Boutique Bridal Concepts

Wedding Planner – To hire or DIY

Ursula Forrest - Friday, December 06, 2013

For some a Wedding Planner is seen an extravagance that only the wealthy can afford. The truth is, if you find the right Wedding Planner they will land up saving you more money than their fee. The majority of couples today both work and planning a wedding is time consuming and stressful. Hiring a Wedding Planner will assist you in saving you time, reducing your stress and through their established relationships will be able to get you better hiring rates from the suppliers they trust and regularly work with.

Types of Wedding Planners

Wedding Planners operate within 3 basic parameters:

Event Producer – will conceptualize, plan and co-ordinate the entire wedding from beginning to end. They will handle every detail on your behalf.

Tailor-made option – your planner can assist you with styling, hiring the right suppliers and co-ordination of your wedding on the day. They will provide the services you specify and will only assist with the details that you require.

Day of Coordinator – the Coordinator will take care of all the details on your wedding day.


Wedding Planners structure their fees in a number of ways dependent on the type of services they are offering:

A % of the total wedding is usually charged where the Wedding Planner oversees the entire event from beginning to end. The % is normally between 15 -20% of the total wedding cost.

A flat fee is charged in the case where tailor-made services are required. In this case, the Wedding Planner will work on an hourly rate and only charge for the hours they have agreed with you upfront.

In some cases, a Wedding Planner may charge a combination of a % of the total wedding cost and a flat fee depending on the overall requirements.Services Required

Know up front what you require. The more involved your Wedding Planner is, the more likely it is that they will be able to save you time and money. Ask your Wedding Planner how they operate and what services they offer. Determine your requirements and advise your availability and time frame for planning your wedding. Many brides underestimate just how long it takes to conceptualize & obtain quotes & source items based on their specific requirements.


Always ensure that you have a written contract with the Wedding Planner you hire specifying the services you have agreed, the fee you will be charged and if applicable any commission structures. The majority of Wedding Planners charge a 50% deposit and the remainder of the fee, payable after the wedding.

Referrals & Recommendations

It is a good idea to ask for referrals and recommendations and to see a portfolio of previous weddings handled. Not only will this put you at ease with regards to having good references, but it will also allow you to see what work your Wedding Planner is capable of executing.

Ask Questions

It is important to understand what your Wedding Planner is capable of handling. The types of questions you should ask before hiring are:

  • How many years have they been in business for?
  • Do they belong to any Wedding Planning organization?
  • How many times will you need to meet with them and how long will each meeting be?
  • Will they meet with your suppliers and oversee the contracting?
  • What is their emergency back up if they are not available?
  • Have they worked with your specific venue before?
  • Do they have a preferred supplier list?
  • If coordinating the wedding day, what time do they arrive and leave?
  • Can they pay suppliers on your behalf?
  • Have they handled any emergencies or last-minute changes before?
  • What is their cancellation policy?

The Right Fit

It is very important to find a Wedding Planner that is the right fit for you. You need to feel comfortable and 100% at ease with the Wedding Planner you select. A good fit will be a planner that is knowledgeable and able to share their knowledge with you, but is not bossy or overbearing. Your Wedding Planner should listen to your ideas and give you suggestions based on what you want for your wedding and what you can afford within your budget.

If you would like to speak to us regarding our Wedding Planning services, please email or phone Ursula on +27 71 333 1111.
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