Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ask a Planner... "Bring on the Sceptics"

Hello DreamGroup,

My daughter is getting married next year and we already have our venue confirmed.  She and her fiancé are both very busy with school and their jobs and will not be very involved in the day to day dealings of the wedding. The responsibility of planning the wedding is quite seemingly going to land on my shoulders as a result.  I have limited time myself with no interest in managing all the logistics and staying on top of all the details involved in planning a wedding and want to hire a planner.  The problem is both my kids and my husband think I'm nuts and should be able to handle it myself.  How do I help them understand just how much work goes into this and how do I convince them that hiring a planner is the way to go?  Thanks so much for your help here.  And hey!  If you can convince them consider yourself hired!

Donna M.
Busy Mom of Bride

Hello Donna,

Great to hear from you!  I'm glad you e-mailed as I do so love a good challenge!!  I can't tell you how many times over the years I've had to work extra hard to help a sceptical groom or suspicious Father of the Bride  better understand just what a planner does and can do for them!

Most often these "non-believers" will say things like... "Well we have the venue and the photographer booked, what else is there?" That one in particular makes me chuckle because choosing a venue and hiring a photographer are the two easiest tasks of a very long and time consuming list of tasks that will need to be addressed over the next 6-18 months.  And approximately 100 hours of planning.

I have point formed below most of the tasks and duties a planner might assist a couple with over the course of their planning journey.  Take some time to go over it with your husband and by all means have him give me a call if he would like me to tell him first hand just how valuable hiring a planner is.  

The thing I often close with when trying to help someone understand the value of working with a reputable planner (I say this because we are not all created equal) is that I have yet to have a client say that hiring us was a waste of money.  In fact, most say that we were their best wedding investment!  So there you go.  When Sarah and I first started DreamGroup we used to love it when at the end of the wedding night our biggest sceptics (to be honest most often a mother or father) would come up to us and say, "I get it now".  We often say we wish we could bottle that realization and understanding so that future couples and their families could "get it" before it was too late.  

The lowdown on a Wedding Planning Journey...
1. Meet regularly to discuss and manage ongoing needs and vision for the wedding.

2. Shortlist and help clients hire their Vendors.  Ones that meet the client’s budget, date, and style expectations.

3. Allocate your Budget to maximize its purchasing power and allow the client to see what their vision will cost them so any adjustments can be made before it’s too late. 

4. Provide ongoing Inspiration and Ideas to help personalize a client’s wedding.

5. Create a wedding plan of action. **Check out DreamGroup's e-book The Step by Step Guide to Planning the Perfect Wedding
-- outlining tasks and responsibilities that need to be addressed.

6. Offer important reminders to help client stay on track and motivated. Procrastination is a huge Wedding Planning Pitfall that will be avoided with the help of a planner.

7. Support the client through any family issues or tricky dynamics that need to be overcome.

8. Provide Honest Insight and Advice throughout the Planning stages to help the client maximize their vision, priorities, and/or budget and avoid unnecessary planning pitfalls.

9. Facilitate and confirm communications and contracts between vendors and the client to help ensure that the end service is the one provided on the day.

10. Finalize balances due and facilitate payments as needed.

11. Take on the responsibility for the overall success of your wedding day!
12. Offer reminders and a finalized checklist to ensure the bride & groom have not forgotten any important planning details.

13. Create a realistic wedding day timeline (and therefore accurate schedule) outlining all vendor start and end times, all ground movements including confirmed addresses and contact information, key celebratory elements, speech timing , etc.

14. Oversee or Conduct the Rehearsal.

15. Pick up Wedding Day Bits & Pieces to be set up at the Venue. i.e. place cards, favors, cake topper, dessert flags, Polaroid cameras, guestbook.

16. On Day Execution: Available by phone and on site as needed throughout the day to ensure a smooth wedding day flow and to troubleshoot any on day occurrences so the couple and their family can focus on enjoying themselves and being present in every moment the day brings.

Happy convincing Donna and maybe we will meet sometime soon!

Wedding Planner signing off!  Until next week… keep those questions coming in!  Submit your questions by emailing us at 



Click here to See Inside the Book

Genève McNally, Principal Planner, DreamGroup Productions

Genève first began her wedding career in 1999 as the Catering Manager for one of Vancouver’s most sought after wedding venues, Brock House Restaurant.  In 2004 Genève and college friend Sarah Shore ambitiously started up what is now one of Vancouver's longest running and most trusted wedding planning companies, DreamGroup Productions Inc.

These days, in addition to working with her clients in a full planning capacity and raising her two wonderful boys Harrison and Campbell with her husband, Genève focuses her attention on the sales and marketing aspects of the company and is most often the friendly voice you will chat with when first inquiring with DreamGroup.  Genève is known to inspire and excite both clients and industry associates alike with her exuberant personality and joie de vivre!  Her ability to be refreshingly candid and her in depth knowledge of the wedding industry have earned her the friendly moniker “Two-Cents McNally”.  Genève also teaches the Wedding Planning classes offered through the dg Academy and is the chief correspondent behind DreamGroup's weekly Blog feature Ask a Planner.

Click here to sign up for DreamGroup's Mailing list! 
We promise to inspire, inform and indulge!

No comments: