The Planner

by Anna Jones

Sebrell Smith Designer Events. Photo courtesy Jennings King Photography

The Details

You’re engaged! You’re thrilled. You’re in love. You’re ... overwhelmed. Whether you’ve dreamed of
the big day your whole life or never thought about it until the moment you said yes, the actual process of planning your wedding is uncharted territory. Let this guide be your road map — and leave the details to us.
If you want to hire a wedding planner, start by referring to your budget and the scope of your planning needs. Some wedding professionals will guide you through the full planning process (the most expensive/costly choice), while others step in a month before the wedding. Some brides elect to bring on a planner just a week before the wedding or even opt for a day-of assistant.

According to Kelli Corn, owner of Kelli Corn Weddings & Events in Bluffton, “A good wedding planner will help couples make the right decisions and be a leader without forcing their opinions. I always tell my brides that you spend a year to a year and a half planning for basically just five hours, and if you don’t have a strong relationship with your planner, you won’t be able to relax.”

When choosing your planner, Corn recommends asking for references from former brides and wedding vendors and researching the planner’s professional background.

Sebrell Smith, owner of Sebrell Smith Designer Events in Savannah, suggests meeting with a wedding planner early on for efficient time and budget management. “A good planner will have inside information on venues and vendors that you may not be aware of, and their connections will save you time and money,” she shares.

If you decide to hire a week-of or day-of planner, organization is key. Corn recommends compiling a list of all wedding vendors, contracts and event details for your planner. This will give planners a well-rounded picture of what has been done, what needs to be done and all the other intricate moving parts of your particular wedding. It also helps ensure that you’ll be able to do what you’re supposed to be doing on the big day — enjoying special time with your spouse, family and friends.