Your Day, Your Way: Hiring Wedding Professionals

Meghan McSweeney of Meghan McSweeney Photography

Today’s post is brought to you by the talented Meghan Ely of Richmond, VA, who is the owner of OFD Consulting, a niche pr/marketing firm for wedding professionals. We consider ourselves very lucky that she’s taken the time to share her thoughts on hiring professionals for your wedding!

They all thought they knew me so well.

Six years, a couple hundred weddings under my belt and suddenly it was my turn—I was engaged. Thus, the assumptions began—that I had had my dream wedding planned for years, I would have the largest bash this side of the Mississippi and I would single handedly take care of all the details, right down to the last floral arrangement.

In fact, it was rather the opposite. I spent sixty hours a week planning other brides’ weddings—who had time for my own? We also chose to have a more intimate affair with our nearest and dearest.

As for taking my years of experience and planning my big day on my own? Frankly, I knew better than that. 

We all have our areas of expertise. When my car won’t start, I call my car guy. When I have a nagging cough, I go to the doctor. So when planning one of the biggest days of life, I went to the wedding experts. Before long, I had lined up a team of seasoned wedding professionals and the day was flawless.

Photos by Meghan McSweeney of Meghan McSweeney Photography

Ladies, lend me your ears. It’s easy to want to do it all on your own. DIY? Okay, it does sound fun and adventurous. Yes, you’ll save a few bucks initially by asking Uncle Bob to shoot your wedding. Sure, it seems like you’ll have all the time in the world to gather your friends, a couple of bottles of wine and host a “favor assembling” party.

But time runs out, details begin to mount, and I’ll bet you a handful of Jordan Almonds that Uncle Bob doesn’t have liability insurance. Or back up cameras. Or a clue.

Now don’t get me wrong—I was a hands-on bride. I loved picking cake flavors with my soon-to-be husband. I had a blast sitting with my florist and envisioning the hydrangea centerpieces. Sitting in the salon on my wedding day with my best of friends with not a care in the world is still one of my cherished memories.

Button Bouquet by Le Buttoniere (; Photo by Meghan McSweeney of Meghan McSweeney Photography

I’ll tell you what I wouldn’t have loved—tying hundreds of favors, directing my wedding party on how to proceed down the aisle, transporting my linens to and from a warehouse and baking my own cookie favors.

Creating personal touches for your wedding day and having a hand in the planning process can be an enormously satisfying and enjoyable experience. But putting it all on yourself when you’re surrounded with endless possibilities for professional assistance is a headache waiting to happen. You might as well start rotating your own tires.

After all, if I, a prime candidate for a do-it-yourself extravaganza, decided to go ahead and hire wedding professionals instead of having a hand in it all—well, it’s got to mean something.

So ladies, start making those wedding vendor appointments and meeting your own team of experts. I promise Uncle Bob won’t be the only one thanking you later.

Meghan Ely is the owner of OFD Consulting, a niche pr/marketing firm for wedding professionals. She is a contributing writer for Virginia Bride Magazine and has been published in Premier Bride Richmond. She co-writes a monthly column for the Richmond Times Dispatch entitled Wedology 101: the Realities of Being a Bride.

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