Monday, July 1, 2013

Confessions Of A Videographer | Do you need a wedding planner

"Is there really a difference in a wedding with a wedding planner then one without one"?  The answer is yes.  A big difference.  "Is it worth it to hire a planner"?  Yes it is.  "Do venue coordinators replace a planner"?  No.  "If I already hired all my vendors, I don't need a planner since I have done all the work all ready".   Nope.

Okay that being out of the way, we are big believers in hiring a wedding planner if you couldn't already tell.  Not only do these weddings look nicer, but they run so much smoother.  For both the bride and groom and all of your vendors.  We are thrilled to have a planner with us on wedding day.  Someone to coordinate the day so we can focus on doing our job's.

Lets start with the looks better part first.  Well, go though my blog and pick out the prettiest weddings and most likely there was a planner.  Planners have a way of making everything look better, it is what they do.  They pull it all together for you.  Now, if you are a bride sitting there thinking,  I can do it all myself.  Well, maybe, maybe not.  On your wedding day, do you really want you or your mom running around setting up all your  details?  Or better yet, your bridesmaids out in the heat setting up your ceremony site and tables?  Venue coordinators are not the same as wedding planners. 

Lets talk about timing.  Who is in charge of the flow of the night?  This is a common scenario - We go to the DJ and ask what's happening next.  They have no idea.  Then you ask the photographer, they don't know.  There is no time line, and even if there is, there is no one there to make sure that everyone is following it. Or that it even makes sense.  What door are the introductions happening?  Where are the toasts taking place?  No one knows.  This makes for bad photo and video.  We like to be prepared.

Is cost a factor?  I say it shouldn't be.  And here is why.  Having a planner can actually save you money.  That's right.  Besides the hours of overtime for your photographer and videographer since nothing is on time, they can also work magic for you in lots of other areas.  I can not count the number of times we had 1 -2 hours of overtime because time was wasted and nothing was on time through out an evening.  A good wedding planner is worth every penny!

Scary fact for me, but I have been shooting weddings since 1999.  Where does the time go?  I have been to over 1000 weddings.  How many times have I heard a bride say they didn't need a planner and they really did?  Too many.  Have I seen my share of wedding day mess ups that a good planner would of turned around?  Unfortunately.   In the past few months let me tell you all the things we saw that a planner might of (most likely) saved the day on....
  • A cake table with sugar ants all over the cake. 
  • An entire chuppah blown down from wind as the bride is coming down the aisle.  One we saw happen mid ceremony too. 
  • Guests passing around a mic during the reception doing unplanned toasts for 1 hour and 10 minutes causing photography and videography to run over and require overtime.  A planner does the dirty work and takes the mic away from drunk guests for you.
  • Guests, bride and groom at a outdoor ceremony site as a storm comes in with no where to run for cover from a serious down pouring of rain.  A planner has back up plans and monitors the weather closely.
  • A photographer unable to make it to the ceremony (they were from Miami trying to make it to Marco Island) so the first half the wedding had no photography.  A planner probably could of found someone to cover it with a few hours notice.
  • An outside wedding and as soon as it turns dark it is pitch black where the toasts are taking place and no one can see a thing.  Hey, how about a lighting plan? 
  • Many times we have seen photo booths at receptions not being used the entire night because they were placed in locations where guests had no idea where they were.   
  • An officiant wanting to skip cocktail hour so they can do a  dinner blessing and leave quicker.  The officiant actually had almost had the resort ready to do so.  Who is in charge of your wedding? 
  • Photo and Video sitting down for 5 minutes for a break - out of the view of the wedding, and the band decided to do parent dances without telling anyone.  Planners make sure all vendors are ready for all events. 
  • Flowers not set up yet as guests are standing at ceremony site waiting to sit down and ceremony was suppose to happen 10 minutes ago.  
  • Parents NOT in the room when toasts, cake cutting or parent dances are announced. 
We have seen planners work magic too.  For instance,
  • A outdoor ceremony and a reception site changed an hour before the wedding due to 40- 50 mile per hour winds.  A planner handled it all.   If you are outdoors you really need a planner.
  • A wedding cake falling apart prior to the reception, and no one from the venue wants to touch it - as it slants to one side and is slowly falling down.  A planner quickly took care of that. 
  • Out of a certain liquor in the open bar that you must have?  No problem, the planner handled that. 
  • Your DJ has had too much to drink and needs to be fired, mid reception.  Yup, I have seen that. 
Sure, most weddings are wonderful and most of the vendors we work with are awesome and extremely professional.  We love all of the venue coordinators we work with week after week.  However, things happen....and that's why we love working with wedding planners. 

 When my own daughter Anna gets married some day, will I hire a planner?  Oh heck yea! We work with some amazing wedding planners here in SW Florida.  We would be happy to recommend you to some of the very best.  Please check them out and learn what they can do for you.

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