photo from R.B. Boyer
While planning a wedding, you need to get whatever help you can get.
They can be your siblings, your friends, your relatives, your mother-in-law, your father-in-law and so on.
You need to brief them exactly what kind of help you need and exactly how they can go about doing it. Print out the tasks and instructions even if you need to make things simpler for them.
Don’t assume they know what is in your mind as they are just like you – planning wedding for the first time.
Alternatively, to make your wedding planning life really easy and enjoyable, you can hire a professional wedding planner and here 26 tips to look out for when you’re hiring your wedding planner!
1. I feel a professional wedding coordinator should have been certified that he or she is qualified to be a plannner. They will have taken a wedding coordinator or consultant or planner course and have a certificate to show for it. To check the validity, you can even call up the education institute to enquire.
2. You will need to know the wedding planners’ past wedding planning experiences. Inquire how many weddings he has previously coordinated.
3. Keep your option open. Make appointments with two or three coordinators or more even if you have to. Most coordinators offer a free initial consultation. Personally, I feel that a planner who is really genuine in helping wedding couples will give good advice even during the initial meet-up.
4. Determine your own needs. Do you want the planner to find all your vendors and you will handle the details? Or do you need a planner to help you do everything and you just appear on the wedding day? Ask yourself what are your requirements specifically and how involved do you want the coordinator to be.
5. How much money you have set aside for hiring a planner? How are you going to pay them? There are many different methods planners use for fees, you will find that most planners offer packages that include both flat fee and percentage based packages with a variation of services that will suit your bridal needs. Ask about payment. The consultant may charge a percentage of the wedding budget, a flat fee or an hourly rate.
6. Tell the planner what type of wedding you want and what your budget is. She will tell you how much of your dream wedding she can produce on that budget and give you any other advice and even money-saving tips if she sees that you can save in other areas based on her experience.
7. Price and fees are always negotiable. Haggle over prices and negotiate discounts so you can have what you want at the lowest price. Ask for freebies to be thrown into the package and this can help you to save too.
photo from Box of Light
8. Give the wedding planner a list of the services you need for your wedding so that she can give you an estimate.
9. Meet up with your planners. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with them. Are they friendly? Are they approachable? Are they sincere and genuine?
10. Ask to see the planner’s business license, certificate of membership in a professional organization, tax ID number or some other indication that she is in business and not just a hobbyist.
11. Ask for recommendations from friends who have wonderful experience with their wedding planners. Ask your friends what is it they like about this planner, what they don’t like and any other matter you should look out for if you are to hire the same planner.
12. If you have no one to refer you any planner, contact a professional association of wedding or bridal consultants and ask for local referrals.
13. Ask for past testimonials of customers and ask to see letters of reference (if any). Of course, a planner will show you only positive letters, but beware if someone doesn’t have any at all. You can also ask her verbally what are the difficulties she faced being a wedding planner. Be in guard if she said she has none.
14. A wedding planner should help you select a menu that works for you as well as your guests. She should be detailed enough to enquire if there are special foods for special diets, what are the guests’ age groups and so on. She will also make sure that all food and drink items are of the very best quality for your budget and not recommend anything that will overblow your budget.
15. Ask to see pictures of weddings she has coordinated or planned in the past.
16. Talk to their past customers (if you know of any) and ask them about their experience hiring this wedding planner.
17. A good planner should help you to select a tasteful wedding cake, within your price range.
photo from Gabriella 8
18. Interview the planners by asking questions such as, “What is it you like working with wedding couples?”, “How did you handle all those children in this wedding?”, “What is the biggest problem you face when planning a wedding?” or “Who do you require to be at the rehearsal?” A professional wedding planner should be able to answer these questions and be frank about the answers.
19. Find out how long have they been in business and find out how many of their new customers are referred by past satisfied clients.
20. Find out about how much they charge and if this suit your budget. They may be the best wedding planner but if you can’t afford them, I suggest you should continue to look to for other planners.
21. Ask about your wedding themes such as the decorations, table linens, flowers and favors and they should be able to provide you with different options based on your budget.
22. Check how many wedding projects do they do concurrently. Some may do too many and unable to prioritise and may not give you the most attention and best service. Other planners can be frank with you that they only take up a number of weddings during the similar period so that they can provide the best service to every wedding couple.
23. A professional wedding planner should be able to ensure that everything is carried out smoothly from the walk down the aisle to the tossing of the bouquet and she should be able to brief you clearly even before the wedding.
24. Check with them if they have another job or do they coordinate full time. It’s not required for your coordinator to only work at planning weddings but it is better because they will have to contact your vendors during business hours.
25. Make sure you establish a price in advance and, above all, get everything in writing. You’ll probably want to interview several planners to be sure you find the one best suiting your needs
26. Always sign a written wedding contract stating when and how much you will pay for the services you require, and what the arrangement will be if the wedding is called off. Have everything in black and white so that it is clear for you.
As you can see, there are a 1001 things to do and to take note. So having a dependable and trustworthy wedding planner can really ease the planning and decision making of your wedding day, allowing you and your fiance to relax and enjoy your engagement.
On a similar note, if one finds the wrong wedding planner, you know what will become of your wedding.
photo from patty_mitchell
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