If you’re a brand new bride-to-be, you’ve probably already discovered that planning a wedding involves a ton of organisation. We’re talking over 100 hours of planning for the average wedding. That’s probably a little more than you anticipated, right?!
Once the initial excitement of your engagement has worn off, the intimidating to-do list that comes with organising your dream day can feel a little overwhelming to say the least.
From creating your wedding budget (and sticking with it!) through to sourcing quotes, liaising with vendors, and creating your seating chart. There’s definitely a whole lot of work required in the lead up to your wedding.
And let’s not forget about the big day itself. Who exactly is going to set up your decor, meet with suppliers, and be able to deal with any last minute emergencies that might arise? Wet weather, power outages, last minute guests…are you feeling a little bit panicked just yet?!
If so, it might be time to think about investing in a wedding planner.
No matter how organised you might feel, wedding planners are honestly worth more than their weight in gold. Hiring the right wedding planner might just be one of the best investments you make in the lead up to your day.
However, not every wedding planner is the same. It’s so important to know exactly what each planner has to offer before you make a decision. This way, you can ensure you find the perfect planner to meet your requirements.
Finding the right wedding planner means doing the research and asking the relevant questions to find the best fit. Luckily I’ve put together some helpful tips when it comes to choosing the perfect wedding planner to help bring your dream day to life!
Does the Wedding Planner Have a Company Website?
This may seem like a very obvious, even silly, factor to consider – however, if you do a quick search of wedding planners in Ohio, for example, you’ll find that there are lots that do not have a website, but, rather use a facebook business page and/or a business page on a wedding search engine. Beware if you come across this, as this not only confirms that the planner has not been in business for long, it also implies that the planner is not investing in his/her company, and in turn may not be entirely serious about being a wedding planner…which may put you in a very difficult situation if after a few months the wedding planner decides this work is no longer right for them, and decides to stop planning weddings altogether (including yours!)
Can The Wedding Planner Prove Their Experience?
A real wedding planner with experience and a plethora of weddings under their belt is always able to prove their experience. They are able to provide references from other couples who have used their services in the past. A reliable and professional wedding planner is willing and open to making you feel at ease about their work and experience, and is able to give you real references. Whether it’s videos, wedding images, references from providers and/or testimonials of couples of weddings that they’ve done, all of this material should be used as a whole to determine whether this wedding planner is truly and honestly experienced or has just started out. The most invaluable experience, however, will come directly from their past couples, so be sure to ask for more than 2 references of both past clients and wedding providers to ensure that you are speaking with a real client, and not one of their friends or family members who are posing as past clients.
Is There a Personal Spark?
Go for synergy! You want to be sure you’re on the same page as your planner and will work well together. Trust your gut and your planner. You’re relying on this person to pull off one of the most important days of your life — not to mention, you’ll be spending a lot of time with them, so make sure you feel a connection.
Every wedding is different and whether you only want the planner for specific tasks, on the big day itself, or if you’d like the planner to be with you from the beginning will, of course, make a difference in the price. The pricing structure could be any of the following:
• A flat fee
• A base fee plus extra charges depending on vendors and needs
• An hourly rate
If the planner charges a flat rate, find out what exactly would be included in this. Also, find out if there is a payment structure and what the billing method is. It’s essential to be upfront with the wedding planner when it comes to the budget to ensure that both parties are happy.
Be sure to find out how many other weddings the planner is working on, as well as if there are weddings they are planning that happen during the same month as your wedding. If the planner works for a large wedding planning company then their firm may have other weddings in the pipeline- and they will also have a large team to work with. If they are independent wedding planners, then it would be best if they could be focused primarily on your wedding.
You want your planner to be devoted to your wedding to ensure that that the planning and the big day run seamlessly.
Choose your Favorites
Choose three or four wedding planners you found as your favorites. From here you should contact each of them and ask whatever questions you may have for them. The best questions to ask these wedding planners are what type of planning services they offer, a price range estimate for the services offered, and their availability to plan a wedding for you based on your wedding date. This information is valuable when looking to narrow down your top three or four favorite wedding planners to the one you’ll opt to help plan your special day.
Set up Appointments
After you’ve narrowed down your wedding planners, it’s time to set appointments. Schedule a consultation with any of the wedding planners you’re still interest in and are looking to possibly hire. While at your first appointment with these potential wedding planners, be sure to voice your vision of how you want your wedding to look. Discuss your style and other preferences so that you can get a feel for whether or not this wedding planner will be able to satisfy your vision. Make notes while in each appointment so that you can evaluate the notes later on as a couple to help narrow down which wedding planner you’ll hire.
Hire Your Wedding Planner
Once you look over the contract carefully and settle any lingering doubts, it’s time to use your planner’s expertise! Take the time to follow whatever process they prefer, giving as much detail as you can so that finding vendors and resources for your wedding will be easy and smooth. Keep in clear communication throughout the process, assuming that any time you have a question or concern, it’s best to voice it rather than be silent and wonder. The perk of letting your wedding planner run the wedding events with their effective experience is that you can spend all of your special time with family and friends, knowing that the details behind the scenes are definitely under control.
Hiring a wedding planner can help to take much of the stress out of planning your wedding. When choosing a wedding planner, look for someone that understands what you want on your wedding day. Choose someone you are comfortable with, who will work closely with you and who is committed to bringing your dream wedding to life.