couple planning a wedding

Q&A: Wedding Planning Tips from Local Lancaster Experts

Planning the wedding of your dreams with your partner should be a fun time, but it can also be very stressful. We’ve talked about methods to help reduce stress throughout the entire wedding planning process in some of our previous posts. But the best advice we can give? Listen to the experts and discover wedding planning tips you probably never thought about before!

Whether you’re talking to one of your vendors or have hired a wedding planner for your big day, you don’t have to handle all of the wedding stress alone. Wedding planners and vendors have been through the wedding process hundreds of times; we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, and we’re ready to offer advice wherever we can.

In this post, we’ve consulted with two of our favorite local wedding planners—Taryn Blake Events and Simple Soiree. We asked both vendors some of the most common questions we hear with wedding planning, and why it would be beneficial for you and your partner to hire a wedding planner for the big day. Read on for all the insider tips from these Lancaster wedding planning experts!

Q: What’s the best way to eliminate stress from the Big Day?

A: Simple Soiree

“Hire a wedding planner/day-of coordinator, so you know everything is taken care of, and you have a point person the entire day. Surprises are always fun, but not on your wedding day.”

A: Taryn Blake Events

“Hire a planner! Truly— having a team there to advocate for your best interests, answer questions along the way, and handle all the nitty-gritty details at the end is the best gift you can give yourself. Having a planner on your team means that you are taken care of from day one. Any stress that comes your way can be easily taken care of. You’ll plan confidently and efficiently (and usually save some money along the way!) with a great planning partner on your side.

Aside from that, budget early and have realistic expectations (again, something a planner will help you with). We see stress pop up when too much money is spent early on because the couple doesn’t know what else they need—or when they don’t understand what they can get for their budget, and frustrations set in. Getting clear on how to manage the budget will save a lot of stress down the road.”

Q: Is there a difference between having a wedding planner vs. a wedding coordinator?

A: Simple Soiree

“Yes! A wedding planner is with you through the entire planning process, attends vendor meetings with you, gives professional advice and guidance. A wedding coordinator gets involved the month before and orchestrates all your plans on the day of the wedding. If your venue says they provide a wedding coordinator, it is important to know what their responsibilities/duties are and how much time they are involved. Many venue coordinators leave after dinner is served, and couples still need assistance through the entire evening coordinating things such as the cake cutting and specialty dances.”

A: Taryn Blake Events

“Traditionally, ‘planning’ refers to a full-service package where the wedding team sources your vendors, provides design work, and culminates with coordination of the wedding day. It’s very in-depth and usually [requires] more experience. ‘Coordination’ would mean stepping in to execute the final few weeks of planning together, complete with day-of coordination on the wedding day.

It’s important to note, however, that these terms are starting to be used interchangeably, and every planning team has their own definition of services. It’s best to do research and not go into your vendor search focused on words like ‘planning’ or ‘coordination’ as you may miss a vendor that would suit your needs.”

Q: What’s something you wish more couples knew about wedding planning?

A: Simple Soiree

“How valuable our time is [as a wedding planner] and how much stress we can spare them. There’s so little time and so much to celebrate! This should be a fun and exciting process for everyone involved!”

A: Taryn Blake Events

“That it’s ok if it feels hard sometimes. I hear so many couples who feel bad that they aren’t enjoying an aspect of planning because it’s supposed to be the best day of their lives! But it’s a new process for you. There’s a lot of moving parts, a lot of money involved, and a lot of big decisions to make. It’s ok if you like cake tastings but hate picking linen colors! This is where you lean on your planning team to help.

Planning should be fun and joyous and filled with wonderful memories—but if there’s a hiccup in there—that’s ok too. Just like marriage, wedding planning will have ups and downs—and you’ll get through them all, together.”

Q: What are some of the biggest benefits of hiring a wedding planner?

A: Simple Soiree

“Professional wedding planners have more experience, so they see and think of things you might not. They can help guide you and save you so much time and energy. They also have great tips that can help save you money, but, most importantly, they help eliminate stress and worry.”

A: Taryn Blake Events

“You get the experience and know-how of a team who has been there, done that, and fixed just about everything! There is so much that goes into planning a wedding, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed very quickly. A planning team steps in to handle the areas that aren’t in your wheelhouse. Not great at design? We’ve got it! Unsure how to route transportation? Let us help! Don’t want to worry about setup on your wedding day? No problem! A wedding planning team isn’t just a helper—we are a professional resource to help you execute a flawless day.

We give you the freedom to experience your wedding day. You will be relaxing with a drink while we set up your ceremony and reception, assist vendor setup, pick up your lunch, make sure photos start on schedule, welcome your guests as they arrive, handle last-minute changes, flip to the rain plan, handle the late shuttle, etc. You’ve spent so much time, energy, love, and money on this one day—we allow you to live it—not work it.”

Q: What’s the #1 tip you give to most couples?

A: Simple Soiree

“Hire professional vendors so that you don’t have to worry, can relax, and be present during the entire day.”

A: Taryn Blake Events

“The #1 tip I give is to stay true to who you are. Plan the wedding YOU want—even if it strays from tradition. It’s so easy to get sucked into the black hole of Pinterest and trends, and pretty soon, you’re planning a wedding that doesn’t even feel like you! Taking a step back and thinking about what you truly value and what will reflect you on your wedding day is so important! This is a day to celebrate your love—a love that is unique to just the two of you. Focus on that and sift through the advice and opinions you’ll get from others (friends, family, media). I often tell couples, ‘everyone will have an opinion…the only one that matters is yours.'”

Need More Wedding Planning Tips?

If you’re still not sure where to go from here, we highly recommend checking out all of the wedding planning tips we have on our blog. Some of the topics we cover include budget planning, tips for choosing a wedding venue, choosing a local wedding photographer, and much more!

And when you’re ready to have the wedding of your dreams in an elegant rural setting, contact us here at Melhorn Manor! We’ll be happy to answer any of your wedding day questions or concerns, and will gladly give you a tour of our beautiful, historic grounds.