Choosing the right wedding planner for you

You’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided to hire a wedding planner, but now it’s time to choose the person or team to orchestrate your big day. Here are some questions to ask when interviewing wedding planners before the preparations can begin:

Choose your service
Decide what type of help you need and check with planners to make sure they provide this service. Here are the variations on wedding planning services, from least involved to most:

  • Wedding day planning – They make sure your actual wedding day, and perhaps the rehearsal dinner, run smoothly. A day-of organizer will typically be involved about a month before and will take care of pre-reception setup, like placing table numbers and arranging centerpieces, as well as post-wedding clean-up and all of the little details.
  • A la carte planning – They might offer hourly advice and support when you need it or offer specific services for a fee.
  • Full-service organizer – They take care of everything – including managing all of the little details – through the whole process with you; however, it’s important to have a written contract that details precisely what is included.

Budget and Vendor Questions
When you interview planners, ask them how they prioritize staying on budget. Some will strictly adhere to your budget while others will ask for a little leeway. It’s good to know this upfront so you can choose someone who fits your preferences. Additionally, ask planners who their preferred vendors are. Good planners will have developed strong relationships with vendors who will provide them with excellent discounts, and they’ll have the experience to know whose products will fit your tastes. Also, if it’s important to you that organizers let you choose the vendors, make sure an organizer isn’t trying to discourage you from a specific caterer for no particular reason. He or she might be steering you toward businesses that give kickbacks for providing new customers. If a business has to go to these lengths to get customers, there’s probably a reason no one is using them in the first place.

Is there a match?
It’s important to assess whether each vendor is a perfect fit for you, especially if you’re hiring a full-service planner with whom you’ll have to spend months working. If you just seem to be on the same wavelength, you’ll know it. If you and the planner aren’t exactly seeing eye-to-eye, you’ll know this too – pay attention to your gut reaction!

Image courtesy of biglerproductions.com

(Planner Taia Younis with bride just before she sees her groom)

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