The One Thing Every Wedding Needs

Updated: Jul 1

And why you can't afford not to have it!

If you are recently engaged, many congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of wedding planning! No doubt your head is now swimming with ideas about venues, dresses and decor as well as the reality of how much it will all cost.

As a luxury wedding planner in London and the Home Counties, I know that often one of the first questions I am asked is how much does a wedding planner cost? Instead though, I urge couples to think about all the value and benefits of having a professional expert by your side. Once you have a full understanding of our role and how much support we give you, you'll be asking yourselves whether you can afford to risk by doing it all yourselves and not have a wedding planner! And with various service options and fee levels available, a wedding planner is an affordable and achievable reality for everyone.

If selecting and engaging a wedding planner is not also currently top of your to do list then then I'm here to challenge you to think again, to dispel a few of the myths about wedding planners, to advise you as to the reasons why you owe it to yourselves to hire a wedding planner and why you cannot afford not to have an expert by your side at this critical time in your lives.

Questions about professional wedding planners

You might be asking yourselves these questions -

Do I really need a wedding planner?

How much does a wedding planner cost and can we afford it?

What does a wedding planner actually do?

Is a wedding planner worth it?

By the way, a wedding planner and a venue wedding co-ordinator are NOT the same thing at all - to find out why and learn more about the differences between the two, see my FAQ page here:

A wedding planner is a necessity not a luxury

I would like to show you now why a wedding planner is not only a necessity - and not a luxury - but also why a wedding planner is affordable for all couples.

I'm on a mission to show couples that wedding planning is affordable for all and that having a wedding planner alongside you through this once in a lifetime experience should be considered a sensible necessity rather than a luxury. To my mind, the question is not whether you can afford to have a wedding planner but rather can you afford not to have a wedding planner?

The most significant (and most expensive) day of your lives

When you think about your wedding day , what instantly comes to mind?

Making a lifelong, loving & legally binding commitment to your soulmate in front of all the people who have loved and supported you throughout your lives. Celebrating the story of your love with all your nearest and dearest in a super stylish setting with all the arrangements seamlessly fitting into place, while you remain serene throughout. Having the best day of your lives, the day of your dreams and quite possibly investing a substantial sum of money in doing so. Is it really wise to undertake such a mammoth project without an expert by your side?

When it comes to all the other elements of your wedding day, you wouldn't dream of attempting any of it yourself or asking someone who wasn't an expert to do it for you - you'd naturally always engage a professional. Just because you've found an image of the wedding dress of your dreams, would you try to make it? You've got a whole pinterest board dedicated to wedding cakes but would you trust a relative to turn their hand to icing it and making all the intricate sugar flowers? You have a friend with an eye for photography but would you trust them to capture every minute detail of your wedding day - the preparations, the ceremony, the reception details, the speeches, the party? Why should the planning and organising of the biggest day of your lives be any different?

I don't need a wedding planner, I'm great at organising and I like being in control

I don't doubt that for a minute and having an organised couple as a client is always a bonus to a planner. However don't forget that this is the first time you'll have undertaken a project as big and as expensive as this, with so many potential pitfalls. Naturally there are hundreds of wedding planning checklists, step by step guides and apps to help you plan your own wedding not to mention all the articles about mistakes to avoid and pitfalls and blogs about about how to make your wedding memorable, special and unique. However, remember that none of them are tailored specifically to you - your brief, your vision, your aesthetic, your personalities, your time scale, your story? To my mind, all these do are to create confusion, fear and more pressure.

As your wedding planner, I'm not here to take over, or take away any of the control over the design or the decisions, you are always in control, I am simply your trusted expert, your guide, your 'wedding wing woman' working for you to design and deliver a day that is as unique as you are, working around your availability and your energy.

The look and feel is 100% yours, you take all the decisions, I simply make it all happen. I keep note of each detail and then manage every aspect of the design, planning, budgeting, organising, liaison, briefing and scheduling for your wedding day, incorporating everything related to the ceremony and reception venues, the transport, stationery and signage, catering, floristry, photography, videography, styling, technical production, entertainment and a lot more besides.

I'm by your side, guiding you through the very first maze of venue and supplier selection, then all the subsequent constant liaison and administration with them, always keeping tabs on it all, the quotes, the contracts, the logistical requirements, the invoices and the deadlines and regularly reporting back to you - your one point of contact for everything, keeping your life simple and fuss free. My honed organisational skills will keep track of all the details and amendments and my expertise in timelines, deadlines, scheduling and dovetailing all the arrangements means that you won't have to.

The average wedding takes 250 hours or more to organise; however this is my world, my language, so I can do it in half the time. Also this is my full time job, I'm 100% dedicated to planning your wedding, I'm not having to fit in the site visits, the consultations, the meetings, the phone calls, the emails, the constant liaison and subsequent updating and amending of documents and spreadsheets around anything else like you are - fitting all this around your life, your responsibilities and your leisure time and your down time. arrangements

It's what I do all the time and I'm not only very good at it, I'm efficient and accurate at it. Can you afford to do this without an expert by your side?

There will still be an awful lot for you to do ...

Don't forget that there will still be an awful lot of elements to a wedding day that often fall outside of my remit (but I can take these on board too if preferred) that will take all of the time and energy you do have to organise and arrange - for example, managing the expectations and emotions of your relatives, choosing your gift list, arranging what you'll be wearing, what your bridal party will be wearing, co-ordinating this with the groom's party, your accessories and rings, your hens and stags, presents for your attendants, organising your honeymoon ... imagine trying to fit that in as well as everything mentioned above that I manage for you: your venue, your stationery, your catering, floristry, design, styling, technical production, entertainment, transport, ceremony, cake etc. You can see how wedding planning is a full time job and how it can quickly become all consuming, overwhelming, stressful and worst of all, a headache and a source of irritation between you.

But can we afford a wedding planner?

So, by now you are no doubt convinced that you need me. The only thing stopping you from enquiring then is that you are thinking that you cannot afford me.

Have you thought of it the other way - can you afford not to have me? Think about how much you are investing in your wedding, your hopes and dreams, your time, your energy, your money - do you want to risk not enjoying the experience of the planning of it and to feel stressed, underprepared and overwhelmed on the day?

Let's focus on the money, the amount that you have set aside as your wedding budget. It's a scary amount, yes, especially when you think what else you could do with that sum .... So, given how much you are setting aside for the biggest and best day of your lives, allocating 10% - 15% of it for my signature full wedding planning service to ensure a calm and confident wedding planning journey from here on in and that on the day an expert to ensure that everything goes according to plan (and to fix it quietly and discreetly when it doesn't, as something will go wrong, it's a fact) is but a very small slice of the pie for the expert creative, logistical and emotional support you'd be getting.

After everything you've invested - can you afford not to have an expert on board? Think of it the other way - with the amount that you are spending and what is at stake, you owe it to yourself that your planning journey is positive experience for you both and the day (or the weekend) runs seamlessly for you both and all your guests, without a hitch.

How much does a wedding planner cost?

My signature full planning service is perfect not only for couples who know exactly what they want and who know from the outset that they want to partner with an expert to create and manage it, but also for couples who are less confident about what they want and who are looking for additional support to create a cohesive design and to introduce them to the suppliers who will match their aesthetic, their personalities and their budget. Either way, these couples will benefit from our outstanding levels of creativity, design, organisation and personal service.

Full planning ranges from 10% - 15% of your total budget* - if you think of it, 10% is still only 10% , you are still allocating 90% of your budget to everything else; 10% allocated to your wedding planner for expert guidance, professional management and organisation and and peace of mind throughout, represents a very small sliver of the whole.

For clients who have already started making plans, who have appointed their suppliers and but have now realised that they could do with some help or for couples who would still find 10% of their budget a stretch, partial planning or wedding day management is the answer.

Partial planning starts from around 4- 6 months prior to your wedding - once appointed, you literally hand over all the arrangements and contacts you've made to date, we identify what still needs to be done and any additional suppliers who need to be secured and from that point forward, I take care of it all, as I would with full planning. Regular meetings with you keep you informed and advised and I'm giving you clear guidance as to the steps still to be taken, the progress and the timelines. Plus I'm naturally there on the day from start to finish. Partial planning costs £3600 but is subject to exactly how much support you need.

For on the day wedding management, minimum fees start at £1800 which is on a par with a reputable wedding photographer - the fee for which is considered a necessity for any couple. You wouldn't dream of getting married and not having it recorded for posterity and for a fee such as this, your photographer is probably only on site for 10 hours, from an hour before you depart for the ceremony until the first dance.

For the same amount, you can experience how good it feels to know that 6 weeks prior to your wedding, an expert is reviewing all the arrangements, checking for oversights and making amends where necessary, liaising with all the suppliers to double check their briefs and preparing a full minute my minute schedule for the day for suppliers and the wedding party. I will also be at your ceremony and reception venues on the date from before the first supplier arrives through to when the last guest leaves, always 2 steps ahead of you, ensuring every supplier is fulfilling their brief en pointe and on time, checking every detail, leaving nothing to chance, and am by your side for whatever you need - a top up of Champagne, to change your shoes, to go and find your mother or a quick refresh of your lippy!

Partnering with a wedding planner - whether for full planning, partial planning or on the day management - means no more sleepless nights, making lists of things you haven't done, no more worrying about if you have enough time, and frustrations about how much time it's taking. Instead, I give you the security of knowing that your wedding day is in the best of hands, the gift of time to enjoy the process, and the peace of mind to confidently look forward to it.

Now that is worth £1800 surely?

Drop me a line to and let's have a chat about where you are in your wedding planning journey and how I can help you.

Susannah x

* Minimum fee applies

Couture Weddings & Events Ltd

Luxury wedding planner and event organiser covering London, the Home Counties and beyond.

London Wedding Planner, Home Counties Wedding Planner, Luxury UK Wedding Planner