Wedding Planning Tips by Weddings by Mandy

Weddings can be stressful – but they don’t have to be! Hiring a wedding planner can help you, as the couple getting married, focus on what’s most important: each other! The right wedding planner will feel like the perfect fit for you both and will work hard to bring your big day to life. We’re lucky to know some incredible wedding planners here in Alabama. Today on the blog, Mandy White of Weddings By Mandy is talking about what it’s like being a wedding planner, when to hire one, and what to look for! She also threw in a few fun tips for you – so make sure to read all the way through! 

Wedding planner Weddings by Mandy photographed by Goodie and Smith Weddings

Why should couples hire a wedding planner? 

A lot of time, energy and money goes into this one special day, to most people it seems foolish in hindsight to not have had a wedding planner. A wedding planner will help you during the planning process stay focused on the details, talk through what matters and can help you make budget decisions that are most important to you. We talk to many brides who are overwhelmed and stressed and just want to enjoy their wedding day.

A wedding planner is a small percentage of your overall budget and the last thing we would recommend taking out. Your wedding planner manages the flow of the day so you can relax, get dressed and walk down the aisle without ever speaking to another vendor or answer any questions about the day…your job on your wedding day is to enjoy the day, no more planning or working needed! A professional wedding planner will also know how to handle any day of obstacle. 


What is the difference between a wedding planner and a day of coordinator?

A day of coordinator handles the specifics of your wedding day. They don’t have as much intimate knowledge about the day as a wedding planner would. 

A day of coordinator can only be as successful as the information you give her. She will not be able to direct and coordinate to her full potential because she will more than likely be missing pieces to the puzzle regarding your day. 

A wedding planner can be your consultant and friend throughout the planning process. Often an ear to listen and a voice of reason… a mediator between mom and daughter and a professional with many connections to help you find the perfect matches for your team of vendors to execute your day. Brides without planners spend countless hours on the phone and online researching vendors to find out they don’t have what they want or their services are over their budget.

A wedding planner knows how to listen to your dreams. They are then able to help you find the right vendors to make it come true!  An experienced wedding planner can also refer vendors that match your personality and style making these vendor appointments feel more like parties with your friends than a business meeting. 


What’s the difference between a wedding designer and wedding planner?

A designer is very creative and artistic and does not necessarily have the logistical/analytical aspects of planning. Most designers stick to the visual aspects of the day like draping, lighting and floral. A planner is typically more experienced in the logistics of the day. They make sure the timelines and flow of vendors and guests is seamless. However, these two positions do not have to be separate! Many wedding planners offer design ideas and have many industry contacts that can work as a team to “pull off” any Pinterest Board! 


When should couples hire a wedding planner?

Although we’ve been hired before the ring a few times, the best time to hire a planner is immediately following your engagement… your wedding planner can save you countless hours of stress as you begin your initial plans (budget, venue, date) Your planner can sit down and brainstorm with you on what works and what may not work. They can give you ideas from the beginning on venues and timing. Professional wedding planners have been through hundreds of weddings. Couples only have one, so go with a pro from the start! Trying to plan a wedding without a planner is like trying to bake a cake without the recipe. Unless you have done it a couple of hundred times, it’s nice to have the directions or in a wedding’s case…a flawless proven plan in place! 


Tell us about Weddings by Mandy! 

 Weddings by Mandy was founded in 2012 after 7 years in the wedding industry working for a high-volume resort property. Pleased to offer custom packages from weekend coordinating to full service planning to fit most budgets and bride’s needs in any space they desire. I love working an event in a private home, rental house, on the beach or a full service resort!  


No two brides are alike. Over the years, I have valued being able to change up what I offer to meet each couple’s needs. In the season of life I’m in, I’m also booking fewer weddings per year allowing me more one on one time with each bride. 


Do you have any tips or frequently asked questions to share with couples?

How much alcohol do I order? There are a few formulas you can use to calculate this number but this is a tricky numbers game. Most venues provide the beverages for you! Although this may cost you a little more, it’s worth it in peace of mind to not have to guess what to order or the fear of running out before the party is over. 

What is a good budget for a wedding in our area? I see a wide range of budgets in our area as low as $10,000 and as high as you can imagine but most of my weddings are between $35,000-$50,000. 

 Can I save money by renting a cheaper venue?  Yes, but you have to be willing to handle more set up on wedding day and more contact with vendors. A less expensive venue rental typically comes with less included (i.e. tables, chairs, dancefloor, etc). A venue with a higher rental fee typically requires items that you would rent at the less expensive venue. It’s best to set a budget and prioritize where you are going to spend the budget.  Some couples can get carried away booking things quickly. They then may run out of money for something that was important to them. 


Wedding planner Weddings by Mandy photographed by Goodie and Smith Weddings 

How can our couples contact you?

Facebook: Weddings By Mandy 

Instagram: Weddings by Mandy

251-605-4495 or weddingsbymandy@gmail.com


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Jessica Smith of Goodie and Smith Weddings holding a frame corners

meet Jessica


Hi! I’m Jessica, owner and lead photographer at Goodie and Smith Weddings- the Gulf Coast’s only full service wedding photography studio. I am so glad you’re here! Please show yourself around and you’ll soon see that I believe that my clients DESERVE IT ALL! 

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