Hiring a Wedding Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide
Small, simple weddings and receptions are usually small and simple enough to be arranged by the engaged couple themselves without too much stress and trouble. But more often than not, weddings are seldom simple and rarely small events, and the bride and groom need to decide first if they need the assistance of a wedding planner, and if so, who should they pick? It takes a bit of work, but in the end, if done right, you can be seeing your dream wedding be organized in ways you weren't sure were possible.
- Start by asking around for local wedding planners from friends and relatives who have been recently married or look online or in the phonebook for local consultants.
- Narrow the list down and schedule a few appointments with the consultants that piqued your interest.
- During the meetings with the various wedding planners, give them as good an idea as you have of what you want the wedding to be like and let them know your budget. Ask how close to your idea they can come within that budget, and ask what kind of fees they charge based on what you would need them to do for your wedding.
- Feel free to ask for various credentials and testimonials from the weddings they have helped plan in the past. Credentials can include a business license, proof of membership to any national organization, and anything that proves they are not just a wedding enthusiast instead of a legitimate business person.
- Ask to see a portfolio of photographs from prior weddings, and find out what sort of things they have arranged in the past, along with what they consider their strengths or areas of expertise in particular.
- Pick their brain about the specifics of a traditional wedding -- a professional wedding planner should know more about weddings than just about anyone else, especially if they have been in the business for a long time.
- After the meetings, discuss all the potential planners and decide who the two of you liked the most and felt the most comfortable with. Comfort level is as important as the consultant's basic ability to do what they claim: if you cannot express yourself and communicate with your wedding planner, it will be harder to plan the perfect wedding.
- When everything is said and done and both the bride and the groom have agreed upon one person, remember to sign a contract with the wedding planner of your choice, outlining everything that was agreed upon, from payment to what services will be provided, and what to do in case the wedding is cancelled.
Remember, the better you treat your wedding consultant, the better they will work for you. And if they do a wonderful job, offer to write a letter of reference to show future couples. And be mindful of your gut instinct when choosing a planner. If everything inside you is saying "no," it is within your best interest to listen. And make sure the person you choose is going to keep your best interests and ideas at heart and do their best to find you the best deals that they can. And with all of that kept in mind, there is no reason you won't have the wedding you have always dreamed of.