The term wedding planner conjures up images of someone coordinating every last detail of your big day, from how many peonies to order for the reception tables to what time the caterers will arrive to set up. But not all wedding planners are the same! Some take on more responsibilities than others, and you should know what you’re getting into when hiring one. Here are five things you should do before hiring a wedding planner.
1. Determine What Type of Wedding Planning You Want
The first thing you need to do is determine what type of wedding planner is right for you. While planners differ in style and approach, there are generally three types of planners: on-site, day-of, and full-service. An on-site planner will meet with you prior to your wedding to discuss details and logistics but will not actually execute your plans; instead they make sure you have everything in place so that on your big day all you have to do is show up. A day-of planner will assist both you and your partner by executing every aspect of your wedding. They’ll help get you dressed, set up decorations, ensure vendors are where they need to be, coordinate gifts from guests, etc., all while making sure nothing falls through the cracks at a critical moment in time. A full-service planner will provide both pre-wedding assistance and on-site guidance during your actual ceremony and reception.
2. Research Different Types of Wedding Planners
If you’re interested in hiring a wedding planner, make sure you have an idea of what kind of wedding you want and what your overall vision is. Some planners work with brides on a one-on-one basis, while others organize large-scale events for groups of people. And some specialize in just one area (e.g., food or flowers). If you don’t know what type of planner you need or if your budget is limited, doing some research will help clarify things.
3. Choose the Right Wedding Planner for your Budget and Style
When it comes to your wedding, you want everything to be perfect and planned out with precision, but who can you trust? You’ll want a wedding planner that is trustworthy—someone who will give you quality service at a price point that fits your budget. Find someone who asks detailed questions about your budget and style. You don’t have time or energy for someone who only works with high-end clients or doesn’t take into account your personal style. Be honest when communicating your budget and priorities; not everyone can work with every couple. Finally, ask yourself if they are detail oriented because they love weddings or because they love weddings on their terms. Make sure that they are willing to follow your vision while still making recommendations based on their expertise!
4. Interview Your Potential Wedding Planners
It’s incredibly important to make sure your wedding planner is someone you can trust. No matter how far in advance of your wedding you might be, it’s crucial to interview multiple planners and ask them plenty of questions—and not just logistical ones. How long have they been in business? Can they provide references? What do their past clients think of them? What are their rates like? Do they require a minimum number of hours per month? The more research you do here, the better off you’ll be down the road. Having an honest conversation about money with prospective wedding planners is awkward but necessary, so don’t shy away from it. A good wedding planner will expect all these details upfront; she won’t get offended by your probing or brush you off if you sound disorganized. Remember: You deserve to work with someone who takes pride in her or his job, and one way to weed out subpar candidates is by asking pointed questions up front.
5. Trust Your Instincts!
In any partnership, trust is imperative. While you should trust your wedding planner’s expertise, it’s also important to make sure they can deliver what they promise before signing on. If something doesn’t feel right or your instincts tell you that you don’t like how things are going, move on—it’s always better to be safe than sorry! And with so many talented and reputable wedding planners out there, finding someone who delivers exactly what you want will only take a little legwork.