the process.

If your answer is somewhere in the middle, the answer might be a part-time wedding planner. If this is your choice, make sure that your lines of communication are open and that everyone is on the same page. You can find a part-time wedding planner through your venue or at your venue; many venues offer wedding planning services. The benefit of utilizing venue services is that the staff are intimately familiar with every aspect of the building.

Pro: Wedding planners know local vendors that can turn your ideas into reality.

One of the biggest advantages of a wedding planner is their network. Because wedding planners work within the community, they know who to go to for every kind of task: catering, lighting, décor, etc. Wedding planners can take on researching and making out-of-the-box requests reality, saving you time and adding their expertise to the process.   

Con: You may feel detached from the process.

If you’ve always dreamed of planning your big day, hiring a wedding planner might be a let-down. While wedding planners coordinate every detail, couples can feel like it’s someone else’s event. This can be especially true if couples aren’t in touch with wedding planner on a regular basis.

This con can also show up when a friend or family member offers to plan the wedding. While this may seem like an ideal arrangement, sometimes even the most well-meaning acquaintance can start planning their day—and not yours.

Pro: You can still enjoy the parts of wedding planning you want to do.

For couples that want to handle their favorite details, hiring a part-time wedding planner can be ideal. It’s a chance to handle the details you really want to do. If you and your partner are foodies, you can enjoy caterer tastings and traveling around to find the best food favors. For those who love to dance, you can scout wedding entertainers and plan a really spectacular first dance.

Con: Wedding planning adds another expense to the wedding budget list.

Obviously, hiring a wedding planner does come with a cost. If your wedding budget is tight, you may not want to stretch it any farther (though you may want to use these wedding budget tips). In these cases, it makes cents (literally) to hire a part-time wedding planner for only the most essential wedding planning tasks or to take on the task yourself. If the latter is your only choice, these tips can kickstart your wedding planning and help keep you organized as you plan your wedding.

Pro: A wedding planner can troubleshoot any wedding planning problems.

This is where the experience of a wedding planner can be a huge advantage. In addition to having connections to local vendors, an experienced wedding planner has usually been there and fixed that. Their experience allows them to solve even the most unusual problems and fix the most common problems quickly and efficiently.

Pro: You have more time!

Most married couples can attest to the fact that wedding planning is like a second job (which is why a date night is essential!) Hiring a wedding planner makes that job seem more part-time, allowing couples to enjoy the process and have more free time.