A friend, also in the wedding industry, compared wedding planners to architects. She knew someone who designed the perfect kitchen, didn't seek any professional help, hired the builders, and had her kitchen renovated. Many thousands of dollars later, the kitchen was done. And while on paper it looked great, in the end the kitchen was not functional, and in fact was annoying to work in.
My friend was comparing hiring an architect to hiring a wedding planner. If you've never designed a kitchen you don't know exactly what it will be like, and if you've never planned a wedding you don't know exactly how your ideas will translate to the wedding day. When you're spending $20,000+ on a wedding, why not get a little bit of help to guide you in the right direction? As wedding planners, like a good architect, our goal is not to take over your big day but help you streamline your priorities, collaborate with you, and put your plan into action. Well worth the expense, I think!