It's TBT. So I thought this to be a good time to post something I wrote for our partners at WEDMINT a while back.....Enjoy!
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Q: How do I choose my wedding planner?
A: Selecting your wedding planner sounds straight forward but choosing the right one can make the difference between an O.K. wedding and an Amazing one! There are three basic steps to follow in order to make an informed decision: Researching, Interviewing and Revision. When you’re done, you’ll be able to decide for yourself if hiring a wedding planner is right for you.
There are a few misguided presumptions about wedding planners. First off, they are not exclusively hired to assist the creatively challenged or the elite. Wedding planners can offer a variety of services to match your specific budget and needs. Some couples only require a day-of coordinator to manage their ‘Big Day’ affairs. Others just need a few consultation sessions to guide them in the right direction. Whatever the reason, wedding planners are there to make the planning process and actual event enjoyable and stress free. These are glad tidings after all!
Begin by looking for local planners in your area via wedding magazines or the internet. Ask for referrals by couples who’ve hired one. If there’s a bridal convention, ATTEND! The best, and most reliable first impressions are usually face to face. Once you select your top three, schedule a meet. It’s always a good sign when your initial consultation is free. In my humble opinion, a free “get-to-know-you” session is common sense and good business.
Before going to a meeting, write down all your questions. And don’t be shy. There are no unintelligent queries when entrusting your wedding to someone else. A professional wedding planner is ready for anything. Search online or click this link for a list of pertinent questions to ask while interviewing a wedding planner.
2. THE INTERVIEW
First impressions are essential in your selection process and trusting your instincts will help indicate any red flags along the way. No matter where you meet, a smile and a good handshake are the introductory components to a good business relationship. Furthermore, a person who takes pride in their work will also project that feeling through their appearance, both physically and professionally. There is nothing more unprofessional than a T-shirt that says ‘I’m With Stupid ⬆’ paired with ripped jeans. This, of course, is a two-way street. You don’t have to dress to the nines but at least bring your A-game.
Now that you’ve met, let’s talk chemistry. You already have your list of questions and a general idea of what you want the day of your wedding. The planner you are interviewing should be listening to your queries and concerns and be able to interpret your vision even better than you’ve pictured. They should also be asking you questions to better understand what you want.
Unfortunately, you can’t hire them on good looks alone. Their service and price point need to match your budget as well. Always ask for a copy of their price list and a breakdown sheet of their services. Many wedding planners are flexible and have customizable packages to suit your needs. As stated at the beginning, not every couple needs an A-Z planner so here’s a list of possible service that may be offered:
Consultation (first consultation free)
Full A-Z Planning
A la Carte
Research & Development
Planning & Management
Destination Wedding Planner
Presentations come in many forms. Ask to see a portfolio of past events. Some may even have prepared a slideshow or video for you. You may also find their work on their website. If they offer design services, inquire about an in-house discount. It’s a great way to save some money.
3. REVIEW & SELECT
After you’ve met all the planners, you’ll have a clearer idea which one suits your needs most accurately. Still, review your notes and compare their presentation and the information provided to you as well as your first impressions. If something isn’t clear, don’t hesitate to call them to clarify. Once you decided on your wedding planner, call to book immediately. They usually give you a few days grace period to think it over, but the sooner, the better. You should also call back the other candidates as they may have other clients interested. All that’s left now is to go back, iron out a few more details with YOUR wedding planner and finally...sign on the dotted line.
I won’t lie, a wedding planner can consume up to 10% of your wedding budget. The payback is that they know where all the great discounts are and will save you time, money and a great deal of sanity along the way. Whatever you chose to do, this is your wedding day and the best person to know what you really need is you and your significant other.
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