- A wedding planner can help a couple with everything from budget management and stylistic choices to seating arrangements and dining selections.
- Sometimes, wedding planners and their clients don’t see eye to eye on certain ceremonial and reception decisions, like “Pinterest overload” and meddling loved ones.
- INSIDER spoke to wedding planners Elizabeth Tulipana of Anticipation Events and Victoria Lartey-Williams of Victorious Events NYC about what they wish they could tell their clients, but can’t.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
There’s no question that the newlyweds are the stars of any wedding ceremony and reception, but often there is a crucial mastermind behind the scenes who makes sure their special day is truly perfect.
A wedding planner can help a couple with everything from budget management and stylistic choices to seating arrangements and dining selections, but any good one will tell you that they do their best work when the couple is receptive to feedback and open to collaboration.
We asked wedding planners to tell us about the things they want to tell their clients but can’t, and their answers may just help you plan a wedding of your own.
First and foremost, couples hire wedding planners for a reason, so they should heed their advice
Elizabeth Tulipana, the CEO of Chicago-based event planning company Anticipation Events, told INSIDER that ultimately “it’s our client’s wedding day, so what they want, they get,” but recommends that couples try their hardest to let wedding planners do their jobs effectively.
Victoria Lartey-Williams, the owner, lead event planner, and designer of Victorious Events NYC, agreed.
Lartey-Williams also warned against allowing meddling family members or friends to create a toxic planning environment
“For my brides, not all of them but a lot of them, one of the issues they face are usually related to a toxic family member or a selfish bridesmaid making their lives much more difficult,” Lartey-Williams said. “It kind of turns something that’s supposed to be really beautiful and nice into something that they can’t wait to end.”
While it can be very difficult to handle this without fallout, Lartey-Williams says that getting rid of a particularly negative or difficult person during your wedding planning may be necessary.
“Don’t feel obligated that you have to include these people in your wedding if they don’t have your best interest at heart,” she said. “Try your best to have an amicable break with that person for the duration of your planning process to maintain your sanity.”
If there is a clash between the future newlyweds, it’s ‘usually over finances,’ Lartey-Williams told INSIDER
Tulipana also recognizes a similar trend amongst her clients.
“We can be helpful in saying ‘spend the money on this and skip that,'” Tulipana told INSIDER. “There’s always a budget, and there’s definitely a way to get more bang for your buck.”
But sometimes, the wedding planner’s advice is not enough to settle a feud between soon-to-be-married couples.
- Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images
“For me, as a planner, sometimes they ask me to help explain to their partner why things cost so much,” Lartey-Williams said. “It can get kind of heated sometimes.”
If the couple can’t agree on how much to allot to something from their budget, Lartey-Williams often recommends that the person who really wants the addition pay for it on their own.
“Take it out of the budget for the wedding,” she said. “If it’s a priority for you, maybe you need to work a little bit more overtime at your job and that way it’s not in the budget. It’s something you’re paying for because it’s really important to you.”
Pinterest can sometimes be a useful tool, but couples can easily fall into ‘Pinterest overload,’ according to Lartey-Williams
Trends like implementing sparklers or a special bridesmaids’ dance into a reception have been prolific on Pinterest, but Lartey-Williams says couples can easily overdo it.
Similarly, some wedding planners think couples run the risk of planning too many activities for their wedding
Sometimes, between taking photos, first dances, cutting the cake, speeches, and additional pre-planned activities, weddings can feel less like a celebration and more like a chore for newlyweds.
“I tell them to be careful, because you want to enjoy your wedding day,” Lartey-Williams said. “It’ll feel like work if you’re doing all the things.”
Weddings are about celebrating a union, not going viral on social media
Between predetermined wedding hashtags and posts throughout the night, some brides and grooms are preoccupied with getting the perfect photo or video to post on social media.
- Jason Lee / Reuters
“A lot of brides say they want to focus on going viral on Instagram, but they kind of stray away from the fact that this wedding is about how much they love their partner and the fact that they’re getting married,” Lartey-Williams said. “I try to refocus them on the point of it all.”
Finally, Lartey-Williams said that there’s an important distinction between wedding planner and personal assistant
- Columbia Pictures
“A wedding planner does not mean personal assistant,” Lartey-Williams said. She added that couples “sometimes have these expectations that we are almost like gophers to run errands for them, and that’s not what a planner is.”
“A planner is a professional that they’re hiring to make the planning of the wedding easier and facilitate that,” Lartey-Williams added. “But it isn’t to run errands and to be this personal assistant for them.”
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