Do I need a Planner?

Do I need a Planner?

Featured Wedding: April 2019
Venue and Catering: Salty’s on Alki Beach
Space: Skyline Ballroom
Event Décor: Linen Sensation, Glassybaby
Cake: Salty’s on Alki
Floral: Patty Schmitz – Creative Colours by Patty
Photography: Kelsey Lynne Photography

In chatting with one of our brides the other day during a planning session, I learned that most couples think that they NEED a planner to organize their special day. She mentioned that securing her day-of coordination was the first thing on her list of “to-dos’” before “I do’s”.
This is likely a question you’re asking yourself… “do I need a planner?” How important is it to have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator at Salty’s? Well, the short answer is NO, you don’t need a planner when you host your wedding at Salty’s. Though a small portion of our couples choose this route, it’s not necessary with the way our venue is set up. In fact, in recent years, I’ve found that a lot of couples are looking for ways to cut back on traditional wedding expenses. I say, the first thing to go is the planner.
Now that doesn’t mean you can’t have that extra support if you truly feel you need it. Afterall, we don’t provide off-site support on your big day. If you’ve got a lot going on outside of the venue, it might be nice to have another person to keep you organized and on-point. This comes in handy if your ceremony is held at another location. However, anything that happens at Salty’s is handled by your on-site coordination team. That includes organizing your vendors who will support you here at the venue!  You’re paying a ceremony fee and that fee includes a fair to moderate amount of event planning so why not take advantage of the built-in expertise right at your disposal?

How does it work without a Planner?

I wanted to share this wedding from early this spring. It’s one of my favorites because this couple was just so sweet and fun to work with! I especially loved the color palate and the florals they chose. It tied together so well. In our planning session they mentioned wanting to wrap the support beams in the room with shear fabric and twinkle lights. The family was also excited to feature Glassybaby votives to add a little sparkle to the tables.  With our on-site coordination and planning services, we generally meet with couples a least once if not more, before the wedding and go over details that are important to them. From there, we partner with vendors who offer us the best rentals in Seattle. We work directly with our vendors to make sure that your vision is actualized so when you walk into the event space, everything is set up for you! Couples truly don’t have to do much other than give input.  We often walk our couples through what the day of their event would look like and what the suggested timeline should be. We then work with them to fit all the pieces together.

Wedding planning doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated. It’s simple once we get down to it. It also helps that we have a plethora of tools and details at our fingertips. We even have our own in-house bakery, so we supplied the cake for this wedding too!
We always host a ceremony rehearsal the day prior to the wedding to ensure the wedding party knows exactly what their marching orders are, and to give a bit of relief for the couple. I especially love organizing the ceremony processional. It’s that moment I think it sets in for a lot of couples that this is it, we’re really doing this thing!

We will be the point of contract for your vendors as well, including giving pointers and feedback to new or inexperienced vendors. We also give visual and verbal cues to your officiant and DJ or Emcee from the start of the ceremony through the rest of the evening to ensure that every detail goes off without a hitch!  “So, what if I still want a planner or day-of coordinator?” No problem, we got you covered. We will work along side your planner to ensure the job gets done. Here are some pointers when it comes to hiring your own wedding day professional.

6 Tips to Hiring the Perfect Wedding Planner

1. Read their reviews! – This seems like a given; however, I don’t mean just read the top few, I mean really read them as far as they go back. I say this because this industry is saturated with new and inexperienced talent. Even though a planner might have one or two 5-star reviews, that really doesn’t mean that they have longevity in the industry. It also doesn’t mean that the reviews are genuine.

2. Ask the venue for referrals – Many couples hire the planner before the venue. I recommend the opposite. Yes, planners and coordinators can help with scouting a venue, however many couples already have their venue in mind. So, ask the venues you’re considering for their recommendations on planners. There are hundreds of planners in Seattle, there’s a good chance we’ve worked with the best and the not so…! Let us know what you’re looking for and we will make recommendations based on who we have seen put on a well-executed event. Believe me, we’ve seen the bad too.

3. Interview them in person – Planners are masters at creativity. Afterall we make dreams come to life from a list of words on paper. This means that planners are often visually talented and create amazing websites and social media presence. Having a true connection with this person is essential – they hold the keys to the success of your event. You need to feel a sense of calmness and trust when you’re working together. Interviewing them in person will help you get to know whether their online presence matches their real-life personality.

4. Ask for their plan, upfront! – Get a sense of how detailed and organized your candidates are by putting them on the spot a little and asking them how they are going to make your vision come to fruition. Ask them how they will stay organized and keep everyone focused. Ask them for their emergency plans for unexpected happenings. A planner who can think on their toes while being put on the spot, will handle a mishap with grace – the key is to make sure every unexpected potential disaster goes unnoticed by you and your guests on the day of the wedding. If you get a sense that this person can’t handle that, walk away.

5. Get a feel for their ability to lead and delegate – I cannot stress enough how important it is that the planner can foresee potential issues to delegate, mediate, and defuse by using their other vendors and staff. Its essential to have a planner who can firmly keep the pace and who isn’t afraid to intervene when something is going sideways. DON’T HIRE A SHRINKING VIOLET! You need a no-nonsense person who can lead, all while being kind and warm. Those are qualities that not all planners hold, so again, get a sense of these things before you sign the contract with them!

6. Give them feedback – It is essential in our industry to receive quality and constructive feedback that we can use to perfect our craft. All planners love helpful feedback. It’s how we improve and maintain. If they are doing a good job and you are grateful for them, let them know. If there are some areas you need a little more help with, don’t be afraid to tell them. All advice can be useful!
Thank you for stopping by, we hope you found this useful. Please check back for more featured events in the coming weeks. Cheers!