June 29, 2017

Last month we talked about how wedding planners can come to the rescue for both those who have no idea where to start and those who feel they could plan the wedding themselves. But now we bear the first step and practical question, “So how do I choose a planner that fits ME?”.

A wedding planner that connects to who you are, helps shape the vision alongside you and has professional experience can sometimes be a hard balance to find. But it is possible! Here are a few key factors in keeping you on track in finding YOUR wedding planner:

1) Take it all in: vendor referrals, personal testimonies, and a bit of research.

First and foremost, take some time to ask other professionals you may already be working with (photographers, venues, etc.) along with other people who have hired a planner for referrals to planners in your area. You know as well as I do, personal experiences go a long way!

In addition to this, there are so many local and national wedding resources out there (WeddingDay Magazine for one, as well as the The Knot, Wedding Wire, etc.) that showcase many of the best wedding planners in your area. Take some time to look into these sources along with wedding planners’ websites and social media platforms (like Instagram) to find those professional planners near you using hashtags, blogs, and showcased portfolios. Planners that are proactive and intentional to reach more couples that want to work with them are often showcasing work and life in this way. This may be obvious in this day and age, but take the time to look at how planners put there work out there and talk about what they do from these platforms. You should be able to find a lot on who they are and how they work and connect with you!

2) Give and take: have a conversation!

Once you’ve found a few planners that you think might fit with you, contact them, make sure they have your wedding date available and set up a consultation meeting (most often for free!) to chat more! Note: if they don’t respond to you within 24 hours of your inquiry, be cautious of this! The best planners and business professionals in general should be those that care about you and respond in a timely and professional manner.

When you meet with a wedding planner, it is so vital to remember that this is a conversation. A great planner will ask you questions about you and your wedding vision in order to best understand, articulate and implement what you are hoping for. Be prepared as much as you can to share what you have in mind, while being open to learning more about what the planner has to offer. It will be important for you to also ask the right questions to make sure the planner fits you and is qualified for the job. Stay tuned next month for more on helpful questions to ask when choosing a planner!

3) Seal the deal: ask for a proposal.

The proposal will help set the expectations and serve as the basis for the contract. It will help confirm everything that the planner is agreeing to do or not do. If you have questions or concerns about the proposal, just ask! Many planners will customize as best as they can to you and your needs. If you feel uncomfortable with what is proposed even after discussing some of these concerns with the planner, then you may need to move on to another planner that might fit better. It’s so important that you are on the same page from the very beginning and have set expectations up front on what you both are responsible for. Once you’ve met with your top choice planners and have compared the various services and investments out there, you should have a clearer idea of who best fits you and can move forward in signing a contract as soon as possible.

4) Be willing to learn: let go and enjoy!

In the end, despite the level of service you choose, it’s so important to feel comfortable with your planner and enjoy the process. After all, they are your partner along the way in some shape or form! The planning process can be overwhelming and stressful, but allowing yourself to learn and grow alongside a planner who has done this before and is willing to be your teammate in the process, will make things so much more enjoyable. They should have your back and help you even when you are unsure. They should remind you of what is truly important despite the celebration, yet take this event seriously. If you allow yourself to try new things, be open in expectations and think about new possibilities just as your planner will with you, the experience on both ends will be all the greater for it!