When you decide that you want to relieve yourself of the stress of having to plan an entire wedding by yourself, you think that the wedding planner is the God that will make all of your troubles go away. But choosing the wrong wedding planner could lead to disaster. So if the only thing that you want to do for this wedding is choose the planner and have him/her take of the rest, you’d better put some effort into it.
No worries, I’m here to help. Here are some suggestions that will out you on the right path for choosing the best wedding planner for you.
1. Research until you get a headache. The first thing that you need to know here is that there are all sorts of wedding planners. Some of them can have less responsibilities and just be there to poke you about deadlines, while others will even make sure that the flower girl’s basket is decorated with flowers to match your bouquet. Some are cheaper and some are more expensive. You need to figure out just how much you want the wedding planner to be involved in your wedding. Also, whenever you use the internet to search for a potential wedding planner, make sure that you read as many review as you possibly can. They’re going to help you get an insight on how well that planner gets the job done. And don’t just read testimonials on their official website. Search for forums where past brides have expressed their opinion. Forums are also a great way to discover some new wedding planners that are worth checking out.
2. Be on the lookout for… Someone who is well connected with local vendors. The more connections a wedding planner has, the better the chances to get the wedding you always dreamed of. Think of it this way: wedding planners that have worked with the same vendors over and over again may get considerable discounts that you won’t be able to get by yourself.
3. First goal: Have a face-to face meeting. After finding wedding planners that seem to match your needs, you need to discover if the two of you really connect. In order for that to happen, you need to sit down for a cup of coffee and check if there is any professional chemistry between you guys. You may find that some planners are absolutely amazing at what they do, but you’re more of a friendly person, while they are professionals that don’t always joke around. You tell a funny a story, they stick to the cold-hard aspects of wedding planning… is this the type of planner you want? You need to be comfortable in telling the planner all the wedding-related ideas that you’d like to materialize, even if that means telling stories of your childhood so they can better identify what kind of person you are and what you’re hoping your wedding to be like.
4. Don’t show up empty handed. And by “empty handed”, I don’t mean that you should buy gifts. I mean that you need to have a series of questions prepared to interview the wedding planner. Just to get you started, here are some things that you need to figure out before you make up your mind:
- How the planner stays in touch with his/her clients, what communication method he uses and how often is he/she available to talk.
- How often will you receive updates on how the overall planning of the wedding is going.
- How many weddings he’s organized so far.
- What was his/her biggest challenge as a wedding planner.
- Ask him/her to describe a difficult situation with a client and how the problem was overcome.
- Ask for references of some past clients that would be willing to talk a bit about the two of the worked together.
- What will he/she be able to do for you if you wedding budget is only $X.
5. And speaking of a budget… This is something that you need to discuss with every wedding planner that you interview. Unfortunately, there have been cases where a couple ended up paying more than what they originally discussed with their wedding planner because certain “small expenses” just “turned up”. A bad wedding planner can tell you the flowers cost more, the band you flew in wanted to be accommodated at a 5* hotel instead of the 3* you had planned and examples could go on. Your wedding planner need to perfectly understand that you are on a budget and simply cannot afford to pay extra.
6. Paying extra? No. Always sign a contract with your wedding planner and make sure you read every single word, comma or dot. In the contract, you will agree to pay a specific amount of money and, if the wedding planner cannot fit into the given budget, that won’t be your problem anymore, since you legally signed up to pay a fixed amount of money.
7. The crucial question. Will he/she be there on the wedding day? Because you should definitely hire a wedding planner that will attend the entire event. This will save you a lot of headaches because if something goes wrong at a wedding, the first person to be contacted about it is the bride. If you’re wedding is planned, that problem is lifted off your shoulders and they can deal with the pesky details and little issues, while you enjoy your big day.
8. Tricky part: tipping the wedding planner. This is not something mandatory and you should only tip your wedding planner if he/she did an amazing job and if you afford it. The tip is generally valued at $500, but there are more ways than one to tip a wedding planner. Often, you could make sure you recommend them for another wedding. You could give them a great testimonials for their website or professional photos from your wedding for them to add to their portfolio. You can also buy them a nice gift or put together a gift basket.