Between the many wedding vendors, coordinating the guests and securing your Maui wedding venue, hiring a Maui wedding planner can often be overlooked. However, taking back control of your wedding checklist and bringing calm to your planning process comes down to letting your wedding planner take the reins. But how much does it really cost to hire a professional wedding planner in Maui and does it fit into your wedding budget?
Experts say that you should put around 8-10 percent of your overall wedding budget for the wedding planner. Of course it also depends on your guest count, the logistics of your vision and the experience of your wedding planner. The Maui wedding packages you choose also matters. For example, you may want to work with your Maui wedding planner 2-3 months out prior to your wedding. This would require you to secure all the vendors and manage your guests up to your wedding day and let your planner do the rest on the day of your wedding. There is also the Full Wedding Planning package (which is what we excel in) where your planner works with you from day 1 in order to plan out all your wedding details, secure your ideal vendors and take on all the stress of planning your own wedding. As you read on, the cost of hiring a wedding planner ultimately pays for itself through added value, potential discounts and mitigating potential mishaps.
When you first get engaged, the first thing that comes to mind might be to secure the your wedding venue. It is often one of your most significant decisions when you first start your wedding planning journey especially since Maui wedding venues get booked up and your desired date might not be available. One of our favourite venues is the Four Seasons Maui and their Friday and Saturday dates are often booked up 10 - 14 months ahead. You can either work with your wedding planner to find your ideal wedding venue or book your venue first before working with your wedding planner. The advantage when you work with your wedding planner to book your venue is that your planner can get the “inside scoop” on each venue that you visit and you may even get valuable “extras” since the venues may already have a working relationship with your planner.
Once you booked your wedding venue, the venue will provide you with a dedicated “Coordinator”. The wedding coordinator’s job is to represent the venue just as your florist represents your floral design needs. Don’t confuse your wedding planner with the venue’s wedding coordinator. Your wedding planner dedicates hundreds of hours to sourcing vendors, planning out the logistics, contract negotiations, getting you the best value, budgeting, timeline creations, etc. The wedding planner provides you with ongoing consultations and theme development for both your wedding ceremony and reception. The venue’s wedding coordinator takes all the planning and logistics from your wedding planner and ensures that the venue can execute on those timelines.
There are many Maui wedding planners especially in such a popular wedding destination such as Maui, Hawaii. There are often many planners who are just getting into the wedding industry and most of them work on their business part time. If you are only interested in a “Month-of” wedding planning package, these planners can offer you very competitive pricing and can fulfil that service well enough. Just make sure they have been planning weddings for at least 2-3 years and check their testimonials. There are also many top wedding planners in Maui that do great work. I often tell my brides to interview a few of these planners and see if you like to work with them. See if there’s… “chemistry”. Your planner will be spending a lot of time with you so it’s probably a good idea to like them as a person as well as a professional.
Here are some questions to ask your Maui Wedding planners when you interview your them:
You or your partner may have been dreaming about this day for many years (maybe even for a lifetime). It could also be possible that both of you don’t have a clue on where to start. A wedding planner will help you develop and hone your vision. There may be multiple themes that emerge during your conversation(s) with your wedding planner and the key here is to unify all the amazing ideas into a cohesive theme that can be turned into reality.
Once a theme has been determined, there are many creative and extraordinary ways to bring them to life. This is where your Maui wedding planner will play a large role. Your planner’s ideas can be inspired by other disciplines like fashion, architecture, films and other award winner events. Your planner will also have many wedding experiences to draw from and a great planner will also be part of a professional association (like WIPA www.wipa.org) to continually advance their education and expand their network with wedding pros. Having a planner who is well connected to the local wedding industry is paramount to ensuring the ideas that emerge from your vision and theme can be executed with integrity and confidence on your wedding day. It is also important that your planner have been building trust between the local vendors to ensure that any potential problems that could (and will) emerge have been thought through and planned accordingly.
The logistics of bringing your vision to life is just one part of the planning, the emotions of getting your family members, your fiance’s family members and other key individuals to “buy in” on the vision will also be paramount. A great wedding planner would have had decades of experience working with their couple’s families to mediate but also to come up with creative solutions that everyone will be at least agreeable to at the end. There have been many times where I was described as an amazing therapist as well as a great wedding planner after a large wedding has been successfully implemented. Fun times!
Wedding planning may seem like a fun business (and it definitely is!), but it is also ranked number 6 most stressful careers in the world by many news outlets such as Business News Daily. Just like firefighters, surgeons and new broadcasters, weddings are a time based event. There are a lot of moving parts, and there is only one chance to make it right. Unfortunately, there are some brides who come to us just a few months prior to their wedding when they realise that things are getting out of control! Things get even crazier a few weeks out when last minute emergencies (no matter how well prepared the planning was) that wedding planners have to “fix” behind the scenes. That is why time, communication and trust are essential skills for a wedding planner and the vendors involved.
Time: We don’t take last minute clients. It takes time to plan things right and we know how potential mishaps can fall through the cracks when there isn’t enough time to plan accordingly. We’re efficient in our planning, but as you can see on our Full Wedding Planning package page, our methodology has been battle-tested and purposeful. Also, we don’t take on more than one wedding per day, so you can count on us to be there for you when you need it.
Communication: It might be obvious that communication is a key component of planning a wedding. There’s the couple, the couple’s friends and the family. There’s also many vendors involved. Flowers take time to order, labour for setup + teardown, the venue’s setup hours and loading docks are open during the timeframe we need, etc. That is why hiring a professional wedding planner who has already worked with the local wedding vendors and venues is so important.
Trust: This is the glue that holds everything together and it goes both ways. Building trust and the opportunity to demonstrate integrity takes time. As you may already know, the couple will be working with their wedding planner and spending a lot of time to grow this trust overtime. The trust between the vendor and the planner should already be there when working on something as important as a wedding. A great way to find a true professional is to ask your wedding venue to refer you to one if you already have a venue secured. Another important thing to look at is the wedding planner’s reviews. You can find all of our praises here.
A great wedding planner thinks about all the details, the logistics and provides creative ideas along the way. Even the most experienced wedding planners in Maui can’t tell the future and unplanned events can happen. For example, there could be a splendid outdoor wedding ceremony planned along the beautiful waters next to the Four Seasons Maui. Even though the weather has been forecasted to be sunny with no clouds, it could still change in a moment’s notice. A great wedding planner will have a Plan B and even a Plan C. When all else fails, a great wedding planner is also insured and is working with vendors who are also insured. These are time-based events and unexpected things will happen. With an experienced wedding planner, you can confidently forego many of the misfortunes of a DIY bride we hear about from weddings gone wrong.
You can read more about 6 Real Wedding Stories Gone Wrong >>
Having a great Maui wedding planner means that your planner understands and can negotiate each and every vendor contract for you before you sign them. When your wedding planner knows the local vendors and has referred multiple businesses to them, the couple will often get valuable extras (perks) along with desirable terms. Hiring a professional wedding planner often more than pays for itself.
You may already have a vision, a theme and even booked the perfect venue, but until you speak with your wedding planner, it might not be feasible without some slight customization.
Things to consider are:
Budget: Does it fit into your budget? If it doesn’t, the planner will provide you with a list of ideas to have your vision but with a slight change here and there that ultimately makes your wedding day an extraordinary AND affordable one.
Logistics: Does it fit into your timeline? Do we need to flip the room from wedding ceremony to reception? Can we hang a ceiling floral in the venue? Do we need a permit for pyro entertainment? These are all logistics that can require a lot of communication between your vendors and where the experience of your wedding planner can make a world of difference. Working with an inexperienced wedding planner or vendor could really impact your wedding negatively, especially if you’re doing something the vendor or planner has never done before.
Uncontrollable Forces: There are times where things happen beyond the control of your wedding planning team. Things like the weather, a permit mistake on the part of the state, or a traffic accident that delayed your ice sculpture from being delivered on time. Things happen and there’s always a plan A, B, C. If there isn’t, then your planner will hopefully advise you accordingly.
On the bright side, your wedding planner and the amazing vendors you choose to work with can take your vision to an elevated level. At the end of the day, wedding professionals are all creatives and inspiration can come from different industries and associations that they belong to. If you have a great wedding pro as part of your team, he/she might even be involved at the leadership level with the local/national wedding association. The team you choose to work with makes all the difference!
By now you might be thinking to yourself that you need the best Maui wedding planner for your upcoming wedding. Heck, your wedding might just be a few months away and you have just been nodding your head as you are reading this article. Well, the good news is that hiring a wedding planner is the easy part. Hiring the great wedding planner who knows your wedding location well, has established meaningful relationships with the local wedding vendors and has at least a decade of experience behind her is the tricky part.
If you are looking for a wedding planner in Maui, Hawaii, it would be easy to simply search for “Wedding Planner Maui” or “Maui Wedding Planners” or even “Hawaii Micro Wedding Packages” (if you are planning a micro wedding). The trick is to filter down your list and verify your top 5 wedding planners. This topic of “verifying your wedding planner) has not been talked about much because top quality wedding planners, especially in a dedicated destination, are few and far in between. Below are a few ways to verify your planners before you reach out to them for a wedding consultation.
Love Notes: Find testimonials on your wedding planner. Make sure these testimonials are from public platforms like Google, Wedding Wire, The Knot, and other directories. It’s almost impossible to remove bad testimonials from Google. It would be great to view the wedding planner’s website to get a feel for their brand and to read some of their best testimonials. Couples don’t always go through the trouble of writing their testimonials on Google or other wedding directories and planners don’t normally make up testimonials to put on their website. You can always request a reference to a specific testimonial from your planner and contact the couple directly.
The Brand: These days, anyone can start a wedding planning business. It doesn’t require any special education, certification and the barrier of entry is low. That is why there are so many wedding stories gone wrong. Check out your wedding planner’s website, logo, media features and social platforms. All of it should be professional, consistent and appeal to you as their perfect couple. When you meet with your wedding planner, you will know if she’s the real deal. Consistency is the key here. The brand is like a promise or a preface to the planner’s performance. If their website looks like a template they got on Wordpress or if their content contains a sloth of grammatical errors, the brand is telling you a story (and it’s not good). The same is true for an elegant website full of extraordinary images, the planner is featured in top publications and their content is informative + organized.
References from Industry Pros: Couples may not realize that the wedding industry is extremely small and connected. You can expect all the veterans in the wedding industry to know each other and have worked together on more than one occasion. If you are working with a venue already, simply ask them about a specific wedding planner whom you are interested in hiring for your wedding. If you absolutely love a specific wedding pro (like a DJ, caterer, officiant, etc.) you can also ask them about your shortlist of planners. I would even suggest that you reach out to the local or national wedding associations to get a reference from them (like the Wedding International Professionals Association wipa.org). WIPA is a paid association who hosts quarterly educational and networking events. They also have a leadership team (who are paying members of WIPA) who graciously volunteer their time and expertise to host these events for their members.
If you just started your journey as an engaged couple, congratulations on your engagement! The article you just read will save you a lot of time, money and potential frustrations as you start planning for your Maui wedding. The tips and tricks contained in this blog post will give you a tremendous push towards the right direction and a solid foundation to your life as a couple. Starting your wedding planning journey doesn’t have to be stressful and can be lots of fun provided that you work with a team of professionals.
If you have any questions or would like to inquire about working with us, please send us an email or simply fill out our contact form here.
Thank you for reading all the way to the end and we look forward to writing more educational posts in the near future!
Originally published on New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/01/style/maui-weddings-wildfire.htmlSome couples are continuing to plan nuptials on the island recently devastated by wildfires. “Moving forward and capturing positive emotions is to be of service,” one local photographer said.
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