The EVL Events  Journal

Pros and Cons of Working With Experienced Professionals Versus Friends/Family:

So, you finally set a date for your wedding. Congrats! Now the fun part begins.

The sign of a good wedding is the illusion that it was pulled off effortlessly. As an experienced wedding planner, I can tell you, this is an illusion- the less you can tell effort was put in, the more hours were logged behind the scenes.

A lot of my clients come to me only after having tried and failed to plan their wedding with close friends and family. Granted, it does work out well for some people, but more often than not the close personal ties and family politics make it more complicated and stress-inducing than it needs to be. So many factors come into play when planning any event, and the best way to simplify is to do your research before you even begin. I made a handy pros and cons list to help you as you get ready to plan your wedding, to help you decide whether working with friends and family or a professional is right for you.

Pros

Cost-Effective

This is the biggest incentive for most people who choose to plan their event with friends and family rather than hiring a professional. Wedding expenses can add up quickly, and getting someone to plan your wedding that doesn’t expect a check at the end is definitely appealing.

Comfortable

Maybe you are hesitant to hand over the biggest day of your life to someone you’ve only just met. This is totally natural. From a comfort standpoint, hiring someone who has known you forever can be a lot less intimidating.

They know you better/very personalized

Planning a wedding requires many hours of poring over bridal magazines, Pinterest boards, and websites so you can articulate to a planner exactly what you want. The cool thing about having a close friend or family member help you plan is they have probably known what color napkins you want at your wedding since you were 12 years old. Family members and friends are able to put a personal touch on your special day that planners may not know about.

Involving others that wish to contribute

Your friends and family love you! The bottom line is, they truly want to help. They would do anything for you, and helping you plan your wedding is the perfect way to show how much they care.

Cons

Likely not insured

As with anything, in wedding planning you always have to be prepared for the worst. Having a professional with insurance minimizes risk and stress related to possible mishaps.

No backup equipment

Wedding preparation is expensive enough without the added possibility of having to replace equipment. Friends and family (usually) don’t come prepared with multiple backups of all the equipment necessary to keep a wedding running smoothly.

Professionalism /may not take job seriously

Love does not equal professionalism. In fact, being close to someone who works for you usually means that your interactions will be highly personal, and it can be difficult to be firm with people we know well and care about. Your best friend may be the life of the party, but that doesn’t mean she’s prepared to plan the party.

Cutting corners

We all do it from time to time. Easier is better, right? When it comes to what may be one of the most memorable days of your life however, it’s far better to take the time to make sure everything is done correctly. Family and friends are helping you out of the goodness of their hearts, and while their love for you is great incentive to do their best, it’s not the same level of attention to detail that a professional is paid to give.

Experience

It is likely that your friends and family do not have the experience of a professional wedding planner. As with anything, practice makes perfect, and it is usually safer to entrust someone who has successfully planned weddings in the past. Wedding planners know the ins and out of every aspect of a wedding and come prepared with knowledge from previous events to make sure your day runs as smoothly as possible.

Risk of damaging friendship/hurting feelings

Stress has a way of bringing out the worst in people. It is not personal, but working closely with anyone for an extended period of time will inevitably lead to moments of conflict and tension.

They are working instead of enjoying your wedding

When it comes down to it, the purpose of planning a great wedding is to host an event that your friends and family will enjoy. If your favorite people are running around attending to wardrobe mishaps, catering details, and other wedding disasters, they will not be able to fully appreciate the day as much as if they were just guests.

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