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Why hiring a San Diego wedding planner is worth the investment


In San Diego, the wedding industry is supported by a range of businesses, including venues, catering services, photographers, florists, and many others. With its beautiful beaches, scenic parks, and historic landmarks, San Diego is a popular destination for couples looking to tie the knot, which helps to drive the growth of the local wedding industry. With there being such a wide range of wedding vendors to select from with varied levels of experience, years in business, and expertise in the field, hiring a San Diego based planner will afford you access to recommendations to vetted and trusted wedding vendors that you can trust.


Hiring a wedding planner can help ease the stress and workload of planning your wedding by taking on tasks such as coordinating vendors, creating a timeline, managing your budget, and handling any issues that may arise on the day of your wedding. A wedding planner becomes your go-to person for wedding planning decision making and can also offer valuable advice and resources to help bring your vision to life.

A wedding planner can be especially helpful for couples who have busy schedules and may not have the time to plan their wedding themselves or for those who are planning a destination wedding and may not be familiar with local vendors and regulations. They can also help if you have a specific vision for your wedding but are unsure how to execute it.

What should I look for when selecting a wedding planner?

When looking to hire a wedding planner, there are several key factors you should consider to ensure that you choose the right person for the job. Here are some things to look for:

  1. Experience: Look for a planner who has experience planning weddings similar to yours in terms of size, style, and budget. Ask for references or portfolios to get a sense of their past work.

  2. Personality and communication skills: It's important to find a planner who you feel comfortable working with and who you can communicate with effectively. Look for someone who is organized, responsive, and approachable.

  3. Style and creativity: Make sure the planner's style and creative vision align with yours. Look at their portfolio or past work to get a sense of their aesthetic.

  4. Vendor relationships: A good planner will have strong relationships with a variety of vendors, including florists, caterers, photographers, and more. Ask the planner about the vendors they typically work with and how they handle vendor selection and coordination.

  5. Budget management: A good planner will have a strong understanding of wedding budgets and will be able to help you stay within your budget while still achieving your dream wedding. Ask about their experience managing budgets and their process for tracking and managing costs.

  6. Flexibility and adaptability: Planning a wedding can be unpredictable, and a good planner will be flexible and adaptable in order to handle any challenges that may arise. Look for a planner who is able to think on their feet and problem-solve effectively.

  7. Reputation: Research the planner's reputation by reading reviews and asking for references. Look for someone who has a track record of satisfied clients and a positive reputation in the industry.

Isn't a wedding planner expensive?

Oftentimes, hiring a wedding planner can actually save you money in the long run, as they have experience and connections to negotiate with vendors and plan accordingly to stay within your budget.


A recent example of this is that I am currently working with a client who was looking for a DJ for their cocktail hour and reception. I reached out to some of my favorite DJs to work with and they shared their packages and availability with me, all of the packages included ceremony sound, cocktail hour sound, reception sound, and some lighting options. After reviewing the packages I had a conversation with one DJ in particular sharing that because the ceremony was off site that we wouldn't need the ceremony sound package and were wondering what adjustments could be made to the package to better meet my client's needs.

Since the package was a set cost, the DJ offered that in lieu of providing ceremony sound, they could include a large number of uplights for the ballroom and also include cold spark canons for the grand entrance. My clients were over the moon! This was a simple ask from one industry professional to another. I wasn't asking for a discount, I was simply approaching another professional asking to adapt the package to better meet my client's needs.

If we had to separately contract for lighting, those services would have cost an additional $2,000+ but because of carefully cultivated relationships it was wrapped into an already existing package of services. Your ideal wedding planner will work behind the scenes to help you build an absolutely dynamic vendor team.

How much should I budget for a wedding planner?

The cost of hiring a wedding planner can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the type of planner you choose, their level of experience, and the services they offer.


On average, full-service wedding planners can charge anywhere from 10-20% of your total wedding budget, with some charging a flat fee or an hourly rate. Day-of coordinators typically charge a flat fee, which can range from $1,500 to $3,500 or more.


Partial planners and specialty planners may charge a flat fee or an hourly rate, depending on the services they offer. Destination wedding planners may also charge a premium for their expertise in planning weddings in foreign locations.


It's important to keep in mind that the cost of hiring a wedding planner can be offset by the money and stress they can help you save by negotiating with vendors, managing budgets, and handling logistics. A good wedding planner can help you achieve your dream wedding while staying within your budget and minimizing the stress and time commitment involved in the planning process.


Ultimately, the cost of hiring a wedding planner will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Be sure to discuss the cost of services with several different planners and get a clear understanding of what you'll be paying for before making a decision.




Are there different types of wedding planners?


There are several different types of wedding professionals you can hire to support you with wedding planning or event management, each offers a different level of service and expertise to help you plan your dream wedding. In San Diego most venues require you at a minimum to hire a coordinator for the wedding day, some venues will even provide this service for you, however there are some Some of the most common types of wedding planners include:

  1. Full-Service Wedding Planners: These planners provide comprehensive planning and coordination services from start to finish, handling everything from vendor selection to the execution of the wedding day itself.

  2. Day-of Coordinators aka Event Management services: These planners specialize in managing the logistics of the wedding day itself, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and according to plan. They come on board to support you in the last weeks leading up to the wedding and focus on timeline, flow of the ceremony and reception, and tying up loose ends on the big day.

  3. Partial Planners: These planners offer a more customized level of service, typically focusing on specific aspects of the wedding planning process such as vendor selection or design and décor. Contracts with partial planners are typically for a span of several months, and depending on your needs you may or may not choose for them to provide day of event management.

  4. Destination Wedding Planners: These planners specialize in planning and coordinating destination weddings, helping couples navigate the unique challenges of planning a wedding in a foreign location.

  5. Specialty Planners: These planners specialize in planning weddings for specific niches, such as LGBTQ+ weddings, eco-friendly weddings, religious weddings, or weddings with unique cultural components.

Ultimately, the type of wedding planner you choose will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Some couples prefer to have a full-service planner handle every aspect of the planning process, while others prefer to take a more hands-on approach and only hire someone to tackle event management for specific tasks or to manage the day-of logistics.


At Kristine Smith Designs we offer full-service and partial planning packages that are customized to each client's needs. Each package takes into account venue, overall wedding budget, specialized wedding features, involvement in wedding design, events involved in the planning process. We do offer Event Management services for a select number of preferred San Diego venues and would be happy to discuss those with you.



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