Hiring a Wedding Planner

Mario Ballesteros Photography – Lost Mission

Hiring a qualified wedding planner is the absolute best investment an engaged couple can make. No other wedding vendor will ensure that your wedding day is seamless and remove the unnecessary worry that comes with planning the most important day of your lives. Here are some common misconceptions about wedding planners, as well as solid advice on what to look for in a wedding planner.

The Complimentary Wedding Planner: Some wedding vendors and venues claim to offer a complimentary wedding coordinator or planner with the purchase of another product or service. Because of the tremendous amount of work involved in planning a wedding, no one would ever do it for free. It is also important to mention that an event coordinator at your venue should not be confused with a wedding planner. Event coordinators are employed by the venue and their main concerns are sales, safety and compliance. Although they may provide a list of approved vendors, they will not communicate with your chosen vendors, help you hire needed vendors, check references, negotiate contracts, or implement your wedding vision. They also do not construct the Wedding Day Timeline for your big day; a very crucial plan of action that ensures that your day is flawless. Your hired wedding coordinator or planner however will work collaboratively with the facility’s event coordinator, so that you and your vendors are in compliance with the facility’s rules and regulations on your big day!

The Wedding Day Timeline: In order for your wedding day to be the day you have always dreamed of, a timeline of the day’s events with detailed vendor expectations for all parties involved needs to be prepared. The Wedding Day Timeline provides transparency and will give you peace of mind in knowing that your day will be organized just the way that you have envisioned it. The construction of the Wedding Day Timeline should be initiated and written by the wedding coordinator or planner and approved by you.

Know What You Are Paying For: Wedding planners usually provide three types of wedding planning packages, which are defined as: Day-of-Coordination, Partial Planning, and Full-Service Planning. While these packages may be referred by the same name, they however are described very differently by each individual wedding planner. For instance, one wedding planner may quote a day-of-coordination package hundreds of dollars less than another wedding planner, but before rushing to sign the contract with the budget friendly planner, you should understand what you are paying for. Some questions to ask are: When will you become my wedding coordinator or planner (how many days/months before the wedding)? Will you construct my Wedding Day Timeline? How many wedding planning meetings will we have? How often will you communicate with me by phone and by email? How many hours will you be present on my wedding day and will you be there until the very end? Will you read my contracts and communicate with my vendors to ensure that there are no issues on the day of my wedding? Will you have an assistant on the day of my wedding? How many vendor meetings will you attend? Additionally, it is vital to have a legally binding contract with your chosen wedding planner. Both partial planning and full-service packages should have contracts stating that the planner will secure qualified vendors for your event, as well as assist or be responsible for the the design of your event. The more details in the contract, the more protection for you.

Read, Read, Read Reviews and Obtain References: Unbiased reviews will provide great insight to how previous clients’ overall experiences were. Reviews are also the ultimate way to find the best of the best in the wedding industry. Be sure to use unbiased reviews on reputable sites such as The Knot and Wedding Wire. If the reviews do not seem to match the expertise of the vendor, feel free to ask for references and telephone numbers from past clients.

Review Your Budget: This is the most important day of your life, so be sure that you trust the person you are putting in charge of your wedding day, while also staying within your budget. Remember that a wedding planner’s duties require a tremendous amount of time, resources, and travel, which would not be given away for free or for a very low price. If you are considering more than one wedding planner and one price is drastically lower than the other, you should reexamine your choices – this rule applies to all of your vendors for your wedding.

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