How to choose a wedding planner
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How to choose a wedding planner
OMG, yay! You’re getting married! You’ve said yes, you’ve shared with all your family and friends the great news and maybe even that proposal or ring pic on social media, and now all of a sudden those questions of who, what, where, when and how are starting to bubble up. You may be thinking that you could use some guidance, since well, it’s likely that you’ve never planned your own wedding before. We get it. We were once there too. We’d like to help. We’ve put together a few short lists that we hope will assist you on your search for your perfect wedding planner.
11 good reasons to hire a wedding planner
To save you time
To save you money by making your budget go further
To curate your vision and ideas into a harmonious plan
To source reliable and awesome vendors that fit your budget
To have someone to talk wedding to when your friends have had enough
To have someone to help mitigate potentially challenging family dynamics
To answer all those random etiquette questions
To have an advocate that works on your behalf and helps you navigate the wedding world
To make sure you can enjoy the party of your life without distractions
To have someone there that has been working with you since the beginning
To have someone there that is invested and knows every aspect of the day
What kind of services do planners, designers and coordinators provide?
Full planning is having someone there every step of the way- talking through decisions, bouncing ideas, budget management, vendor introductions, design development and more.
Planners vs. designers. Some planners’ strengths lie in logistics and details. With these types of planners they often help coordinate the logistical aspects of design and leave the bulk of the design work to the vendors who provide the tangible goods (florists, rentals, etc) by conveying the design concept and letting those vendors run with it. Designers who are not planners, will help you create a cohesive design, handle design based rentals (linens, table top, etc), but don’t contribute to the other planning aspects and logistics (like how many amps your DJ needs). Then there are those planners who successfully manage to do both with equal measure.
Coordinators come in at the very end of the wedding planning process, and essentially download all of the plans that you’ve put into place and action them. You need to have virtually all your planning complete by the time your coordinator starts working with you, so they can take the reins and let you relax before the big day. While you can find day-of coordinators to jump in and take over on wedding day, we feel strongly that having a pro come on at least 30 days prior to your big day will best set you up for success!
Some planners break down the different aspects of wedding planning and offer them in different combinations or a la carte.
Questions to ask your planner
-How and why did you get into wedding planning?
-What is your team like?
-What is your approach to designing for and working with a client?
-What feedback do you get from your clients?
-What kind of budgets do you work with?
-What kind of venues do you most often work with?
-How many weddings do you do a year?
-Who are your favorite vendors to work with and why?
-How often do you meet with your clients and what methods of communication do you prefer?
-How accessible would you be? Do you have strict office hours?
-What is your planning process like?
-What do you do for fun?
How to choose the best fit?
Choosing a planner that has the best combination of your preferred design aesthetic, a personality that you genuinely connect with, and that can work within your budget is the goal. Ideally, you’ll want to hire someone that is already connected with vendors in the community that you want to work with. For the best working relationship, it’s also a good idea to make sure your working styles are compatible.
How to have a successful relationship.
Make sure you’re both on the same page from the get go.
Chat about expectations of communication and task management up front so that you can manage your stress levels through this exciting, but challenging and new experience!
Be as forthcoming and honest with your planner as possible. The more information your planner has, the more they can tailor their process and share information in ways that are efficient and will truly wow you. Knowing the things you don’t like is just as important as knowing the things you do!
Show appreciation for your planner! They’re your BFF, advocate, voice of reason, sounding board, confidante and will keep you sane throughout the process.
Keep focused on the things that are truly important. You are marrying the love of your life and if celebrating that with your closest family and friends is the thing you’re most excited about, your day will inevitably be the most beautiful reflection of your love and it will delight your guests and the two of you.
Happy planning folks!
XO – The GATHER Girls