Planner, take the wheel: Yes, you do need help coordinating your wedding. Here’s why!

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Photo: Sam Stroud Photo: Sam Stroud

It’s 45 minutes before the wedding ceremony. Your perfect up-do is up. Your airbrushed makeup is cover-model worthy. Your mother helps you slip into your custom-designed wedding gown, carefully laces it up and is tying the final bow when you hear it—the sound of priceless organza tearing. Your wedding dress just ripped from the waist to the top of the corset.

That very scenario happened to one local bride. Fortunately, she’d hired wedding planner Adam Donovan-Groves, who had the situation under control before the bride even knew anything was wrong.

“I said, ‘I’ve got this.’ And I sewed her into her gown. You couldn’t even tell anything had happened,” Adam recounts. “Had it just been her and a couple of friends, the stress would’ve been so much higher.”

And that, in a nutshell, is why wedding planners are worth their proverbial weight in gold.

“We don’t have the emotion invested in the event,” says Adam. “We have a Plan B and even a Plan C—both of which are as good as Plan A—and we’re ready to put those into place at any moment.”

At your service

A wedding planner works for the couple. Forget what the caterer suggests or the venue has in mind, planners will do their best to get the future Mrs. (or Mr.) exactly what she (or he) wants.

“We’re an ally,” says Meghan Streit, owner and wedding planner for Shindig Weddings and Events, when describing her role in the process. If someone’s planning a wedding in the area from afar, “we provide boots on the ground and a sanity check.”

Most wedding planners offer a choice of packages that include anything from “day-of” services to full planning. They can accommodate a bride by providing vendor lists and hotel choices, or handle everything from setting up appointments to attending meetings with, or on behalf of, the couple. Of course, each planner charges different rates so fees will vary, but expect to spend anywhere from $2,500 for minimum involvement to $8,000-10,000 for a full-service planner.

It’s the most important day of your life, and Meghan says it makes sense to trust a professional to guide you through it. “With any major event in our lives—buying a home or having surgery—you look to someone who does this all the time,” she says. “This is no different.”