Why You Need a Wedding Planner

I haven’t posted to my blog for quite a while because my husband and I have been in the process of selling our home, buying another one, and renovating it.  We closed on the new house in December 2008 and it took until March 2009 for the renovations to begin even though I had hired an architect and had plans by the time the contractor was hired before Christmas. We will be in by Father’s Day because we will be homeless if we’re not.

We had a consultation with a professional construction consultant. For a reasonable hourly fee the consultant would help us interview contractors, go over our contracts with all the sub-contractors, make sure we had the proper permits, keep track of the work being done to make sure it was being done properly and represent us during inspections. When I found out that we were going to be way over our original budget the first thing cut was the consultant.

We hired an extremely reputable general contractor whose references basically said he walks on water (I totally agree and would recommend him to anyone). We told him we had to be in the new house by May 20th because that’s when we had to be out of our rental house. He filled out all the permit applications for us and personally walked them to where they needed to go downtown. After days of sitting on someone’s desk and countless phone calls we found out that our township (unbeknownst to all of us – including the contractor) had passed a new ordinance requiring a grading plan. This plan insures that the run off from any new construction will not affect your neighbor’s property. It took us an additional 30 days to hire an engineer, get the plan done, submit the new paperwork to the township and FINALLY get the permit we needed to start work.

That 30 days meant that we would not meet the May 20th deadline and would have to move again. The 2nd rental had not had phone service for 6 years prior to us moving in. It took me 6 days to get a land line and 10 days to get internet service. I was on my cell phone for a minimum of 2 hours per day trying to get this done. The internet service is still intermittent but at least it works most of the time. The amount of time, effort and additional funds it took for the 2nd move is way more then what the consultant would have cost us and that does not include the cost of my sanity. The loss of 30 days also means that we’ll be moving into our renovated house at the height of wedding season. Instead of being able to enjoy the move and take my time in unpacking we’re going to be living out of boxes for weeks until I can get to them.

Hindsight is 20/20. Since my husband and I don’t know a bloody thing about the construction industry I now see that hiring a professional construction consultant was a necessity not a luxury. We would have gotten the benefit of his experience as he acted as our liaison. We would have had access to his unbiased opinion as we made choices along the way. He would have been able to recommend a more thorough architect and, perhaps, more cost effective subcontractors. He would have had their quotes reflect the real work to be done not just what the architect put in the plans so that we wouldn’t be so ridiculously over budget right now.

When I have an initial consultation with potential new clients part of our conversation centers around how planning a wedding is different and more stressful then anything you might have ever done before. I try to explain that as an experienced professional planner I can bring value to them by helping guide them through the process and by saving time, money and stress. I can’t tell you how much I wish I’d followed my own advice!