Plan Your Wedding Without the Stress

Wedding Planners in Raleigh, NC to Schedule Your Stress-Free Event

Wedding planners share how their services help clients enjoy their big day

The thought of planning a wedding is thrilling for many couples. But as the big day approaches, juggling vendor communication, party rentals and setting up the venue on top of the anticipation that comes with getting married can be overwhelming. This is why many couples hire a professional wedding or event planner to ensure that their wedding day or weekend runs seamlessly. These top wedding planners in Raleigh, NC share insights on why hiring a planner is the best way to relax and enjoy your wedding.

Don’t just take our word for it. C&D Events co-owner Dana Kadwell has worked in the event planning industry for 16 years. A timeline is set after the first consultation to best accommodate the needs of the couple. Dana explains that wedding planning comes in waves. Her job is to identify peak stress times in her clients’ personal and professional lives and plan around them.

Magnolia Collective owner Meagan Culkin shares a similar perspective. Meagan has been in the industry for 14 years. She now offers event planning services for weddings across North Carolina and Virginia. Meagan sees herself as a resource provider. She loves giving couples recommendations and introducing them to preferred vendors who fit their budget and style. “They’ve got a Staples help button in their back pocket for when they need us,” she says.

Addie Thompson has been in the business since 2014 and is the owner of Dogwood Gatherings and Events. She offers one package to clients – a partial planning package. This allows Addie to be available to couples as much as they need or want. Communication starts immediately after the consultation as Addie and her team send simple layouts of the ceremony and timelines – all the useful things couples may not necessarily know how to create themselves. 

Becca Taylor is an event planner and designer for Anthem House. Becca compares a wedding planner to a contractor. She says you wouldn’t build a house without one – they manage subcontractors and take on scheduling and coordinating. A wedding planner does the same thing when they manage vendor communication, host mock-ups and attend meetings with their clients. With a planner, work won’t fall on the shoulders of family members or the wedding party. 

Why Hire a Pro?

The best part of hiring a professional planner is that there’s no pressure to relinquish control over your big day. Couples can and will have plenty of input, but without the stress of actually executing these choices. Meagan says she is helping to realize a vision more so than planning every detail of a client’s day. Dana describes hiring a wedding planner as hiring someone to go to bat for you. Contacting vendors, overcoming obstacles and coordinating timelines are the job of the event planner.

“We just sort of ride the waves with them and then protect them from anything that may come crashing in,” Addie says. Becca agrees and says Anthem House makes sure to get to know the client and what they expect their wedding journey to look like. Then they create wedding festivities that reflect who they are as a couple. 

For those who are concerned about the costs associated with hiring a wedding planner, Addie tells us that event planning pays for itself. She says that she dedicates more than 300 hours to her clients and is constantly providing suggestions on how to keep to their budget along the way.

Perks of Hiring a Raleigh, NC Wedding Planner

Planners know all the budget-friendly life hacks. For example, repurposing bridesmaid bouquets as centerpieces to cut floral costs. And when the big day comes around, Meagan says she wants couples to “set it and forget it.” The pandemic hasn’t been without last-minute challenges for her clients. Still, she has found ways to relocate vendors and book last-minute venues when plans fall through. 

Dana says she is the first to arrive and the last to leave on wedding days, ensuring that everything moves smoothly and as planned. For Addie, the most rewarding part of the process is when the couple walks into their reception and it is exactly what they imagined. 

Investing in a wedding or event planner upfront can be daunting. But as Meagan says, don’t be afraid to phone a friend early in the process. From the first consultation to the celebratory exit, a wedding planner has the expertise and care to leave couples with no worries.

There are wedding planners in Raleigh, NC to schedule your big day stress-free, whether you’ve already planned the entire event and had to postpone due to the pandemic, or you just got engaged and haven’t even begun planning yet. Skip the drama and stress by putting one of the most important days of your life into the hands of a professional. Breaking down your budget, choosing vendors, scheduling meetings, answering calls and emails and creating a timeline are just a few of the tasks wedding planners will tackle and take off of your plate. Hire a NC wedding planner who will help prepare you (curveballs included)! Keep scrolling for a breakdown of all the different types of wedding planners in Raleigh, NC and answers to FAQ’s.

Answers to Your FAQs – Wedding Planners in Raleigh, NC 

Q: My venue comes with a coordinator, so I don’t need a wedding planner, right?

A: Wrong! In general, the venue coordinator’s role is limited to details directly concerning the venue. This includes overseeing any in-house food and beverage or coordinating the arrivals and departures of off-site vendors. The day-of coordinator ensures that the wedding timeline runs smoothly without any hiccups. Even with a venue coordinator, you’ll want to hire a professional wedding planner. The planner will be familiar with the top local vendors and will organize and bring to life your dream wedding decor and style! So at the very least, you will still need to hire a month-of planner. Click here for a full list of our preferred Heart of NC wedding planners

Q: Real talk – how much do Raleigh, NC wedding planners cost?

A: Wedding planners vary in price based on experience, skill and location. Full-service wedding planning is usually a range between $7,500-12,000, or a flat fee plus a percentage of the overall budget. Partial planning services range from $4,000 to $6,000, depending on the size and scale of your event. Month-of and day-of planning services range from $2,000 to $3,000. Some planners charge a base fee plus percentage of overall budget.

Q: I’m organized. Is it really essential to hire a wedding planner?

A: Wedding vendor costs have increased across the board due to high demand. This means that a professional planner can help you navigate the wedding industry boom and save time and money in the long run. Ask yourself, how much is my time and mental health worth? Hire a planner as early as possible in order to work through the potential costs of the rest of the wedding. You’ll get the most value out of hiring a planner before you do any other wedding planning, but even if you get started planning and realize you need help, it’s never too late to call in a pro. 

Types of Wedding Planners in Raleigh, NC 

Month-of wedding planning services (formerly called “day-of,” but we’ve since updated that term) are centered on managing the wedding weekend. This includes coordinating with the vendors and scheduling the timeline. Your month-of planner will also manage the flow of the rehearsal, ceremony and reception.  

Full service planners are more focused in the overall plans and shaping the entire event. This is usually a longer term relationship. Ideally, a full service planner would oversee venue tours, vendor selection, budgeting and management.

Wedding Design includes the artistic creation of the event’s aesthetic at every step. So your early meetings might involve mood boards and sketches and discussing your design preferences. The planner works directly with the tactile vendors such as the stationer, florist and rental services to curate the overall look and feel of your wedding.

Total budget is important to know along with your wedding month, guest count, priority vendors and style before inquiring with a planner. Your planner will help you stick to that budget, thereby saving you money.

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