My Wedding Notebook Blog


By Dheyna, wedding planner at Smitten Weddings.

Once you’ve taken in how beautiful that rock on your finger is and how romantic the proposal was, you’ll probably think – what do we do now? There is a lot to sort out – do I need a wedding planner? I’m going to delve into a professional wedding planner’s role, and let you decide!

The average time from proposal to the wedding day is 20 months – 7 months enjoying engagement and 13 months planning the big day. This equates to spending an estimated 250 hours organising your wedding. Juggling that with your day-job and family commitments – you can see why people say it’s like taking on another full-time job! This is where a wedding planner steps in.

Very basically, wedding planners help you plan and pull off your wedding. What they don’t do is do all the work for you (unless you ask them to!). A planner’s level of involvement in the process varies depending on your wishes! Most wedding planners offer a variety of services which are usually split into: full planning, partial planning, or on-the-day coordination.

With full planning services, the wedding planner is with you from the start of your engagement. They can help you with anything and everything from helping create your wedding theme and finding amazing suppliers (like those I’ll be showing you below), to handling the piles of wedmin and working their magic on your big day.

Unique Venue – Hilles House Palace Yurt – Gloucestershire

For partial planning services, the wedding planner will come on-board later in your planning journey. Typically, they help you tie up any loose ends, source any remaining suppliers, and (again) manage your wedding day for you.

Photographer – Hannah Buckland Photography – Gloucestershire  

Photographer – Martin Dabek Photography – Gloucestershire 

With on-the-day coordination, the wedding planner joins you a few months before your wedding day to gather supplier information and discuss your wedding day timeline. Then on the big day itself, you are free to enjoy yourselves as your planner manages everything for you – from overseeing deliveries, to ensuring your photographer turns up on time. All the little details will be taken care of while you’re getting ready for your special moment!

(left) Make-up – Katy Pheiffer Make-up Artist – Wiltshire
(right) Hair and Make-up – Evie’s Hair And Makeup – Gloucestershire

NB: I think it is important to point out that most venues have event managers and wedding coordinators – these are not wedding planners. Although they will ensure the venue is what you need, it is not their job to make sure your other suppliers are on-time OR that they provide what is expected.

Most wedding planners allow you to tailor their services to your exact needs, so you can choose to sort out all the fun things (like cakes, decorations, flowers) yourself and leave the less glamorous tasks (like booking transport and checking timelines) to your planner!

(left) Cake – Cake Daydreams – Gloucestershire
(right) Cake – Lavender & Lime – Gloucestershire 


  • do not enjoy planning or running events
  • feel overwhelmed by the idea of wedding planning
  • are known for being disorganised
  • want to get great ideas and tips from someone who does this as a full-time job
  • have no idea where to start
  • have very little free time OR travel frequently
  • want to have around the clock support
  • do not want to handle family / friendship politics

Yep, sorry, but disagreements with friends and family often happen when wedding planning, and some people may interfere with the best intentions. However, it is your wedding, so wedding planners will do what you think is best and will help manage any upsets.

Flowers Flourish and Grace – Bristol


  • pulling your wedding ideas together to create a beautiful day
  • sourcing amazing local wedding suppliers
  • getting you discounts from suppliers
  • managing any tricky negotiations (with suppliers and/or family members!)
  • money-saving tips and tricks of the trade
  • templates for budgeting
  • what important questions to ask suppliers at meetings
  • planning timelines for when to do what
  • stress relief!

Now you know what a lifesaver a wedding planner can be, let’s talk about the cost. It used to be the case that only celebrities and millionaires’ children could afford a planner – but this is no longer the case! As with any industry, there are higher and lower-budget options, plus package selections help you find something which suits any budget.

As a guide, most wedding planners charge about 10% to 15% of your wedding budget for ‘full planning’ – this is because (generally) the bigger the budget, the more work is involved. The exact % charge varies geographically and with the planner’s experience. For ‘partial planning’ the cost is usually less, and ‘on-the-day services’ are the most affordable option (for example, my on-the-day prices start from £500).

The most important thing to remember about hiring a wedding planner is that it does not mean that you lose control of your wedding. We care as much about your wedding as you do (really – we do!), and we only handle the tasks you want us to.

Stationery – Rebecca Richards Designs – West Midlands

Planners do not take over the decision-making process and you will still play a significant part in the organisation – we make sure you do some work for your big day! We just are here to ensure you have the best day possible.

Thank you very much Dheyna, for sharing your insight with us and for helping our brides on their way. If you want to know more you can contact Dheyna directly at Smitten Weddings in Gloucestershire.

For more useful wedding planning tips, take a look at our Useful Tips articles.