November 15, 2023

Why You Need a Wedding Planner | Seattle Wedding Photographer Janet Lin Photography

I almost never photograph weddings anymore that don’t include a full-service wedding planner. This is because generally the couples I work with want a seamless wedding experience, and that just isn’t possible without a good planner behind you.  An experienced wedding planner will advocate for you and take things off your plate so that you can focus on what matters most. There are just SO many moving parts on a wedding day (and in the months leading up to it) a good wedding planner will transform your experience from one that is immensely overwhelming to one that is incredibly easy. Below I’m outlining some of the key reasons you should hire a wedding planner, starting with the one that is most applicable to this particular forum: your wedding photos.

Having a wedding planner drastically impacts the quality of your wedding images. Yes, you read that right. Your wedding planner is the mastermind behind all the logistics of the day. They craft a wedding day timeline with every detail in mind – including the needs of your photographer. Most of the time, the planner confers with me over the timeline to ensure I’ll have time to bring your photography dreams to life, and they go the extra mile to put all the pieces in place that allow me to make that happen. On the wedding day, there are lots of unexpected things that inevitably do happen, some big, some small. When you have a seasoned wedding planner, they handle these things without a second thought, ensuring none of it impacts your experience, or your photos. Your wedding planner allows your photographer to be fully and creatively present and focused on doing their job. When you are relaxed and enjoying yourself, it shows in your photos. When you are overwhelmed and stressed because (surprise) your sister turned out not to have the experience necessary to execute a full reception set up, that also shows in your photos. Trust an experienced planner with your wedding day, and it will positively impact every other person you have hired to bring your dream wedding to life, including your wedding photographer.

A venue coordinator is NOT a wedding planner.  I find that sometimes couples are given a false sense of comfort when they learn that their venue has a venue coordinator.  The venue coordinator’s job is to advocate for the venue on the wedding day, ensuring that any logistics relating directly to the venue and the venue’s contractual responsibility to you is met.  Their job, while important, is not to serve as your wedding planner, and is not to make things easy for you or execute a wedding experience or vision that is designed with your best interests in mind. Generally on a wedding day, I don’t see the venue coordinator or have contact with them prior to the wedding day. They usually communicate with the wedding planner, who then coordinates the remaining vendor team.

They do so much more than you know: Starting with timeline creation and execution. This is not just making the one page timeline that you can find anywhere on the internet. Really what they do behind the scenes is create a 20 page timeline (that you may never see) that organizes every different vendors arrival time, set up time, clean up time, departure time; who needs to set which floral/sign/plates/etc. down and at exactly what time, where different members of the vendor team and wedding party need to be at any given time, and more.  They coordinate with all these vendors for months leading up to the day, ensuring that every single one of them is working in tandem on your behalf and prepared to execute a flawless day for you.  The planners I work with will do things like secure and transport any rentals, facilitate the design and creation of any special products or paper/signage, recommend clothing choices for all VIP’s, assist you with creating and executing the overall wedding aesthetic and decor plan, ensuring it will look the way you’re envisioning, and so much more.  Simply put, having a planner makes every part of the process easier and less stressful for you AND for your vendor team.

Your planner often will also play a key role in helping you to clarify your true style. Sometimes when we develop a wedding vision based on a gamut of Pinterest images and inspiration posts, it can be hard, without years of event design expertise, to truly bring those ideas together seamlessly and cohesively. Your planner is a seasoned veteran when it comes to refining the aesthetic to achieve your design goals.

What I want most for you is a wedding experience that you’ll love and enjoy.  What I want for you to avoid is feeling overwhelmed and burnt out before the day even arrives, and stressed the day-of because you’re having to handle so much yourself. You only get to do this once. Do it the right way so you can enjoy every moment.

Below, I’m featuring a few moments from a recent Lakewold Gardens wedding that would not have been possible without the forethought of the wedding planner for this event, Events by Genevieve. She knew the bride loved the mural at the venue and wanted to incorporate it into the design story. Gen worked to include the mural in the envelope liner of the invitation suite and collaborated with Alewa Bakeshop to have it hand-painted on the wedding cake. She took it one step further and had this custom escort display created with the mural as a background. When I ran the idea by her for an elegant bridal moment in front of the mural, she made it happen – sourcing the furniture and florals, securing the space, and carving out extra time in the timeline. This only scratches the surface of the many things she and her team did that day to make everything perfect. THAT is what a great wedding planner will do for you!

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