Wedding Planners Set You Free: Enjoy Your Big Day from Start to Finish

A bride's only focus should be enjoying her big day
A bride's only focus should be enjoying her big day, Photo: Svetography/iStock/Thinkstock

These days it seems like every party, no matter the size, includes the help of an event coordinator at some level. We have moved on from the days when a wedding coordinator’s services were used only if the event was very large or had a big budget, or both. Otherwise, the venue’s event planner or the caterer would do a bit of the planning and coordinate the vendors, decorations and menu selection. Weddings, in particular, are now becoming weekend long events with special activities and events before and after the ceremony and reception. And the only way to keep everyone and everything on track, without driving yourself crazy and ruining YOUR fun, is to call in the help of a professional.

Even if your celebration is intimate and low key, and even if you’re ultra-organized, you will find the help of a professional planner well worth the price. They give you the freedom to enjoy your own celebration. Consider any party that you may have planned yourself, from a simple family birthday to an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner. So many things need to fall into place—from the menu and decorations to seating arrangements, invitations and even transportation and lodging.

Chances are there are a few people to help with arrangements for birthdays and holidays, but those who would be helping at the next Thanksgiving dinner are also the ones most likely to be in the wedding party on your big day. So when the photographer needs the family and wedding party together for a big group photo, who will handle the issues that, inevitably, arise on the sidelines? Is the DJ set up? Did the wedding cake arrive? Are the place settings in the right spot?

Yikes! It’s time to call in a professional planner to dot every I and cross every T.

Event coordinators usually offer two types of wedding planning services:

Planning the Wedding (and maybe the honeymoon)
The event coordinator is hired early in the planning process, and assists in selecting vendors, from the venue to the DJ and photographer. Sometimes they even help plan the honeymoon. Destination weddings to tropical locations are also available. The planner will help review contracts, negotiate better pricing and guide you to the best values available for your preferences.

This will be the most inclusive option, with the planner typically charging a percentage of the total cost of the event and its services. However, some planners do charge a flat fee, instead. But, if ever there was a time to have full-on personal assistance, this is it.

Barbara Hock of B. Hock Events is ready for anything—even a downpour during the ceremony.
Barbara Hock of B. Hock Events is ready for anything—even a downpour during the ceremony,
Photo: Judith B. McCleery, Vivid Visions Photo-Graphics

Day-Of Coordinator
Even if a couple doesn’t need full planning services for their wedding, or their budget doesn’t allow for it, one should seriously consider calling in a day-of coordinator. Even the most organized bride or groom cannot be in two places at once. While you and your wedding party are in the salon getting ready for the big event, it’s a smart idea to have someone keeping an eye on set-up and preparations at the venue. Did the tent arrive? Are the linens and china rentals set-up? What about the floral arrangements? Did the bouquet get to the bride and bridesmaids? Did the boutonnieres show up at the groom’s location? This is all worry and aggravation best left to someone who knows how to pull all these pieces together while the bride and groom enjoy their day.

Weddings are a wonderful celebration, and a couple should enjoy every precious moment of it. Friends and family should enjoy it, too, so hire a wedding planner, or at the very least a day-of coordinator, and leave the worry and details to a professional while you savor the celebration.

Visit and to find pre-screened experienced, reputable professionals for event planning, lodging and more available in the Hamptons and on the North Fork.

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