A Bride's Guide to Wedding Planning Packages

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Full service, Day of Coordination, Wedding Day Management, Wedding Planning- what does it all mean??  In your search for a wedding planner, I'm sure you've come across a few different names for what different planners offer. This can definitely cause confusion if you're trying to compare the packages of two or more planners as you decide who to hire.  You know I'm all about clarifying confusing situations so here's a rundown of what all this terminology means. Now bear in mind, different planners include their own twist on each specific service, so this is not an exhaustive list or explanation. Let's jump in, shall we?

What is Full Service Planning?
Full service planning is usually a planner's most comprehensive service level, meaning that you'll end up getting more time with your planner, more meetings and more services. The goal is to help you plan your wedding from scratch. Often featured are: 

  • Unlimited contact (emails, phone calls, etc) throughout your engagement
  • A large number of planning meetings or attendance at your choice of vendor meetings, dress fittings, etc.
  • Full vendor research, recommendations and coordination
  • Guidance on the entire planning process
  • Wedding Budget set up and management
  • Complete Day of Coordination

Sometimes featured: a combination of planning and design, additional services like invitation and rsvp management, a really customized planning experience and fun surprises.

What is Partial Planning?
Partial planning is usually less involved than full service- you can expect the following:

  • Contact to start within a certain amount of time prior to your big day, say 4-6 months or so.
  • Fewer planning meetings- usually in the range of 4-6.
  • More opportunity to do your own research and legwork (which is great for some, but not always desired for busy couples).
  • The chance to add on a la carte items to create a more customized service.
  • Complete Day of Coordination

What is Day of Coordination?
Day of coordination (which is really a misnomer) is really final details planning, meaning a company comes in about 2-3 months prior and ties up all the loose ends and makes sure nothing is missed. The goal here is to organize the day and be on hand so everything goes off without a hitch. You can expect the following:

  • 2-3 planning meetings or calls to collect all of your wedding details, starting at about 2 months prior.
  • A main focus on the logistics of the day itself (who needs to be where with what, why and how).
  • Vendor coordination
  • Ceremony rehearsal management
  • On site management- sometimes also called Wedding Day Management.

Now, Day of Coordination is usually the least expensive option because it happens towards the tail end of the planning process.  Full service is always the most expensive because of it's all-encompassing nature, and Partial Planning tends to fall somewhere in between.

All of that being said - not all planners do these three options. For example, here at TME- we are anti-package. Every service we offer is custom, so almost all of our clients fall somewhere in the "partial" range. Some planners only offer Day/Month of,  while some focus specifically on Full Service.  When you're researching, be sure to ask your prospective planners what they specialize in, and why.  
Good luck in your search!

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